Saturday, November 26, 2011

German-Dutch team join forces against pirates

Netherlands Marechaussee is participating in a new German-Dutch investigation team set up to combat piracy in Somali waters. The establishment of this team was announced by the National Public Prosecutor's Office on 17 November 2011.
The team will focus primarily on identifying the organisers, financiers and negotiators involved in hijacking merchant shipping. In general, the ships and their crews are only released after many months of negotiations between ship owners and pirates and after payment of ransoms amounting to millions of dollars. The investigation team will also try to discover where this money goes. The Joint Investigation Team is an initiative of the Dutch National Public Prosecutor's Office and the German Public Prosecutor's Office in Osnabrück. In addition, the National Criminal Investigation Service, the State Investigation Bureau of Lower Saxony, the Federal Investigation Bureau in Berlin, Eurojust and Europol are also taking part. Last week, representatives from the Dutch National Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Public Prosecutor's Office in Osnabrück and Eurojust signed the cooperation agreement. The joint investigation team has been set up provisionally for one year.

Ethiopian Troops Advance

Balatweyn — Hundreds of Ethiopian troops with tanks and artillery were reported to have reached on Saturday parts of Hiran region in central Somalia amid tensions run high in the area, reports and eyewitnesses said.Local residents said that they have seen hundreds of Ethiopian troops had crossed into Somalia with armored personnel carriers, heavy artillery and tanks, who positioned locations in Hiran regio..Hiran region in central Somalia said that Al-shabab fighters in the town have been waging army movement and battle mobilization to launch offensive the Ethiopian troops in Kalabayr junction who reportedly heading to Beletweyn town.It was yesterday, when IGAD leaders who met in Addis Ababa thumbed up the Ethiopian troops to operate in the war torn horn Africa country Somalia to root Al-shabab militants linked with Al-Qaeda out of the country.

Suspected al Shabaab rebels raid Kenya police post

IGAD Addis Ababa meeting Photo

(Reuters) - Suspected Somali al Shabaab rebel fighters raided a police post near Mandera in northern Kenya Saturday, seizing weapons and burning a mobile phone transmission mast, security officials said.The group of fighters attacked Arabiya, a trading centre 60 kilometres from Mandera, and engaged police in a firefight before overpowering them and taking all the guns and bullets from the local police post."Arabiya was attacked. We believe it's al Shabaab. They destroyed, burnt a communication booster and took ammunition at the police post," North Eastern Provincial police commander Leo Nyongesa told Reuters by phone.There were no injuries or deaths reported.Kenya ordered its soldiers across the border in October to crush the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab who it said had attacked its security forces and tourists inside Kenya.
The latest incident comes days after grenade attacks in the frontier town of Garissa killed six, and a roadside bomb killed a soldier in Mandera town.Nyongesa said police had arrested five people suspected to be involved in the Garissa attack.Although there appears to be little progress on the ground in Somalia as torrential rains bog down operations, more airstrikes have been launched on al Shabaab strongholds in recent days and there have been skirmishes and bomb attacks in northern Kenya."The week has been very intense with air operations that have been aimed at decimating and degrading al Shabaab capacity to be able to plan and launch operations in the country," Kenya Defence Force's Colonel Cyrus Oguna told a news conference in Nairobi.During the operation, now in its sixth week, four soldiers have died in direct combat, in addition to five killed in a helicopter crash at the start of the incursion. One was missing at sea.Oguna said nine people arrested Friday in separate incidents on Lamu island were suspected of being al Shabaab members.Kenya is the latest foreign  power to try to stabilise Somalia, which has been mired in violence for two decades since the overthrow of  Honourable Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 allowed first warlords, then Islamist militants, to step into a power vacuum.Friday, officials from Ethiopia, whose soldiers have been in Somalia before, said the country will deploy troops to the anarchic Horn of Africa state for a "brief period" to help Somali and Kenyan forces battling al Shabaab.In an emailed statement responding to Ethiopia's plan, al Shabaab said: "The people of Somalia shall never accept or live under the humiliation of occupation and the spirit of resistance shall not fade as long as a single invader remains alive on Somali soil."

Locals take centre stage in Kenya Shabaab battle

Kenyan soldiers and the Al-Shabaab militia are using locals in a bid to emerge victorious in the military operation in Somalia. The Kenyan troops are using humanitarian assistance to endear the Somalis as they gather intelligence on the Al-Shabaab while the terror group is using the locals as human shields.During the Saturday's Operation Linda Nchi briefing, it emerged that the Kenyan soldiers are gathering information on the Al-Shabaab from the locals as they feed them to avert a humanitarian crisis.Speaking at the briefing, military spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna said that they were receiving information on the whereabouts of the militants from the locals as they interacted with them. He also said that they had information that the militants were using the locals as human shields as well as weapon carriers.While defending the action by the army to feed the locals, Col Oguna dismissed claims by NGOs that the operation had interfered with humanitarian work worsening the crisis in the Horn of Africa country.“The needs of the local people are actually key as compared to the actual combat. Modern warfare has to also include humanitarian operations even as the soldiers pursue the militants,” said Col Oguna.He indicated that there are Kenyans among the Al-Shabaab militants who have been killed, injured or arrested. He, however, said that the Kenyan forces are not profiling those arrested for their nationalities but said that there are “foreigners” among those captured.
Col Oguna said that the training camps that have been taken out in the Southern region have the highest number of foreigners who have been recruited from Kenya and other neighbouring countries.He added that the militants have been moving from the camps that have been taken out and establishing new ones but the locals have been helping the Kenyan forces identify them.Col Oguna also revealed that a committee had been formed to probe an incident in which fishermen thought to be Kenyans were killed in the Indian Ocean by the Kenya Defence Forces. He said that the findings from the investigations will be made public.“We are very sorry about the incident if indeed those killed were Kenyans. But we also have to ask ourselves that if they were Kenyans, why they refused to surrender when asked to. All law abiding citizens should support the government as security is not just for the police and the army,” said Col Oguna.Speaking at the same briefing, Deputy Director at Foreign affairs division in charge of the Horn of Africa Lindsay Kipteness said that Kenya had embarked on a diplomatic offensive to seek more international support for the operation.He said that the Inter-governmental Authority on Development Head of States summit held in Addis Ababa on Friday had backed the operation and Kenya would now use the body’s organs to solicit more support from the international community.“The presidents who spoke at the summit also expressed their understanding and support for the Kenyan operation. Kenya also said it was willing to join Amisom forces as long as the mandate is changed to capture the current ongoings and allow the forces to move on the offensive,” Mr Kipteness said.According to Col Oguna, in the last week, the Kenyan forces have killed at least 15 Al-Shabaab operatives and injured others in the offensive especially in the south.He added that since the operation started, KDF has lost four soldiers through enemy fire, five others died in a helicopter crash at the beginning of the operation and 11 soldiers are currently in hospital.
Col Oguna also confirmed that one soldier had died during the Mandera grenade on Thursday where a KDF lorry drove over a landmine and was blown up. (READ: Kenyan soldier dies in Mandera landmine explosion)He added that the four other soldiers who were injured during the incident are now at the Forces Memorial Hospital. DN
Kenyan troops cut off Kismayu from militants

Kenyan troops have blockaded the port of Kismayu, effectively cutting off Al-Shabaab’s main source of revenue.The Kenya Air Force and Kenya Navy have been patrolling the skies above Kismayu and the sea.
As a result, operations at the busy port, which is served by a long jetty had significantly reduced over the last four weeks.Airforce pilots told the Nation on Wednesday after conducting aerial surveillance that five ships that had been docked at the port had departed leaving behind a few sailing boats and skiffs.Al-Shaabab has mainly relied on millions of dollars they collect from the ships that dock at the port.The ships bring in sugar and electronics which are mainly smuggled into Kenya. They take out charcoal destined for the Middle East.The militants also collect additional revenue from fishermen in Ras Kamboni and Bur Gabo.On Wednesday, Operation Linda Nchi also scored a major victory on the diplomatic front after the African Union backed the war against the militants and expressed confidence that it would succeed.Speaking in Nairobi, the AU special envoy to Somalia, Mr Jerry Rawlings, praised the discipline of Kenyan troops saying it had been tested during various UN missions they had undertaken around the world.“We are ready to support Kenya in its efforts and we have no doubt it will succeed. It had been provoked enough and its decision to take action was justified,” he said at the Department of Defence headquarters where he met Defence minister Yusuf Haji.Military spokesman Maj Emmanuel Chirchir alluded to the advances being made by the Kenyan troops when he said on his twitter account that the fall of Kismayu was imminent.“Kismayu fall will surprise many. Let’s focus on the stabilisation of the controlled areas. Focus-Humanitarian assistance,” he tweeted.The capture of Kismayu is considered the ultimate goal of the operation to flush the Al- Shaabab out of southern Somalia, from where it has been launching incursions into Kenyan territory.Progress towards Kismayu has been hampered by rains inland in the Southern Sector, with Al-Shaabab now removed from Ras Kamboni, Bur Gabo and Kolbio towns.In Nairobi, Mr Rawlings appealed to the Kenyan forces and Amisom troops to exercise professionalism so as to reduce civilian casualties as they intensify the operation to defeat the rebels.

