Thursday, September 20, 2012

The last stand of al-Shabaab

The notorious Islamist army has terrorised Somalia for years. But will the fighters soon be wiped off the map?




Abdirahim Sheikh joined al-Shabaab after they visited him on his farm in southern Somalia to tell him that "foreign invaders" were abusing the Koran. He says the next three years of his life fighting for the radical Islamic militia were unimaginably tough. There was frequent bloody action on the front line and little or no care for the wounded who died in large numbers. But his morale only started to drop when he heard that fellow jihadists had killed worshippers at a mosque.

"If someone who is praying in a mosque can be killed then al-Shabaab are the infidels," said the 30-year-old. Standing in Mogadishu's ruined stadium, which the militia used as a training base during their long battle for the Somali capital, the farmer has switched sides and joined the war against them. He decided to defect, he said, after seeing a friend executed in front of him. The man was accused of planning to defect and the commander slit his throat as a warning to the others. That warning backfired. "After that the defections became a flood," said Abdirahim.

It is just over a year since al-Shabaab abandoned the crumbling sports ground and the rest of the city, leaving behind them the huge rusted metal plates speckled with shrapnel where their gunners practised piercing the armour of the African Union forces. The bowels of the stadium are now occupied by their former foes and a handful of al-Shabaab defectors who fled across the lines of a battle that the Islamic extremists appear to be losing.

The retreat that began at the height of the Horn of Africa famine in August last year has now reached the militants' once unassailable stronghold of Kismayo. The militant fighters last week trekked out of the historic port of Marka to the south of the capital. African Union forces have this year seized control of strategic towns like Afgoye outside the capital and Afmadow in the south. Now, the Islamists' commanders are reported to have left Kismayo, with residents in the port city seeing the militants withdraw their heavy weapons and larger trucks this week.

The series of reverses has led some observers to question whether a military defeat of Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen is now within reach. Abdirashid Hashi a Somalia analyst with the International Crisis Group (ICG) said that he expects Kismayo to be recaptured but that the war will continue in another guise. "Al Shabaab has been deserting or retreating from towns and cities since last year. But their ideology and many of their fighters are still there," he said.

"They are wounded and their strategy will now be to bide their time in the countryside and wait for the foreign forces to leave. They believe that time is on their side and they can fight a guerrilla war."

It is only six years since Ethiopian forces swept into Somalia with the political and military backing of the United States to topple the Islamic Courts Union, an Islamist movement which had taken control much of south and central Somalia after years of disastrous feuding between warlords. Ethiopia's vastly better-equipped forces quickly routed the youth militias loyal to the courts with hundreds killed or driven from the cities.

However, the Ethiopian intervention bolstered nationalist support for the courts' military wing helping to create al-Shabaab in its current form. Within a year the occupiers wearied of the guerrilla war and withdrew.

Now the foreign forces – comprising troops from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti and Sierra Leone, as well as Kenyans in the south – have some legitimacy under the umbrella of the African Union. After costly early mistakes, the AU force in the capital has restored some semblance of order enabling a freshly assembled parliament to elect a new president last month. The government of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the surprise winner among the MPs, has UN backing but also, crucially, some support among Somalis themselves who were largely contemptuous of his predecessors in the corrupt and squabbling Transitional Federal Government – an administration that a UN report uncovered was stealing 7 out of every 10 dollars it received in aid. The relative security in Mogadishu has seen people and money pour in from the Somali diaspora. Something of a revival is clearly underway.

But there is mounting concern that a botched operation to recapture Kismayo could undermine support for the new government and for the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom). Thousands of residents have streamed out of the port city in recent days as Kenya's navy has rained indiscriminate shellfire on the city.

"They are shelling everyone, everywhere," a Kismayo resident told The Independent by telephone from the besieged city. "The people are now understanding that the Kenyans have no plans to save the people." Kenya's land forces, operating under the banner of Amisom, have advanced to within 40 kilometres of the city. They have so far ignored appeals to establish a humanitarian corridor. Witnesses in nearby villages said the troops are firing on "anything that moves in front of them".

An equal or greater threat to southern Somalia may come from an imminent power struggle for the port city between competing clans. Similar struggles between Somalia's complex of clans and sub-clans were largely responsible for 20 years of civil war that followed the collapse of the last central government in 1991.

Al-Shabaab proved adept at managing the clan system in cosmopolitan Kismayo. In recent days they have allowed hundreds of lightly armed fighters from the Hawiye clan to move into the city. A warlord from the rival Marihan clan, Barre Hiiraale, is reported to be bringing his fighters to the city with the backing of Ethiopia. Meanwhile, the Kenyan advance from the south has been achieved with the backing of the Ras Kamboni militia from another rival clan, the Ogadeni.

The convergence of forces could see a three-way fight between proxies of Ethiopia, Kenya and al-Shabaab, an outcome that could restore some nationalist support for the Islamic militants after a year at bay.


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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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