Saturday, April 16, 2011

Will militants fade after Somali offensive gains?

NAIROBI, Kenya – Somalia's most dangerous Islamist group is facing its first serious threat in years following an offensive by pro-government forces, officials and observers say.Al-Shabab has been beaten back from areas of the capital, Mogadishu, and in regions of southern Somalia. The battlefield defeats are its first major setbacks since it overtook large portions of Mogadishu two years ago.Since then, the group has appeared to entrench its position in Somalia, enforcing Sharia law, setting up courts and ordering punishments. The group also claimed responsibility for a double suicide bombing in Uganda last year that killed 76 people during the World Cup final.But experts say the group is not as strong as it may appear."Al-Shabab is not that strong. It is divided internally, brutal and ham-handed, deeply unpopular among the people under its control, and not providing anything to Somalis in terms of vision, services, or security," said Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa program for the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.African Union troops, Somali government forces, and a clan-based militia launched the offensive in Mogadishu and across the south and central regions in February. The government says its forces have made "remarkable military advances," including destroying al-Shabab's front line and retaking key positions in the capital.
Though the pro-government forces have the momentum, some analysts don't consider the quick gains to be long-lasting wins.Roland Marchal, a Somalia expert at the Center for International Studies and Research in Paris, points to the fact that the forces that routed al-Shabab from the border town of Belet Hawo and most of Somalia's southern Gedo region are not government troops but militia members."There is no way al-Shabab could be defeated this way. They're weakened, yes. But you need the vacuum created by military victories to be taken by new legitimate political authorities, and we have a long way to go to reach that point," said Marchal.Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage, al-Shabab's spokesman, blamed his group's recent failures on Ethiopia, a common strategy used by militants to drum up nationalistic support. Ethiopia supports militiamen who oppose al-Shabab and its forces have fought alongside pro-government militias to prevent al-Shabab from establishing permanent bases near its borders.Like the Taliban in Afghanistan or militants in Iraq, members of al-Shabab don't wear uniforms and can easily put down their weapons and blend in with villagers when threatened, one reason no one knows if the recent military gains will last or if the insurgents are biding their time before regrouping.A website that claims support for al-Shabab — Somalimemo.net — last month published a detailed military strategy aimed at helping militants pull off gains without suffering losses.The five-page plan urges fighters to divide into units and "not to engage in a face-to-face battle — only hit-and-run attacks — to preserve energy." It also counseled fighters to carry out ambushes along main roads and in towns.
"There is no doubt that those small units will have a major effect on the power and morale of enemy troops on the front lines, something that will stop them from continuing their advance," the document continued.Analysts have long argued that al-Shabab lacks the popular support that would allow it a long existence as al-Qaida's representative in East Africa. The militants also lack a reliable supply chain that could help fighters repel a sustained offensive on multiple fronts."Any organization that uses an ideology of fear cannot survive for long because the population will finally understand the hidden interests of its artificial war," said Barigye Bahoku, the spokesman of the African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu, adding that al-Shabab's strength "is at best a myth and artificial at worst."The group's fighters are estimated to number between 5,000 to 7,000 men, but analysts say only a few hundred of them — mostly foreign fighters from war zones in Iraq and Pakistan — are highly trained.Al-Shabab may only appear strong because the Somali government, known as the Transitional Federal Government, is so weak. It relies on the 9,000-strong African Union force to prop it up.Somalia has been mired in violence since 1991, when clan-based warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on each other.
"Without the presence of the African Union, the TFG would very likely have been overrun by now, and that reliance on external support has made the TFG leadership very complacent in building domestic legitimacy or alliances or giving Somalis any confidence in its ability to govern," said Cooke.Bahoku said Somalia's government needs "political cohesion and unity of purpose" to build on the recent battleground gains.The international community has always said that there is no military solution in Somalia. Rashid Abdi of the International Crisis Group said a military force is needed to knock out the hardcore fighters, but that moderate insurgents needed to be absorbed by a reconciliation process.Former Islamists who fought Ethiopian forces from 2006 to 2007 say al-Shabab fighters have little chance to effectively regroup if they are overpowered this time around."If al-Shabab is defeated today no tears, even a crocodile one, will be shed for it. I'm sure majority of the population will shout 'good riddance!'" said Abdifatah Hirsi Mohamed, who is part of a militia group trying to retake several southern regions, including the port city of Kismayo, from the militants. AP
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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 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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