IGAD wants Ethiopia to "play a role" in Al-Shabaab fight. IGAD member states call upon Ethiopia to back anti-Al Shabaab operation in Somalia., Friday officially asked Ethiopia to support the campaign by Kenyan, Somali and African Union forces against Somalia's al-Shabab rebels. At the end of a one-day regional summit, IGAD Secretary General Mahboub Maalim said Ethiopia had agreed to help.Regional Summit Urges Ethiopia to Send Troops to Somalia

Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki addressing a previous IGAD summit in Addis Ababa Photo

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit has called on Ethiopia's government to support Kenyan troops fight against Al-Shabaab militia in Somalia. IGAD head of States meeting in Addis Ababa on Friday agreed on Ethiopia's involvement in the regional effort to fight terrorism, according to a communique read at the close of the meeting."IGAD asked the Ethiopian government to come in and assist peace and stabilisation [efforts] in Somalia," the organisation's executive secretary, Mr Mahboub Maalim, told reporters. Ethiopia's response was positive but guarded. “This is the right time for Ethiopia to consider (the) request,” Ethiopia’s ministry of foreign affairs spokesman Dina Mufti said.“But we still haven’t made a decision yet. There will definitely be a response as soon as possible.” he added. Various reports coming out of Somalia indicate Ethiopian troops have been sighted in Somalia since last week. Ethiopia has downplayed the reports. The summit backed the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) military operation in Somalia and urged support from the international community. The regional leaders observed that the operation, conducted jointly with forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, provided a unique opportunity that must not be squandered so as to restore stability and security in Somalia.

'Historic opportunity'
Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki briefed the summit about the ongoing operation and requested all possible
Regional Summit Urges Ethiopia to Send Troops to Somalia moresupport from IGAD member countries and the international community. Regional
IGAD member states call upon Ethiopia to back anti-Al Shabaab operation in Somalia

Hitting the beach in Mogadishu after Islamist withdrawal

For the first time in years, Lido beach in Somalia's war-town capital, Mogadishu, is packed on Fridays

 - a day of rest in the Muslim country - as families take advantage of the improved security to enjoy themselves.

It is a sign of the cautious optimism that has gripped Mogadishu since the militant Islamist group al-Shabab announced a "tactical withdrawal" from the city in August, following fierce battles with the 9,000-strong African Union (AU) force and government troops.

Since taking control of most of the city, which has been devastated by more than two decades of conflict, the AU and the weak interim government have been waging a publicity campaign to urge residents to resume their normal lives. When I visited the beach, hundreds of people were there, playing, swimming or watching a basketball game at a nearby stadium. My house was partially destroyed during the fighting but I am going to repair it”End Quote Ahmed Mohamud Mogadishu residen. "I'm very happy to be here and I say: 'congratulations to my country', one reveller, Mustafa Abdullahi, said.Living in Sweden, Mr Abdullahi was visiting his family in Mogadishu.
"My father is sick but he used to advise me not to come. Now that the situation seems to be improving I decided to come," he said. Somalia's Defence Minister Hussein Arab Isse - who is also one of three deputy prime ministers - was at the basketball game. "It is a truly unbelievable feeling for me to be here, in the middle of Mogadishu, to witness this event," he told the BBC. The optimism is found across Mogadishu, with aid workers estimating that 300,000 people previously displaced by the conflict have returned to their homes in recent months. The city has also seen an influx of people who fled the famine in al-Shabab controlled areas of the south, resulting in more foreign aid workers - including those from Turkey - basing themselves in Mogadishu. Door-to-door salesmen  Residents are renovating bullet-riddled homes and getting together to clean roads and prune overgrown trees. "Thanks to Allah and those who allowed us to come back," said Ahmed Mohamud, a resident of Bondhere district, who had rented a house elsewhere during the conflict. "My house was partially destroyed during the fighting but I am going to repair it."

Two decades of conflict has destroyed many buildings in Mogadishu

This has led to a boom in business, with water and electricity companies sending representatives door-to-door to sign up new customers. Some people - like Amina Hassan, a mother of five - cannot afford to renovate her home, but she is determined to live in it."I am struggling, but we are so happy to return to our house," she said. "Step-by-step, things will improve, if peace is gained."AU commanders say they need 20,000 soldiers to secure the city - more than double their current complement of 9,000.The troops are from Uganda and Burundi, with other countries having failed, over the years, to fulfil promises to bolster the force.

In the latest promise, neighbouring Djibouti and the West African state of Sierra Leone have offered to send 3,000 troops by the end of the year, while Kenya - which launched military action in al-Shabab's southern strongholds last month - says it is also prepared to contribute to the AU force."In case a request is made, Kenya will avail a few of its battalions [made up of about 1,000 soldiers each] to join Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti to help keep the peace in Somalia," Kenya's Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula told the BBC.Since announcing its "tactical withdrawal", al-Shabab has carried out two major suicide bombings in Mogadishu, killing more than 60 people. The attacks suggest that while al-Shabab is no longer prepared to clash with the better armed AU and government forces, it is continuing to wage guerrilla warfare in the city. One of the explosions took place last month at the busy Kilometre Four crossroads.Despite this, a few weeks ago, I spotted a Turkish aid worker cycling there - a highly unusual sight in MogadishuHe may have been foolish, but it showed that Mogadishu is, for now, mostly peaceful. bbc

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ethiopia invades Somalia, Round 2

Ethiopia’s first invasion of Somalia was the major contributing factor in causing the complete breakdown of government in Somalia. It also helped to create Al Shabaab. Five years later, Ethiopian troops are back over the border, in force, hoping to make amends and make sure that Kenya doesn’t get all the glory. Chances are, there won’t be much glory to go round.

In an echo of 2006, Ethiopian troops are once again pouring across their eastern border into Somalia. This is round two of the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, and this time they’ve gone in to clean up the mess they made the first time round. Although the Ethiopian government haven’t confirmed their participation, multiple news agencies are reporting that eyewitnesses have seen 20 or 30 Ethiopian trucks filled with troops in and around the Somali town of Guriel. It’s unclear in what context Ethiopia is framing this incursion, and how significant their contribution will be, but the target is obvious: Ethiopia has joined Kenya and the African Union in the fight against Al Shabaab.

There’s an unmistakably historical irony to this. It was Ethiopia – with the tacit support of an overly-paranoid United States – that created the conditions for Al Shabaab to prosper. In the early 2000s, Somalia was mostly – but not completely – under the loose control of the Union of Islamic Courts, a relatively moderate Islamic group which was slowly bringing some semblance of stability and security to a country that hadn’t known peace for decades. But the Islamic Courts soon earned the wrath of the United States, which saw in its emphasis on Islamic law a strong link with terrorism. This was near the beginning of the War on Terror, and the United States still had not made the distinction between the moderate if conservative Islam of groups like the Islamic Courts and, to an extent, Hamas in Palestine, and the militant, almost anarchic fundamentalism of Al Qaeda.

