Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chasing peace in Somalia

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An African Union soldier takes a picture of a Star reporter taking a picture of him from his post guarding the prime minister's compound in Mogadishu. (Jan. 27)

MOGADISHU, Somalia–Major Ba-Hoku Barigye has two cellphones and both constantly buzz with text messages. One he looks at religiously. The other he often ignores; he knows what it will say.
"You are going to die today," went one message last Sunday, as he donned a flak jacket and helmet and boarded an armoured vehicle for the journey to the president's compound.Later, another: "Yo are the begest enimy of Somalia so you have too go to the country ergently otherwise you will meet consequence.""It's the Shabab," says Barigye, chief spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping mission,in Somalia. He guesses he's had 900 such messages in the past two years.He keeps most of them, including one that makes him laugh: "Al Shabab very very good."Friday marked one year since Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the teacher-turned-politician, was declared Somalia's president and members of a new transitional government were appointed.But without the 5,300-strong presence here of the Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers (known as AMISOM), Somalia's Transitional Federal Government would not survive.Even with African Union's protection, the government's reach in the city appears to only extend from the airport to the seaport and to pockets along the road that leads from the AMISOM base to Villa Somalia, where the president and prime minister work and reside.Al Shabab, a radical Islamic guerrilla movement that has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, has managed to hit those areas, too. Twin suicide bombers killed 17 peacekeepers in September, and as recently as Monday, a bomb exploded at an AMISOM-run medical outpost, killing one peacekeeper and at least four Somali patients.Two mortars interrupted a government ceremony Friday to celebrate the anniversary. A Somali civilian and Ugandan peacekeeper were killed. A government press release later said the ceremony went on "undaunted."Sharif came to power last January with the backing of the UN and blessing of the West, praised by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as "the best hope we've had in quite some time."But it is hard to see hope on Mogadishu's battered and sparsely populated streets. Gun battles, mortar attacks and bombings happen daily in certain neighbourhoods as the Shabab fights Hizbul Islam, a breakaway rival Islamic group, or the AMISOM forces, which have a mandate to hit back if attacked first. They often hit back harder, with heavy artillery and Katyusha rockets, and there are civilian casualties.Along Al Mukarama Rd., the city's main thoroughfare where a 2008 bomb killed 21 women who had gathered to collect the never-ending rubbish, government soldiers hang off jeeps or walk with Kalashnikovs and belts of ammunition, resembling militias of the past rather than a uniformed force.The most jarring sights are lines of bright laundry strung between crumbling buildings, or schoolgirls in matching lime green hijabs – signs that life goes on where is seems impossible that it could.AMISOM's forces roar along the streets in Casspirs, behemoth South African-made vehicles built to withstand the mines and improvised explosive devices the Shabab has buried along the roadside. Part of their route to the president's compound passes K4 – kilometre four – a chaotic yet vital intersection that's much fought over.One day last week, as the convoy kicked up sand navigating around blast barriers at the intersection, passing AMISOM's small, sandbagged outpost, children ran out and waved, as their parents just stopped to stare.Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke – a Canadian citizen, like so many members of the transitional government and their advisers – agrees the government only controls a small part of the city and the Shabab has a strong presence in the south. Then he quibbles over the use of the word "control."
"For the Shabab to control, it's to intimidate and kill, nothing else," he said in an interview with the Star last week at his guarded compound at Villa Somalia."But for us to control, we must bring law and order. We must perform all the services the government must do and we must deliver basic services like health and education."That's what Sharif did the first time he came to power four years ago.Since Mohammed Siad Barre's was overthrown in 1991, Somalia has been at the mercy of its warlords, squabbling clans and failed foreign interventions. But for six months in 2006, Sharif led a self-appointed government called the Islamic Courts Union, which managed to cross clan lines, conquer the warlords (who were covertly backed by the CIA), and bring some sense of stability.There were concerns with the ICU, dubbed by some in Washington as "Somalia's Taliban." Among its members were radicals on international terrorism watchlists. Women's rights and press freedom were curtailed.But there were also moderates in the leadership, hoping to cooperate with the West. If nothing else, the movement had widespread support and credibility within Somalia – a first in 15 years of war.In the end, the voices raising alarm were louder. A U.S.-backed invasion by Ethiopia, Somalia's predominantly Christian neighbour, dismantled the ICU and the much-despised warlords were back in power.Rather than conquering the ICU's militant wing, the invasion by Somalia's historic rival only bolstered the ranks of al Shabab and drew foreign fighters from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, Yemen and neighbouring African countries. There was a time when the U.S. even contemplated targeting Sharif as he fled with other leaders.Two years of devastating war later, with Ethiopia's defeat and a change in the White House, Sharif suddenly emerged as Somalia's best hope.There's a slight defensiveness when government and AMISOM leaders talk about what they've managed to accomplish in a year."You'll forgive me," Sharmarke said, "if I point out the international community doesn't control Afghanistan, regardless how much has gone into keeping it safe and secure."Ahmedout Ould Abdallah, the UN special envoy to Somalia, made the same comparison in a surprise visit last week, chastising outside critics who provide little help but wag their fingers at Somalia.There's no doubt 19 years of war and 14 reconciliation conferences are a testament to how difficult Somalia's problems are to solve.But in many ways, the Shabab has been the most savvy in learning from past mistakes, both in how to deliver its message and provide for its people – key factors in winning over a war-weary population.For instance, the first time the rebel group took over the strategic port town of Kismayo in 2006, it shut down businesses and banned the use of the ubiquitous and much-loved leafy narcotic khat. Today, businesses may operate if they pay a security tax, and there are reports that Shabab tolerates khat vendors dealing outside the city limits, provide they turn over part of their income to the rebels. (In principle, Shabab still deems khat non-Islamic.)Shabab and Hizbul Islam leaders have also preached violent jihad in southern mosques, and foreign fighters have trained young recruits since 2006, building a force of willing martyrs. Their message, mainly transmitted through the Internet, has extended into the U.S., Britain, Sweden, Australia and most recently Canada, luring much-prized Western recruits...more..
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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
Somalia

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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.

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