Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Somalia battles measure success in meters

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to cover as a journalist. Often news organizations rely on the courage of local freelancers to send pictures and stories to the outside world. In this exclusive report for CNN, journalist Jane Ferguson went to Somalia to examine the bloody struggle for power in a nation with strategic importance for the whole of east Africa.




Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- In a city where brutal fighting is the norm, it is easy to glaze over reports of a surge in Mogadishu's violence this summer. But with the country's insurgents now attacking abroad and the expansion of Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers on the ground, the situation is shifting as much as the front lines.Soldiers from the African Union peacekeeping mission AMISOM are pushing deeper into the city from what until now has been little more than a few blocks controlled by the weak Transitional Federal Government (TFG.)For years they have been battling to contain Islamist insurgents Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked group which controls much of central and southern Somalia.Modest gains are hard fought, with the AU taking previously Al-Shabaab-held areas house by house. At one new outpost on a rooftop, Maj. Anthony Lukwago Mbusi's men were shelling Al-Shabaab positions as they cleared a few houses they took two days ago."We are making a mop-up operation within the buildings here and thereafter -- after they have moved into those tall buildings there," he said, pointing across the street. "AMISOM forces will move into those tall buildings, so that we can continue pushing these people out, flushing them out of the near region."

Somalia conflict When we see them (foreign fighters), we kill them, also we get intelligence
New outposts now stretch up the city's coastline to major hotels and the ancient port, with the old U.N. base -- abandoned in the mid '90s -- within sight.The insurgents have put up a fierce resistance and TFG troops on the very front line have suffered heavy losses and casualtiesThe Muslim holy month of Ramadan saw a fresh offensive by Al-Shabaab. They attacked and killed government troops as well as AU peacekeepers through mortar attacks, suicide bombs and roadside bombs. In August, they attacked a hotel in Mogadishu killing more than 30 people including six parliamentarians.In July, Islamist insurgents launched their first attack abroad -- with suicide bombings in Uganda's capital killing 76 people as they watched the World Cup final. During the tournament Al-Shabaab had banned watching or playing football, calling it un-Islamic and warning they would execute any fans caught around TVs.The Kampala bombings sent a shock wave through Uganda, and President Yoweri Museveni requested a change in the peacekeepers' mandate, allowing them to take on a more offensive role against Al-Shabaab. This was rejected, but a small amount of additional troops were sent to Mogadishu.Despite the AU's role remaining the same on paper, changes in their tactics this summer have been notable, adding up to half-a-dozen new outposts in the city and clearing some Al-Shabaab territory slowly. When quizzed on this, commanders say their new positions are there to "secure" the old ones.Three new outposts have been positioned around the presidential palace and government area known as Villa Somalia. "We are now about 30 meters from Al-Shabaab," announced the commander at the new outposts. He drove us down to the front line where government soldiers were holding those precious few yards. He pointed beyond the barriers to a tall white house: "That is Monopolio market. That is where you will find foreigners."Foreign fighters with jihadist experience elsewhere remain behind the scenes in the battle for Mogadishu, says the AU. "When we are fighting here, the foreigners are a bit in the rear," said the commander. Fighters from countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen give orders from front-line positions, he explained, holding tactical meetings and organizing munitions.Further up town, two crumbling hotels on the seafront were seized over the past few months and are now the scene of intense fighting. Under heavy sniper fire from Al-Shabaab, Capt. Keith Katuringi was most interested in discussing foreign fighters, saying they come from as far as Chechnya. "We see them," he responded when I questioned how his men could know where the insurgents are actually from. "When we see them, we kill them. Also we get intelligence."The source of that intelligence remains unexplained by the many military leaders who speak about it. Intelligence-gathering drones can now be heard above Mogadishu during the day and night. Most presume they are American. However, the Obama administration strongly denies any involvement in advising local forces."The United States does not plan, does not direct, and does not coordinate the military operations of the TFG, and we have not and will not be providing direct support for any potential military offensives," Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of state for Africa, told reporters in March. "Further, we are not providing nor paying for military advisors for the TFG. There is no desire to Americanize the conflict in Somalia."Somalia's local government is headed by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, previously a leader of the Union of Islamic Courts. Although Sheikh Ahmed is considered a moderate, the UIC raised eyebrows in the West because other prominent members were considered radicals.At the African Union's main base in Mogadishu, both private security firms Dyncorp and Bancroft are present, working with the AU and traveling with them in military vehicles.A New York Times article published last month reported that the CIA has stepped up its anti-al Qaeda raids in Somalia, and referred to concerns that increased outsourcing to private contractors risked reducing transparency in Washington.Beyond the politics however, ordinary Somali's continue to suffer the brunt of this summer's violence.The U.N. announced that in the two weeks spanning the end of August and start of September, more than 250 civilians had been killed in the crossfire in Mogadishu.Children are particularly at risk in this conflict. Al-Shabaab is known to use child soldiers. This summer, the spike in violence was accompanied by an increase in kidnappings.Shortly after I arrived in Mogadishu, reports reached the city of a mass kidnapping of around 100 boys from a rural town. Over the next week, military commanders reported children running towards AU posts firing AK-47s.Capt. Keith's men experienced such attacks. He said they have no choice but shoot them. "We have no choice," he said. "It's unfortunate but we have no choice." Jane Ferguson CNN
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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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