Ethiopia, too, was unimpressed with Somalia’s new leaders. Ethiopia and Somalia have a long and bitter history, with the ethnically Somali Ogaden region a constant source of tension. Part of the Ogaden is in Somalia, part in Ethiopia. Historically, Somalia has wanted to claim the entire Ogaden, and Ethiopia continues to face resistance from rebel movements within their part of the disputed territory. Add this historic issue to the seemingly unstoppable recent increase in the number of Muslims in Ethiopia, ostensibly a majority Christian country. Ethiopia’s leadership is overwhelmingly Christian, but the rumour goes that there are now more Muslims than Christians in their country. This is a serious threat to the government of Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa, as it undermines their natural support. A strong Somalia defined in Islamic terms could only exacerbate this threat.
So Ethiopia decided to do something about it. In 2006, they sent their troops over the border, about 3000 of them. They were tacitly supported by the United States, although the United States denies this. The relatively well-trained and well-armed Ethiopian troops smashed the feeble resistance of the Islamic Courts, and installed a transitional government in Mogadishu. This transitional government remains the recognised government of Somalia today, even though they don’t even control all of Mogadishu.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Courts fractured. Some of the leadership were co-opted into the transitional government; Somalia’s current president was a leading figure in the Islamic Courts. But some thought that if they were going to be treated like militant fundamentalists, they might as well be militant fundamentalists. This was the genesis of Al Shabaab, the group which has gone on to forge links with Al Qaeda and still controls most of southern Somalia. Ultimately, the Ethiopian invasion of 2006 destroyed the fragile stability that Somalia was just beginning to enjoy, and created the conditions that created Al Shabaab. Not an enduring success for Somalia. But Ethiopia might not have been too fussed; the invasion left its dangerous neighbour in chaos, which greatly minimised their potential threat to Ethiopia.But now, Ethiopia sniffs blood, and the chance to finish off what it started; they’re also concerned that Kenya will have too great an influence on a post-Al Shabaab Somalia, so need to stake their claim early. Al Shabaab is on the back foot for the first time in five years, dealing with the Kenyan invasion on one hand and a renewed push from the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) on the other. They don’t really have a hand to spare to deal with a third front opened by Ethiopia.At least that’s the thinking. The weight of the military forces now stacked against Al Shabaab should be too much for them to handle. This becomes clear when you start looking at the number of countries involved: Burundi and Uganda, as part of Amisom, with Djibouti and Sierra Leone poised to commit trooops; Kenya and Ethiopia with their own military efforts; and various international actors remaining very quiet for now, although there’s plenty of speculation that the United States is contributing drones to go after specific targets.
But southern Somalia is Al Shabaab territory. They know it well, and if they really are in alliance with Al Qaeda they will have learnt a few lessons about how to fight an insurgents’ war. Look at how much firepower is and has been stacked against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and look at how effective it has been. In short, not effective at all. By using guerrila tactics, blending into the local population, and stirring up clan links to keep loyalties strong, Al Shabaab might be able to mimic the Taliban’s success. As one of Al Shabaab’s more hip spokesman commented: “Somalia is not a cool place to come and enjoy.”The less Ethiopian forces enjoy themselves now, the more Ethiopia will be made to rue invading Somalia the first time round, which caused the mess they have to clean up now. DM

Take a look at related stores..  some background
Somalia: The Ethiopian Factor part # 3
Ethiopian Army Demand Ransom For The Release of kidnapped Somali Army Commander MP : Bare Aden Shire The Former Somali Defence Minister

Air strike hits Somali village, deadly bomb in capital

MOGADISHU, Nov 22 (Reuters) - An unidentified fighter jet bombed the outskirts of a Somali rebel-controlled village in the south of the Horn of Africa country on Tuesday, killing at least one civilian, residents and members of the al Shabaab militant group said. Local people said the village in the Gedo region, which borders Kenya and Ethiopia, was a known rebel haunt. The insurgents said none of their combatants were stationed in the strike zone at the time of the bombardment. A Kenyan army spokesman said Kenya was not involved in the air raid and that he was unaware of any bombing in the area. "A warplane struck the village of Yaqle. We don know if there were any al Shabaab casualties, but the body of an elderly nomadic woman lay on the ground," Amina Ali, a nearby resident who rushed to the blast site, told Reuters. Another witness, Mahmud Ali, said he heard a loud explosion from his home in El Ade about 4 km (2.5 miles) away and then saw a plume of smoke rise into the sky before he too went to Yaqle. He said he saw the woman's body. Neighbouring Kenya sent hundreds of troops into southern Somalia more than five weeks ago to crush the insurgents it blames for a series of kidnappings on its soil and regular cross-border attacks. Its air force has launched a wave of strikes on what it says are rebel targets. Ethiopia too sent dozens of military trucks and armoured vehicles into central Somalia over the weekend, witnesses said. Some Ethiopian troops passed through towns in northeastern Kenya before crossing into Somalia through the Damasa border post, residents and officials in the area said. Damasa is about 25 km from Yaqle. "We heard heavy explosions hitting the other side of the border a few moments after a jet flew over Damasa," said Mohamed Lesamow from the Kenyan side of the border. "We are scared. Al Shabaab could carry out revenge attacks." Ethiopia publicly denies its forces are inside Somalia. Addis Ababa has said a decision on whether to join the assault against al Shabaab in some form would be taken on Friday at a meeting of east African heads of state.


Ethiopia military engagement would open up a third front on al Shabaab, with the rebels battling Kenyan forces in the south and an African peacekeeping force -- AMISOM -- in the capital, Mogadishu.
The Western-backed government now controls virtually the entire coastal city, but the rebels have stepped up guerrilla-style hit-and-run attacks there since pulling most of their fighters out in August. A remote-controlled roadside bomb in Mogadishu killed six civilians and wounded 10 others, witness Hussein Mohamud told Reuters, the latest in a string of low-level attacks that underscore the challenges in securing the capital. "The bomb targeted a police car moving along a busy road in the (Madina) district," Mohamud said. "The car escaped undamaged." It was not clear who was behind the blast. Separately, police blamed al Shabaab for an attack on a government checkpoint in the south of Mogadishu on Monday night. One person was wounded. Meanwhile, Somali government troops clashed with al Shabaab militants bracing for battle with Kenya near the southern town of Qoqani. "We ambushed Somali troops who wanted to attack us between Qoqani and Haye. They ran away from six of their own dead," said Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, a spokesman for the al Shabaab fighters. A Somali soldier who declined to be named confirmed the attack but said they had killed seven militants while just one of their own had been killed. It was not possible to independently verify the accounts. Al Shabaab commander Sheikh Said Warsan said innocent civilians had been harmed in the Yaqle air strike and vowed to hold Kenya and Ethiopia to account. "The blood of Somalis will not be left unaccounted for. Kenya and Ethiopia will answer," Warsan told Reuters by telephone from Baardheere in Gedo. Kenyan army spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir said al Shabaab planned to release a video clip showing the execution of "a person or people" belonging to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF). "(We) categorically state that no KDF soldier has been captured or is missing since the onset of Operation Linda Nchi," Chirchir said in a statement, referring to the Swahili name for Kenya's offensive which means "protect the nation".

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mooryaan Abdisamad Maalin Mohamoud Sheikh Hassan, TFG's Minister of the Interior should be charged with Treason

update on Somali-land an illegal entity being created by a particular clan (Isaaq) in order to serve personal interests, and as a proxy being used by foreign powers (mainly Ethiopia) in order to keep Somalia divided and weak.

