Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dealing With Disengaged Fighters: The Case of al-Shabaab

After years of dominating the headlines as Somalia’s public enemy number one, al-Shabaab is in trouble. Last week, the insurgent’s Twitter account was suspended after it was used to disseminate threats to kill Kenyan hostages held by the group. More seriously, al-Shabaab has had a bad eighteen months since its forces withdrew from central Mogadishu in August 2011. Not only are its ideological messages faltering, but its forces have been displaced from several former strongholds, and it is hemorrhaging fighters. Now is the time for the new Somali federal government and African Union (AU) forces to press home their advantage and implement a comprehensive package of measures to encourage more defections and transition so-called “disengaged” fighters to civilian lives.
Unfortunately, a lack of funds is jeopardizing the government’s new plan for dealing with Somalia’s disengaged fighters. Without adequate financial support, efforts to transition former fighters into alternative livelihoods will fail and “disengaging” will prove only temporary as disgruntled individuals turn against the government or to banditry. There is currently an opportunity to deal al-Shabaab a fundamental blow. It would be extremely shortsighted not to make the most of it.
Analysis
Since its core fighters left central Mogadishu in early August 2011, al-Shabaab has been on the defensive. In October and November 2011, its forces were attacked on multiple fronts by Kenyan and Ethiopian troops who advanced from their respective borders. In December 2011, Ethiopian troops supported by some Somali militias captured the town of Belet Weyne in Hiraan province; in February 2012, they pushed al-Shabaab forces out of Baidoa, the capital of Bay region; by May, soldiers in the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) succeeded in chasing almost all al-Shabaab’s fighters from the outskirts of Mogadishu and its environs; and by late September, Kenyan and allied forces captured the key strategic southern port of Kismayo, which had been a central hub for al-Shabaab’s economic and military operations.
As al-Shabaab forces came under increasing military and financial pressure, more and more of their fighters began defecting, so much so that the insurgents reportedly established a 500-strong Amniat (internal security) force to stem defections. Some fighters defected because they feared defeat in battle; others bemoaned al-Shabaab’s lack of revenue after it lost several key towns; while others simply followed their clans when they split from the insurgency. The new federal government of Somalia, AMISOM, and their international supporters must build on this momentum and implement an effective program for dealing with Somalia’s disengaging fighters, thereby striking a fundamental blow to al-Shabaab.
As of mid-January 2013, AMISOM was holding some 250 disengaging fighters while the federal government held approximately 1,500.1 The category of the “disengaged” include fighters captured in combat, individuals who have voluntarily surrendered, and those who have blended with the local population but are willing to surrender if the circumstances are right. While al-Shabaab remains the government’s principal opponent, the category is open to all armed groups and individuals who have used arms against the state but who renounce violent insurgency, surrender their weapons, and wish to live as civilians. The whole process is made more complicated by the absence of a formal peace agreement, which have usually structured most other cases of postwar disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs around the world.
Initiatives in this area made significant headway in October 2011 when Somali authorities adopted the National Security and Stabilization Plan for 2011-2014 which emphasized the need to develop programs for disengaged fighters. In March 2012, a consultation of international partners, NGOs and technical experts, and the Somali authorities gathered in Mogadishu to determine a framework and set of operating procedures for managing disengaging fighters. In August, the federal government published a National Disengagement Framework which would operate at several levels: international, federal, district, and local community. It involved establishing a network of reception centers (under military authority, both AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces); transition centers (under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior), and local centers (under civilian local government or NGO authorities).
Today, the federal government is working on several pilot schemes involving amnesty programs, weapons buy-back initiatives, and mechanisms to separate child soldiers from their adult counterparts (the former going to UNICEF camps). Several external actors provided assistance for certain dimensions of these activities, including the UN Political Office for Somalia, the UN’s International Organization for Migration, which developed draft standard operating procedures, and the government of Norway, which provided financial support for the treatment and handling of disengaging combatants in several camps in Mogadishu.
The central obstacle, however, remains lack of financial and material resources. In August 2012, for example, the AU lamented the lack of resources to cater for needs of some 3,000 disengaged former fighters.2 The situation had not improved by October when Augustine Mahiga, the head of the UN Political Office in Somalia, acknowledged that the plan for dealing with the disengaged “has not yet started for lack of funding.”3 Yet the amount of money involved is not large by international peacebuilding standards. In their August 2012 appeal, the Somali authorities presented a total budget of $19 million to cover outreach activities, reception centers, safe houses, the rehabilitation of transit centers, and long-term reintegration initiatives.
Without the necessary financial support, efforts to transition former fighters into alternative livelihoods will fail, and “disengaging” will prove only temporary as disgruntled individuals turn against the government or to banditry. Given the significant military and political progress that has been made in Somalia over the last year, it would be a major blunder to skimp on this crucial part of the enterprise.
Paul D. Williams is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Security Policy Studies program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.
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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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