snm and usc criminal and terrorist communities working closely
 I was listening on Sunday evening to Mr. Abdisamad Maalin Mohamoud Sheikh Hassan, TFG's Minister of the Interior, who was a host on VOA Somali Programme answering questions from listeners. Most of the questions were on Kenya's invasion of Somalia, its legitimacy, the role of the TFG and the humanitarian consequences of this invasion. As a typical representative of a TFG office holder, the minister's responses provided a valuable case study and insight into what they stand for. What amazed me is the blasé way that he viewed Kenya's invasion- justifying and legitimising it as if it was nothing out of the ordinary, and even portraying it as a favour it was doing the Somali people to the extent it was fighting al Shabaab.Tragically, the palpable trepidations felt by the listeners about Kenya's violation of Somalia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, or its predatory territorial designs on Somalia was something not shared by the honourable Minister, or for that matters by the rest of his colleagues in the TFG. That includes among others, Parliament, the President, and the Prime Minister and the Minister of defence who both shamelessly act as devil's advocates for Kenya's invasion.But the blame for our national humiliation ultimately had to be put on the shoulder of the head of State, namely Sheikh Shariff. His off-on, flip-flopping stand on the invasion - first agreeing to it, then trying to wriggle out of it, and subsequently toeing the line dictated by Kenya - has done nothing to redeem his already tattered credibility. In a wider perspective, the frequent squabbles among the top echelons of the TFG, leading to predictable turnovers of Prime Ministers and governments, are rarely about disputes about policies and national interest but clashes to defend what each sees as his turf or personal interest. If they are indifferent to the disrepute they brought upon their offices and themselves, they care even less about making Somalia a laughing stock in the eyes of the international community.Outsiders looking at Somalia's tier government structure, encompassing the Parliament and its Speaker, the President, and the cabinet, would expect failure by one part of the system to be corrected by the other competent parts, for example the president or Parliament. But this is the case where these office holders are first and foremost men and women with exemplary integrity who would put national interest above everything else, and/or have been elected and are accountable to their electorate. The lot we have are neither of this. The whole gamut of the TFG establishment have been imposed on Somalia by outsiders to serve their interest and not the Somalia, and it is to the outsiders that the leaders of the TFG establishment owe their allegiance, are accountable to, and seek support and legitimacy from. Hence their frequent trips to Addis Ababa, Kampala and Nairobi. This is the setting against which the minister's answers about the invasion has to be seen.Returning to the Minister and his answers, one listener from Hargeisa demanded whether the TFG would be ready to recognise Somaliland since southern Somalia is a failed State and Somaliland by contrast is a functioning democratic and peaceful entity? The Minister did not hesitate and mince his words but was forthright and unambiguous in his answer: he said he would be happy, as far as he was concerned, to recognise Somaliland but added that it was a matter for the rest of his colleagues in the TFG to also recognise Somaliland. At least, the Minister is frank and consistent given that his support for Somaliland's recognition entailing the dismemberment of Somalia is in line with his support for Kenya's invasion of Somalia and its possible dismemberment of southern Somalia.If the Minister's outburst was shocking and incomprehensible to me, bordering as it is on treason, what made it even worse was that there was no backlash to the best of my knowledge to his statement from any source, whether from the TFG, TFP or the media. It is as if everyone shares the Minister's position, or, to be more precise, southerners do not simply care anymore about Somalia's unity.The terrible thing about the endless bad news from Somalia for all these donkey years since the overthrow of President Mohamed Siyad Barreh in 1991 is that in the end one becomes so inured to them that nothing seems to shock us anymore. In despair, those of us old enough look back with nostalgia to Somalia's golden era from independence till the collapse of the Somali State in 1991, when the Somalis were redoubtable proud patriots, their government and leaders respected throughout Africa and the world, and their mighty army was the most feared in the region. Telling that story to my children these days or to the present day generation will fall on deaf ears. Who can blame them when all they have known and witnessed is only downtrodden Somalia that is synonymous in the eyes of the world with failure, famine, lawlessness and a play ground for intervention by every Tom and Harry.There was a time in 1967 when Mogadishu was rocked by the unbelievable discovery that a former foreign minister was after all an agent for Ethiopia. For weeks , people would talk about nothing else, finding it incomprehensible that a Minister, and for that matter any Somali, would betray his country for Ethiopia of all countries. And now, 44 years later, Somaliland, Puntland, all the other lands, and the TFG are in varying degrees serving, overtly and covertly, the interest of foreign governments and rarely those of their country. If there was shock in 1967 about one former Minister turned traitor, there is hardly a murmur in 2011 as the daily betrayal of our country has become so routine that we have come to accept it as something normal.
When we had the warlords, we could at least comfort ourselves by envisioning a time when they would be replaced by educated principled leaders. Well, we did replace them with degree and PhD holders, professors, Sheikhs, you name them, and yet they all turn out to be no less venal, rapacious and puppets for neighbouring governments. As the Somali saying goes: " Xeradayadu waa wada ul oo ul la qaato ma leh". (faced with equally bad lot, there is little or no room for choice).No nation can be bereft of great leader(s) for ever, and no doubt ours will sooner or later come on the stage. Unfortunately, the damage done to our country's sovereignty and territorial integrity by the current foreign-imposed, often foreign passport holders, might become irreversible or irreparable.An Ethiopian Amhara colleague who used to harbour pathological hatred for Meles Zenewi and his Tigrians for overthrowing Mengestu Haile Marian and thereby ending the Amhara domination of Ethiopia has recently confessed to me how most Amharas have now come to admire him, not so much for his economic transformation of Ethiopia and its status in the world, but above all for destroying the Somalia state and fragmenting it into mini client entities under Ethiopia's hegemony.
There is much parallel between the year 1884 when colonisers carved up the Somali homeland into five parts and 2011 when Ethiopia has partitioned it into disparate enclaves all under its dominion. And now Kenya wants to have a bit of the spoils and establish its own client regions if not grab Jubaland altogether. Sheikh Sheriif and company only hold fancy titles and make money on the sidelines but otherwise they wield no power, control no country, enjoy no public support or legitimacy.
Somaliland's secessionist supporters never miss an opportunity to remind us those of us unionists from the north that the notion of union is a dead duck among those hailing from southern Somalia and that it is only "bone-headed, out of touch" people from the north, notably from the SSC regions, who are still blindly hooked to united Somalia if not Greater Somalia. There is much truth in what they say but it is meant as a psychological war on us, in addition to their occupation of our regions, to make us give up on Somalia and succumb to the secession. That will never work.
Looking on the bright side, and since despair is no option, we can say with certainty that Ethiopia's de facto colonisation of Somalia in the 21 Century is bound to end sooner or later just as European colonisations of Somalia in the 20th Century were forced to end. What kind of Somalia will in the end emerge, whether a united Somalia or one split into different Lands, is open to conjecture.
The support for Somali unity may have withered in southern Somalia but the SSC people -and also those in other unionist regions in the north, such as Awdal region- are presently the remaining fountain of Somali nationalism and by default the standard defenders of Somali unity. Unlike other region in Somalia, the SSC is the only one that is on the one hand part of former British Somaliland but more importantly is the bridge that binds northern and Southern Somalia.The goal of Somaliland's occupation of parts of the SSC regions is to do away with that bridge, and de-link the SSC from the rest of Somalia if it is to gain recognition. The SSC for their part are fighting, with no help from the rest of Somalia or the TFG, to remain part of Somalia and maintain Somalia's unity. The problem facing Somalia's unity is not so much Somaliland's secession as the failure of southerners to put their house in order. Without the SSC and Awdal, the secession is unsustainable and it is bound to be defeated. As such, the north will always be there for the unity as long as there are southern unionist partners. It takes two to tango. If that is forthcoming, Somalia's unity, including the current secessionist enclave, is assured.TFG's Minister of the Interior should be charged with Treason

Osman Hassan
Mr  hassan serve as political analyst at Terror free somalia

Somali government says Ethiopian troops are not authorized to cross into Somalia. Somali rebels pull out as Ethiopian troops return. Ethiopian tanks push into Somalia to attack Islamists

update Ethiopian Troops Amass at Common Border with Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya - A Somali government spokesman on Monday denied that Ethiopian troops have entered Somalia to help fight insurgents despite several witnesses reporting the movement of troops. Abdirahman Omar Osman said Ethiopian troops would only be welcome if they had an international mandate or a bilateral agreement with the Somali government, but there is currently no such agreement."We believe that they are not in the country," he said "We deny it."But residents of the Somali town of Guriel, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the border, said Ethiopians entered their town on Sunday in a convoy of vehicles.The presence of Ethiopia is a delicate matter for the Somali government, which needs all the help it can get to defeat the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militia.The Ethiopians could open a third front, stretching the insurgency still further. But the government fears that the incursion by Ethiopia — a Christian-led nation — may hand the insurgents a propaganda victory. Many Somalis were angered by Ethiopia's previous occupation of Somalia."We don't want anyone that could give propaganda for al-Shabab," said Osman. "We don't want any backlash."The government currently only holds the capital with the help of more than 9,000 African Union peacekeepers. Kenyan troops in the south are slowly pushing the insurgents north with the help of government-allied Somali militias but are considered less battle-hardened than the Ethiopian military, which occupied much of Somalia for two years.Ethiopia, which shares a long and porous border with Somalia, entered Somalia in 2006 to chase the Islamic Courts Union from power. The Ethiopians were concerned that the Islamists wanted to expand into Ethiopian territory that is ethnically Somali and the U.S., a strong ally of Ethiopia, was concerned the Islamists were harboring terrorists.The Ethiopian invasion turned into a two-year occupation during which civilians accused the Ethiopian forces of shelling residential neighborhoods and shooting uncontrollably when attacked. The current Somali president, President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, made his name as an insurgent leader fighting the Ethiopians before they withdrew.The Ethiopians left in 2009 as part of a peace deal that saw Ahmed inaugurated.Somalia has not had a functioning government for more than 20 years.

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Al Shabaab militants have begun pulling out of at least two rebel enclaves in central Somalia after neighbouring Ethiopia sent hundreds of troops across the border, residents said on Monday.Addis Ababa denied on Sunday that its forces had entered yet Somalia, but local residents and elders said scores of Ethiopian vehicles ferrying troops and weapons moved at least 80 km (50 miles) into the Horn of Africa country over the weekend.Local people in Beledweyne and Ceelbuur, both close to the Ethiopian frontier and under insurgent control, said the Islamist fighters had abandoned checkpoints where they used to extort taxes and left their battle stations...moreSomali rebels pull out as Ethiopian troops return

WITNESSES on the drought-stricken Ethiopia-Somalia border have reported that hundreds of Ethiopian troops with armoured personnel carriers, heavy artillery and tanks have crossed into Somalia, opening a new front in an intensifying international offensive against the Islamist al-Shabab militant group.Al-Shabab insurgents are already fighting Kenyan forces in southern Somalia and African Union peacekeepers in the bullet-riddled capital Mogadishu.Somalis say they welcome anyone who can get al-Shabab out, even their historical enemy, the Ethiopians.Read Ethiopian tanks push into Somalia to attack Islamists

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kenya says warplanes struck Somalia Islamist camp. Al-Shabaab Attack Kenyan Warships On Coast. Shabaab miltiants attack TFG convoy in Hawina. 40 Militias Injured As Mogadishu Flares Up

(Reuters) - The Kenyan military said on Sunday that its jets, supported by fire from warships off the coast, had destroyed a training camp for Islamist militants in Somalia.Kenyan troops entered Somalia six weeks ago vowing to wipe out the al Shabaab rebels, who it accuses of a series of kidnappings and attacks on tourists on Kenyan soil."Today, 20 November at around 1200 hours, (Kenyan Defence Forces jets) supported by naval fire, destroyed an Al Shabaab/Al Qaeda key training facility in Hola Wajeer/Lacta area in Badade district, Lower Juba," a military statement said. "This infrastructure accommodates foreign fighters, most of them trainers of the al Shabaab fighters."
Al-Shabaab Attack Kenyan Warships On Coast
Mugadisho — A group of armed of Somalia's Islamist militant group of Al-shabab boarding on four speed boats is reportedly to have launched a massive attack on a fleet of Kenyan naval warships, burning one the warships, according to reliable sources on Sunday.Witnesses said, that the 20 minute attack on Kenyan warships happened Madhawa Island, an island in southern coast of Somalia, causing damages not casualties.Neither Kenya nor Al-shabab has made comments about the attack on the Kenyan Warships on Sunday in the lawless coastal territories of Somalia, but it is the first assault on Kenyan warships by Al-shabab since Kenya has sent last month troops and tanks into Somalia to root out the threat of Al-shabab militants on its national security and tourism.
Shabaab miltiants attack TFG convoy in Hawina
Six people were yesterday evening killed and nine more injured in a fight that erupted between the Shabaab militants and TFG forces in Hawina area in the lower juba of Somalia.According to the reports from Hawina, the war erupted after Shabaab militants attacked a convoy of TFG vehicles that left Qoqani area heading to Dobley district to escort vehicles carrying supplies for both TFG and Kenyan soldiers in Somalia.The dead and injured soldiers were said to be from both sides of the warring parties.However, there is no briefing from TFG on the war that erupted in Hawina.
Kenya: 40 Militias Injured As Mogadishu Flares Up

Ethiopian Troops Amass at Common Border with Somalia. Ethiopian Troops Said to Enter Somalia, Opening New Front Against Militants

Hundreds of Ethiopian troops have gathered along the common frontier with Somalia where Al- Shabaab rebels are in control, residents said Saturday. Residents in the central Somali town of Beledweyne in Hiran province along the border with Ethiopia said that there have been visible increase in the Ethiopian troops at the border and that rebel fighters in the towns near the border getting ready for possible incursion. "We still don't have troops over the border yet but many trucks full of troops arrived at the border and the fighters here are preparing for any eventuality," Daahir Adde, an elder in Beledweyne told Xinhua by phone.
Reporters from other area in the central Somalia provinces said that troops from Somalia's neighboring Ethiopia were seen along the common frontiers of the two countries and that rebel fighters' battle wagons were seen heading towards the frontier. This news comes as joint military operations is being undertaken by Kenyan and Somali troops against the rebel militants in the southern provinces after the two countries accused the Al - Shabaab of being behind a wave of abductions of foreigners. Ethiopian troops have withdrawn from Somalia in 2009 after two years of presence during which they fought with insurgency led by the radical Islamist group of Al-Shabaab. The group has been successfully driven out of the Somali capital Mogadishu following a major offensive by Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping troops based in the capital. The Al-Shabaab fighters currently control much of the south and center of the wear ravaged horn of African nation while internationally recognized Somali government runs only the capital and few parts in the south of the country.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kenya’s Political Failure in Southern Somalia.Related Story:Kenya troops aim to carve 'buffer zone' out of Somalia

Kenya’s military operation in Somalia is a warning sign for the Somali people of the most probable political future that they will undergo: the partition of the territories of post-independence Somalia into a group of weak authorities that are beholden to neighboring states (Ethiopia and Kenya) that act for their own interests and as proxies for great external powers (United States, Western European states, and, increasingly, China).

For the first time since the collapse of Honourable Siad Barre’s in 1991, there is a strong possibilitythat “Somalia,” which has existed in political limbo for twenty years, with decisions on its political organization on hold and deferred, will take on a more settled political definition. That settlement would be imposed by external powers using the tactic of divide and rule to create dependent client states, loosely based on dominant clans inhabiting Somalia’s regions. It is obvious that were that scenario to eventuate it would spell the end of any possibility that the Somali people could regain their self-determination and be able to defend their own interests on the international stage.
The partition of post-independence Somalia would not mean the end of the Somali people.Regardless of political organization, Somalis would continue to acknowledge one another as Somalis,as distinct from other peoples and ethnic groups. Somalis would simply lack an organ for articulating and asserting their interests. That, of course, would systematically disadvantage them in the competitive world of international politics. Partition would be a form of neo-colonialism. It would mean that the Somali people would be permanently weakened and they would not make the decisions determining their fate. Loss of self-determination is not death; it is dependency.
The Kenyan military operation is, to repeat, a warning sign of what is likely to come; as it has worked out thus far, the operation is not clearly an exercise in partition, it simply tends in that direction – but that is due to Kenyan incompetence rather than to Somali resolve. The basic dynamic remains in place.

The Geo-Political Dimension of Kenya’s Operation

The most frustrating feature of Kenya’s military operation from the viewpoint of analyzing it is the Kenyan government’s lack of clarity in defining the operation’s geo-political aims. At different times, from different officials, and sometimes in the same statement, the aim of the operation is said to beto secure Kenya’s borders, to create buffer zones in Somalia around its border, and to effect regime change in the regions of southern Somalia by eliminating the administrations of the Islamist Harakatal-Shabaab Mujahideen (H.S.M.). Only the third alternative would involve (and necessarily so) Kenya in creating a political organization for the south, which it does not appear to be ready or able to do.Yet, Kenya keeps promising to press on to Kismayo, H.S.M.’s nerve center.
What seems to be the case is that Kenya has the maximum aim of carving out a client state let for it self in southern Somalia and the minimum aim of border security, and that its operative aims fall between the two extremes, varying day by day depending on how the operation is faring. The maximum aim is Kenya’s wish (partition); the minimum aim is the last eventuality before failure.Nairobi does not seem to have figured out what it can reasonably expect to get with the resources it is willing to expend, which – if true – indicates that the operation is ill-conceived.
The lack of clarity and focus in Kenya’s geo-political aims shows that its operation was premature, that it failed to formulate a coherent political plan for southern Somalia, and, more importantly, did not do the work necessary to bring together the Somali political factions in the south that oppose H.S.M. Nairobi has put itself in the position in which the United States found itself after it invaded Iraq, with all the political work left to do on the ground. Yet Nairobi is not Washington: Kenya doesnot have the resources of a super-power.
It is not to be expected that Kenya will come anywhere near realizing its maximum aim, yet it is worthwhile considering Nairobi’s dream as indicative of the underlying tendency shaping Somalia’s political future.

On October 30, the Kenyan newspaper The East African published a suggestive article based on“diplomatic and intelligence sources” about the grand strategy of Somali’s neighboring states. The first step of the strategy would be to create three “areas of influence” in the central and southern regions that would provide “buffer zones” for Ethiopia and Kenya. One area of influence would comprise most of central Somalia and would fall under Ethiopian control, another would cover most of the south and would be in Kenya’s charge, and the third would comprehend Mogadishu and adjacent areas, and would be controlled by the African Union peacekeeping mission, AMISOM. Each of the areas of influence would be governed by Somali clients as a “semi-autonomous state”that could become part of a “federal Somalia” at some later date. That is what partition would look like.

The second step of the strategy escapes into fantasy. All “liberated areas” would be turned over to AMISOM, a move that would require that the United Nations Security Council (U.N.S.C.) increase the mission’s forces to 20,000 from the current 8-10,000 (and that the Western “donor”-powers pay for the expanded force). Finally, AMISOM would “hand over a pacified Somalia” to the U.N. That is all very unlikely to happen (to say the least) – it would be partition under ideal conditions for Ethiopia and Kenya. The “donor”-powers have not bought into it, nor has the U.N. Kenya is faced with more immediate and messy problems.
Kenya’s role in the grand strategy is to organize a “Jubbaland” state controlling the deep south – the Gedo, Middle Jubba, and Lower Jubba regions. According to the East African, the Kenyan government had not decided who would front for it. Among the contenders are Kenya’s protégé, Mohamed Gandi, who leads the Azania state backed by Nairobi and Paris; Sh. Ahmed Madobe, the head of the RasKamboni organization that broke with H.S.M. and opposes it; and local officials and forces affiliated with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (T.F.G.), which has formal international backing. Kenya is working with all three groups, but has done nothing to reconcile them. According to the East African, Kenya’s intelligence establishment is behind Azania, where as Kenya’s military is behind the Ras Kamboni organization, which can “raise an army.”
On November 7, Great Britain’s Guardian newspaper published a strategy article similar to the East African’s piece. According to the Guardian’s sources, the Azania forces, which were most dependent on Kenya and were its favorites, had “not lived up to expectations” and were opposed by Ethiopia, because of Azania’s clan base – the Ogaden, which populate Ethiopia’s Somali region and harbor aninsurgent movement against Addis Ababa. The demotion of Azania, according to the Guardian, leaves Kenya with the Marehan clan and the Ras Kamboni organization. The Guardian added that in order to avoid having to get caught in the web of clan and factional politics, Nairobi was hoping that AMISOM would deploy to Kismayo and that Kenya would join the peacekeeping mission.
The East African and Guardian articles indicate that Kenya will not be capable of executing a partition strategy due to Nairobi’s political incompetence – its failure to deal with southern Somalia’s factionalization (if that is possible for an external actor to accomplish). That failure became evident when the T.F.G. resisted the “Jubbaland” project and apparently succeeded in rolling it back.

The T.F.G. Resists Kenya

From the outset of Kenya’s operation in mid-October it was clear that Nairobi had not prepared a political strategy to accompany the military mission. On October 18, the Nairobi Star reported that Kenya had trained administrators to take over “liberated towns.” That did not prove to be the case. On October 19, Kenyan army spokesman Lt. Nyagah told the press that Kenya was leaving the towns it captured in the hands of “T.F.G. forces and local administrations.” According to Nyagah, Nairobi had no intention of occupying southern Somalia, but only wished to “flush out” H.S.M.
It also appeared that Nairobi had failed to inform the T.F.G. of its operation before hand and, consequently, had not gained the T.F.G.’s cooperation. Whatever the reason was for Nairobi’s lapse, the T.F.G., which formally represents all the territories of post-independence Somalia (although it effectively controls almost none of them), stood to lose the most from partition in the south, which would create a statelet challenging the T.F.G.’s representation.
By October 17, T.F.G. officials were opposing Kenya’s operation as a violation of Somali sovereignty. Somalia’s U.N. ambassador, Omar Jamal, for example, called the operation “a serious territorial intrusion.” On the other hand, Nairobi found backing on the ground from T.F.G.-allied forces in the south; military commander, Abdi Yusuf, said that “Kenya is fully supporting us militarily.”
Expressions of opposition to Kenya’s operation by T.F.G. officials spurred Nairobi to send adelegation to Mogadishu led by foreign minister, Moses Wetang’ula, and defense minister, YusufHaji, to gain approval for and cooperation with the operation from the T.F.G. After Kenya’sdelegation met with the T.F.G.’s president, Sh. Sharif Sh. Ahmad, the two sides issued a jointcommuniqué on October 18, in which the T.F.G. appeared to acquiesce in the operation.
The agreement, however, did not hold; on October 24, Sh. Sharif came out against Kenya’s “military incursion,” telling Nairobi that its training of and logistical support for anti-H.S.M. Somali forces was welcome, “but not your army.”
Sh. Sharif’s statement created a diplomatic problem and embarrassment for Kenya, which quickly asked for “clarification” of the T.F.G.’s position towards the operation. On October 26, the T.F.G.’s defense minister, Hussein Arab Isse, issued a “clarification statement” in which the T.F.G. denied that there had been any agreement allowing Kenyan forces into Somalia,” but said that the two sides had now agreed on “cooperation in undertaking coordinated security and military operations spearheaded by T.F.G. soldiers trained by the Kenyan government.” The T.F.G. also said it would appoint a “joint security committee to work with Kenya.”
The “clarification statement” did not give Nairobi the endorsement that it wanted from the T.F.G., yet, on October 26, Nairobi went to the U.N.S.C. to justify its operation, claiming that it had acted
“in direct consultation and liaison with the T.F.G. in Mogadishu,” which appears to have been anything but the case. Also on October 26, the U.S. State Department said that Washington did not “encourage the Kenyan government to act nor did Kenya seek our views.”
With domestic Somali and international actors distancing themselves from the operation, Nairobi made another effort to get the T.F.G. on board in a meeting between T.F.G. prime minister Abdiweli Gas and Kenya’s prime minister Raila Odinga that resulted in a new communiqué, the core of which was an expression of the T.F.G.’s support for the operation in return for Kenya’s assent to the T.F.G.’s leadership of operations with Kenyan support.
(It must be said that nobody expects Kenya to surrender control of its operation to the T.F.G.; the communiqué’s provisions serve the political purpose of subordinating Kenya to the T.F.G. in a purely formal sense. That is sufficient, however, to block a Kenyan attempt at partition.)
After the communiqué was issued, Odinga stated that Nairobi did not support “the creation of an
autonomous region in Jubbaland; we support the creation of local administrations.” Partition appeared to have been taken off the table, for the time being. It remains to be seen what might replace H.S.M. – if, indeed, it is displaced – except “local administrations.” Nairobi has been proved to have had no operative political strategy.
As it looks ever less probable that the U.N.-managed “transition” of Somalia to a permanent constitutional state will succeed, the alternative remains partition, balkanization, cantonization.
Kenya’s operation in Somalia might have been the beginning of the partition process had it not been for Nairobi’s political incompetence. In a perceptive analysis on October 31, the Indian Ocean Newsletter put it succinctly: Nairobi had succeeded in rubbing the “nationalism of some T.F.G. leaders the wrong way,” and “had not convinced the West that its aims are realistic.”
In terms of realizing its geo-political interests, Nairobi acted prematurely. It did not have a political order in place to take over from H.S.M. and, as an alternative to that, it did not gain the cooperation of the T.F.G. Nairobi also did not get the “donor”-powers on board, failing to realize that they have not yet abandoned the “transition” process in favor of partition.
Balkanization will become operative when and if the “donor”-powers definitively give up on a state embracing the territories of post-independence Somalia, or most of them – perhaps excluding Somaliland.
Kenya’s operation is a geo-political warning sign of partition, not the thing itself. Nairobi acted against the “transition” process and its “roadmap.” It isolated itself diplomatically and did not win whole-hearted support anywhere. It had no operative political plan. It did everything wrong politically. Nairobi cannot hope to provide a political formula for southern Somalia. Presumably,there will be another day.

Report Drafted By: Dr. Michael A. Weinstein, Professor of Political Science, Purdue University in Chicago weinstem@purdue.
The views expressed in this article are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect terror free somalia  editorial policy.
Kenya troops aim to carve 'buffer zone' out of Somalia

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kenyan troops brace long-haul battle in Somalia

NAIROBI - A military operation to protect Kenyan borders from armed incursions by suspected Somali militia progressed into its first month on Wednesday as military planners braced for a longer haul effort to pacify the entire Somali territory.Code-named "Operation Linda Nchi" in Kiswahili, meaning "Operation Defend the Nation", the military offensive has won international acclaim for its timeliness."We do not have any territorial designs on Somalia. We are trying to guarantee security of our visitors and that this operation is supported internationally," Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said this week.Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF), which launched its first ever cross-border military operation against an extremist group since independence from British rule in 1963, has made major gains on the ground, backed by aerial firepower and ground troops.The operation was mounted after a series of armed kidnappings involving two Spanish aid workers, a French woman resident in Kenya and a British publishing executive touring Kenya, seized from a luxury resort at the tourist haven of Lamu.The East African nation has launched a diplomatic offensive to win worldwide support for the operation in Somalia. The purpose of the diplomatic outreach is to win over key global players, including the U.N. Security Council.East African leaders have also backed the operation in Somalia. As the military operation entered its full month, Kenya President Mwai Kibaki hosted two regional leaders, Yoweri Museveni and Sheikh Sharif Ahmed of Uganda and Somalia respectively.The leaders agreed in Nairobi Wednesday to build on the progress of the Kenyan operation.The leaders said they discussed the progress of the operation. They agreed on the need for enhancing coordination to successfully defeat Al-Shabaab.They also agreed to build momentum created by the joint operation by the Somali government forces, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Kenyan troops to eliminate the threat of the Al-Shabaab."They reviewed political and security situation in Somalia. The conflict in Somalia has extracted numerous problems, refugee crisis and other forms of organized crime," the leaders noted in a joint communique.Moses Wetangula, the Kenyan Foreign Minister, read the joint communique in which the leaders said the situation in Somalia continues to threaten security in Africa.The East African leaders praised the allied troops for the gains already made and the need to galvanize international support for this purpose.International backing for the operation has been flowing since the launch of the operation. States including Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Iran, Madagascar, Malaysia and Mauritius, have vowed to join efforts to combat piracy along the India Ocean, where navigation has been worst hit by piracy.
Other countries, including Mozambique, Oman, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, agreed on the joint strategy to fight piracy and the Al- Shabaab off the Somali coastline.Kenya's diplomatic offensive has taken top officials regionally and internationally, to not only seek political support, but also look for financial, technical and actual military support for the operation inside Somalia.This week, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The State of Israel agreed to help train Kenyan forces for the operation in Somalia, to help secure the borders. Both sides agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on homeland security cooperation.On the battlefront, the troops, who recorded early victories after a series of sustained air-strikes saw them gain more ground from the Al-Shabaab militants, are radically revising the operational manual to deal with a humanitarian crisis.Earlier, Operational Commander Colonel Cyrus Oguna said the plan to blockade the port city of Kismayu was shelved after it became apparent the humanitarian crisis in Southern Somalia could worsen if aid supplies were curtailed.The Kenyan and Somali loyalist troops are in control of the towns of Busar and Barmuda in the northern sector of the military operation have been taken. Dhobley, Tabda, about 100 km north of Kenyan border and Faqoqani have also fallen.The Al-Shabaab fighters have melted into civilian population and resorted to operating in small groups as opposed to moving in large groups to avoid becoming obvious targets of air strikes.While still planning to advance on the Al-Shabaab strongholds of Kismayu and Afmadow, the Kenyan troops are concentrating on pacification patrols. The patrols are aimed at avoiding a sudden security vacuum, to be exploited by the Al-Shabaab."Pacification is tedious, time consuming and painstaking. We are going door-to-door and Al-Shabaab elements hiding in houses are not easily identified," Oguna said.The security operation is ongoing at the battlefront. But in Nairobi and other major towns, the police have intensified their investigations into the activities of the group.Kenya's internal Security Minister George Saitoti said all security agencies in the East African nation have been engaged in the battle against the Al-Shabaab.Kenyan air strikes have destroyed a logistics base used by the extremist group opposed to a western-style democracy inside Somalia for training of recruits.Police operating on the home-front have also made modest gains on the Al-Shabaab operatives in Kenya after the government announced an amnesty in exchange for information on the nature of military training offered by the Somali militia."Given the gravity of this matter, we must lay bare the facts on this matter because they are important," Saitoti said.The military operation was launched on October 16 to secure the Kenyan borders from threats posed by the growing number of attacks linked to the Al-Shabaab.Saitoti said following intensified police investigations, an Al- Shabaab training manual and a bulletproof vest were recovered in a house belonging to an Al-Shabaab suspect.The suspect, Elgiva Bwire Oliacha, was convicted on his own guilty plea and sent to life in jail. He admitted to being part of a group that hurled a grenade at a busy bus park. "These discoveries have led to the arrest of more suspects," Saitoti said."For the first-time," Saitoti said the "Police have arrested suspect with weapons and got an admission of membership to an organized criminal group," he said."Serious investigations are being carried out. The issue we are dealing with is terrorism. We need to get inkling into the operation of this group. We have all the agencies to focus not only on investigations. We are trying to deal with these terrorist organizations," Saitoti asserted.Security precautions are in place visibly and on a measure than cannot be seen have been laid out at all strategic locations around the capital, Nairobi and major towns.On the battlefront, the military is also dealing with hostile propaganda coming from the Al- Shabaab."It has been observed that as a new propaganda tactic, the Al- Shabaab will simulate an attack engagement and then exaggerate it by peddling lies to the media that KDF and the TFG forces were engaged in combat and as a result, some soldiers have been killed or hurt and their equipment confiscated," said Major Emmanuel Chirchir, the military spokesman."This they do in the quest to try and destruct the focus and morale of our forces. We assure the public that the Kenya Defense Forces are well equipped for this operation, both mentality and physically and will not be daunted with these inane antics."The Kenyan Navy, also involved in the anti-Shabaab operation at sea, have been forced to fire randomly at suspected Al-Shabaab fighters at sea.The rag-tag nature of the group complicates battle, but the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Southern Somalia, has also forced the Kenyan troops to focus mostly on securing relief supplies as opposed to engaging in real battle against the group.On November 8, the KDF forces changed tactics on the battlefront to engage in patrols and pacification in the liberated areas and Al- Shabaab pockets.via China Daily

Tanzanian Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab under arrest in Somalia

Dar es Salaam. Ten Tanzanians have been arrested in Mogadishu fighting alongside Al Shabaab Muslim militants, Home Affairs minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha said in Dar es Salaam yesterday.This is the first official public confirmation linking Tanzanian nationals to the terror group, which is fighting both the Somali transitional government and an African Union peacekeeping force. Three weeks ago, Kenya also sent in its army to fight the militants after the abduction of several people on Kenyan soil blamed on Al Shabaab.Mr Nahodha told journalists that security agencies were investigating reports that a number of businessmen in the country, including some of Somali origin, have been recruiting Tanzanian youths on behalf of the group.
“We have information to the effect that Al Shabaab recruiting agents are working in the country. We have information on people trying to convince Tanzanian youths to join Al Shabaab,” he said.The minister also linked the development to the massive illegal immigration of people from the Horn of Africa travelling southward, saying some of the illegal immigrants might have connections with the terror group.Mr Nahodha said, however, that the government had taken a number of measures in response to the security threat. “The various security organs are working closely to counter the threat,” he said.He added that a team of security experts had been dispatched to Mogadishu to question the Tanzanians who were seized while allegedly fighting alongside Al Shabaab.“Our officers have already interrogated them and we have taken their finger prints for further identification…the suspects are still being held in Somalia.”Mr Nahodha said the government was also in contact with other countries and international agencies involved in the fight against terrorism as part of wider efforts to protect Tanzania.“The fact that there are people in the country who have been cooperating with and working for the group has compromised our security. We are taking nothing for granted.”He urged Tanzanians to be patriotic and distance themselves from Al Shabaab and its activities and to report any person or activity they suspect may be linked to the group.Mr Nahodha asked drivers of public transport vehicles, especially taxis, to be wary of strangers who ask them about important places such as embassies and other sensitive installations.He said owners of guest houses should also be careful and take all important particulars of people who check into the establishments to make it easy to trace them if the need arose.The minister said although Al Shabaab had not carried out an attack on Tanzanian soil, attacks in neighbouring Kenya and Uganda should serve as a lesson to Tanzanians. Over 70 people were killed in twin bomb explosions in Kampala on July 10, last year. Al Shabaab quickly claimed responsibility for the attacks.There has been a string of kidnappings of foreign tourists on Kenya’s coast in recent months blamed on the group. This prompted Kenya to launch a military operation against the militants inside Somalia.In its global ranking index of countries most at risk from terrorist attacks, Maplecroft of the UK warns that Tanzania was among countries facing an imminent danger from terrorist attacks. According to its latest Terrorism Risk Index, which covers 2010-2011, all East African Community (EAC) member states face the same terror risk level as Uganda, which is placed among high-risk countries in the world.Meanwhile, Mr Nahodha said eight immigration officials were being investigated in connection with the wave of illegal immigrants who have entered the country in recent months.The minister told reporters that he warned the officers after he was informed of their conduct, which, he added, put the country’s security at risk.“I have their names in my briefcase here… I have already issued them with warning letters. We are monitoring them and if they are not going to change in the next one month, we will act against them.”
He said the government recently deported two Pakistani nationals who had entered the country illegally through the assistance of one of the eight officers.“The government’s move against the Pakistani nationals shows that we know what is going on,” he said. via The Citizen.

Kenya offers troops to Somalia, Kenya offers to boost AU force in Somalia.President Sharif meets Kibaki and Museveni in Nairobi, Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Kenya says it is prepared to send troops to boost the African Union force fighting militant Islamists in Somalia, officials said.

Kenya launched a military effort in Somalia last month to expel militants from regions near the Kenyan border. Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said he could easily offer several battalions to help keep the peace in Somalia, BBC Kenya reported.The Kenyan government has accused the group al-Shabaab, which controls much of southern and central Somalia, of a number of abductions in Kenyan territory. The militant Islamist group has denied the allegations and says it will retaliate against Kenya for its incursion into Somali territory.The BBC said the AU has about 9,000 troops in Somalia, mostly in Mogadishu. The AU force is currently made up of Ugandan and Burundian soldiers although Djibouti and Sierra Leone are expected to have troops in Somalia by the end of the year.

Kenya offers to boost AU force in Somalia
President Sharif meets Kibaki and Museveni in Nairobi, Kenya
Somalia’s president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is meeting his Kenyan and Ugandan counterparts in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

President Sharif and his entourage arrived in Nairobi early on Wednesday for a two day visit to attend a meeting between the three East African leaders in Nairobi.The three head of states, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of Somalia, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and Yuweri Museveni of Uganda are reportedly discussing on the current situation in Somalia and the ongoing Kenyan military activities inside Somalia.On October 24, President Sharif faulted the Kenyan incursion into Somalia, saying that Kenya’s military interventions in parts of his country were unnecessary. But Kenyan denied any wrongdoing.Sharif said both his government and the Somali people disapprove Kenyan military deployment in parts of the country and called it not engage in any suspicious interventions that may raise public eyebrows.The president said Kenyan support in terms of training and logistics was welcome but his government and the people of Somalia were opposed to the presence of the Kenyan army inside Somalia.His comment sparked a diplomatic row between the two neighbouring countries, forcing Mogadishu to send its Prime Minister to Nairobi in a bid to mend relations

Drones kill 13 Jihadist Al-Shabab linked Al-Qa'ida in south Somalia.Several killed as allied forces clash with rebel fighters Lower Juba in ,jubbaland region of somalia

At least 13 Jihadist Al-Shabab linked al-Qa'ida in somalia   have been killed after US  drones launched aerial attacks in southern Somalia near the border with Kenya, . Somali tribal elders, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told local media  that the remote-controlled aerial vehicles fired several missiles at Buzar village, which is located close to El Wak city in Somalia's southwestern region of Gedo , jubbaland region onThursday. They added that dozens of people were also injured in the strikes. The aerial attacks came as US assassination drones had struck Buzar village a day earlier. At least 26 people were killed and dozens more were also wounded in Wednesday's drone attacks. Somalia is the sixth country where the United States has used assassination drones to launch deadly missile strikes. The US military has also used drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen. On October 28, the United States admitted to flying the terror aircraft from a base in Ethiopia. "The US has unarmed and unmanned aircraft at a facility there (Ethiopia) to be used only for surveillance as part of a broad, sustained integrated campaign to counter terrorism," said Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby. The confirmation appeared a day after The Washington Post revealed in a report that the US flies “armed” drones from an airfield in Ethiopia's southern city of Arba Minch. Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former Honourable Mohamed Siad Barre. Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia remains one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world.

Several killed as allied forces clash with rebel fighters Lower Juba in ,jubbaland region of somalia
At least four people were killed and several others injured after fierce fighting erupted between allied forces of Ras Kamboni, Kenyan and TFG on one side and Al-Shabaab rebel fighters at Kulbiyow, Lower Juba.

The fight started after rebel fighters attacked allied bases in the area, prompting hours-long fight.All those killed are said to be combatants from both sides involved in the fight. The number of injuries is yet to be known.TFG official claimed that they repulsed rebel fighters who attacked their bases. Al-Shabaab also claimed victory in the fight.The two sides also clashed in the area Wednesday night.This comes as Uganda, Kenya and Somalia join hands in fighting the rebel group following a meeting between their head of states in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi on Wednesday.Kenyan troops are set to join the African Union force operating in Mogadishu, alongside Ugandan and Burundian soldiers.About 3,000 members of the Kenya Defence Forces are said to be active in the battle against Al-Shabaab.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

14 Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab Jihadists killed in Busar, Gedo jubbaland region

14 Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab Jihadists    killed and several other wounded following fierce fighting between Al-Shabaab rebel fighters and TFG troops for the last 24 hour in Busar village, 40 km from El-wak town.Fourteen people were killed on Wednesday morning after government troops launched fresh attacks on rebel bases in Qura’a Lafole and Sadehda Jirod areas of Busar village.Today’s fight follows another deadly fighting in the same area on Tuesday afternoon, where the warring sides clashed.TFG’s Juba and Gedo regions spokesman Warfa Sheikh Adan told  terror free somalia that they seized control of Qura’a Lafole and Sadehda Jirod areas of Busar village from Al-Shabaab following the fighting.He claimed that they killed 14 rebel fighters during Wednesday fight.Al-Shabaab has also claimed victory in today’s fighting, adding that they repulsed government troops who attacked their bases in the area.There are no independent sources to verify claims made by both side of the fighting.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ras Kamboni. Camp where Shabaab planned terror

Former Al Qaeda member, Sheikh Ahmed Madobe was the leader of Ras Kamboni Brigades
There is nothing quite remarkable about the landscape at Qoddo, about 10km from Ras Kamboni The short thorn trees that have survived the onslaught of the charcoal dealers have turned green because of recent rains. But this rough terrain at Qoddo conceals a spot from which terror was designed and sent out to wreak havoc on Kenyans and East Africa.The training camp, located on a small hill that offers a view of a wide beach ahead and Ras Kamboni, is believed to have hosted Fazul Abdalla and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan. Apart from Osama bin Laden, the two men played a hand in the terrorist activities for which Kenyans remember the Al-Qaeda leader killed earlier this year.Nabhan was shot down by US commandos in September 2009 as he and several other men sped across the desert at Baraawe, a village up north, beyond Mogadishu. He was the head of Al-Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, and his position was taken over by Fazul, the man who planned the terrorist attack on an Israeli hotel in Kikambala in 2002. Both were on the US list of most-wanted men. Fazul was shot dead by TFG soldiers after a confrontation in Mogadishu this year.It is believed that the bombs that went off at Kyadondo Rugby Club and an Ethiopian Restaurant in Kampala were put together and dispatched from the spot.When Al-Shaabab were forced out of parts of Mogadishu up north in 2006, they moved to Qoddo, so close to Kenya that there is mobile network coverage, and resumed their training for terror. The reception of mobile networks means the terrorists could easily communicated with their colleagues in the region. Among them were foreign jihadist fighters, said to originate from as far as the US, the Al-Qaeda headquarters in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kenya. A soldier with the TFG, who knows a bit about them, showed the Nation the spot at the centre where they were trained on martial arts by the Pakistanis. He said, and he cannot be named for his own safety, that the terrorists had a $30 (Sh2,800) mobile network booster as well as satellite phones.At the site they fled only recently, there are also signs that they had access to more equipment — a gas cylinder that was probably used for welding and remnants of rocket-propelled grenades. Mr Abdulahi Aden, a 56-year-old Somali pastoralist, who lives in the vicinity of the training camp, said they were even prevented from grazing their cows near the site. The elimination of the terrorists from the camp probably means the end of incursions into Kenyan towns along the coast. nation

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.

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We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa

The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

Terror Free Somalia Foundation