Sunday, May 31, 2009

U.S. can't afford to ignore situation in Somalia

Nearly two months ago, for a brief moment, the full attention of Americans was directed back to Somalia. This time it was not "Blackhawk Down" but rather the action of pirates that captured the attention of the news media and subsequently the American public.
With all the concern for the captured American and the future safety of both U.S. and international cargo ships moving through the Gulf of Aden, there was little talk of why piracy is occurring and what Somalia's situation could mean for us.
Somalia is suffering from what the United Nations in 2008 considered the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. While initially much of this was due to the violence stemming from an 18-year power vacuum, drought and famine are now severely deepening the level of the crisis. According to the U.N., 3.2 million Somalis are in need of emergency food aid, approximately 45 percent of their population is suffering from moderate malnutrition and more than 1.1 million Somalis have been driven from their homes by violence.
The crisis is acute, and these people are in desperate need of international response. What Somalia received instead, however, was a "quick-fix" solution to the piracy that directly affected the United States. Although it is important to address short-term, immediate crises such as the hostage situation in April, it is also in the long-term interest of the United States to start addressing the situation on the ground in Somalia. ..more..

A Hero's Welcome.


US determined to save Sharif govt despite expert warnings

The United States appears determined to prevent Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government from falling to Islamist forces said to be linked to Al-Qaeda.“We believe that it is important to do as much as we possibly can to support this TFG as one of the last opportunities for bringing about stability in that country,” Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson told the US Senate recently. Mr Carson noted that despite heavy recent attacks by the powerful Al-Shabaab insurgency, “The TFG remains standing.”The Obama administration will help sustain the government headed by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Mr Carson added. Pointing out that Sheikh Sharif is not a warlord but an educator, Mr Carson said the Somali president, who has been in office since February, “offers the best chance for a possible reconciliation and peace in Somalia that we have seen over the past decade.”The State Department’s top Africa official noted that Washington has given the TFG $10 million to establish a national security force while also contributing $135 million in support of an African Union force dispatched to Somalia in 2007. “We plan to continue this level of support in the future,” Mr Carson said in regard to the 4,800 Ugandan and Burundian troops who are protecting the TFG under the banner of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).The United Nations Security Council is also giving unequivocal backing to Amisom, which is viewed as the final bulwark against an Islamist takeover of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The 15-member council voted unanimously last week to extend its mandate for Amisom for another eight months. The council also agreed for the first time to help finance Amisom’s operations through UN member-states’ assessed payments, with British UN Ambassador John Sawers estimating that the funding could amount to $300 million in the coming year.,..more..
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Katumba decorate AU troops in Somalia

Gen. Katumba Wamala (right) decorates a UPDF soldier in recognition of his contribution to peace mission

THE Commander of the Land Forces, Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala, is in Somalia to inspect the positions of the Ugandan soldiers taking part in the Africa Union peacekeeping mission, dubbed AMISOM. In a bid to boost the morale of the 3,000 strong UPDF contingent in the extremely volatile capital Mogadishu, Katumba decorated 500 soldiers with medals in recognition of their role in the peace keeping mission. Katumba also met the Somali police boss and the newly-elected Somali president, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. The meeting was attended by Somalia’s army chief Abdi Karim, Uganda’s defence attaché in Addis Ababa, Col. Emmanuel Musinguzi, and the Ugandan contingent commander Col. Jack Bakasumba. In the worst fighting for months, government forces have been battling al Shabaab fighters in the capital Mogadishu in recent weeks, with scores killed and tens of thousands of refugees streaming out of the city. Al Shabaab, which is suspected to have links with al-Qaeda, has imposed strict sharia law on Kismayu and other towns it controls in south Somalia. It bans drinking, films, wedding parties and music, and punishes suspected government collaborators, sometimes by beheading. Though witnesses say al-Shabaab has foreign fighters in its ranks, the group insists it is fighting for Somalia’s sovereignty and against a government it portrays as Western-imposed. President Yoweri Museveni and his Burundian counterpart, Pierre Nkurunziza, on Friday said they were willing to send more troops to Somalia if asked by the African Union. The Islamists have often described the peace keeping mission as an invasion by foreigners and repeatedly demanded the departure of the Ugandan and Burundian troops. Meanwhile, AMISOM has hired a private South African company, Bancroft Global Development, to deploy sniffer dogs and train their handlers to detect explosive bomb or car bombs which the Islamists use to target the peace keepers. David Schoman, a Bancroft expert, said the same breeds, Labradors and German shepherds, are used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the first Ugandan contingent arrived in Mogadishu in March 2007, the most deadly weapon used by the insurgents against the peacekeepers has been improvised explosive devices. In February, a suicide car bombing targeting Burundian troops killed 11 people, including the two bombers. “We have understood that with the Somalis, there can be no friends. So now, not a single Somali enters the camp, not a single car,” said Gen. Prime Niyongabo, the commander of the Burundian contingent. AMISOM spokesman Maj. Ba-hoku Barigye explained that hiring Bancroft was necessary to avoid unnecessary losses. “The Ugandan army doesn’t have any experience with improvised explosive devices, so when we were confronted with that scourge, we had to find ..

Child among 2 civilians killed in Somalia fighting

Two civilians, one of them a child, were killed Sunday when Jihadists Islamist militants clashed briefly with Somali government forces in the capital Mogadishu Somalia , officials and witnesses said. Insurgents had attacked police positions in the city's northern Sanaa district, said police officer Mohamed Hashi."The violent elements opened fire on government positions near Sanaa," Hashi told AFP. "There was heavy exchange of gunfire."Local resident Abdullahi Moalim said: "Two civilians , one of them a young boy, died in our neighbourhood after clashes erupted this afternoon."Five people were also wounded in the fighting, said residents.Mogadishu has been engulfed this month by fierce Fighting between the two sides, killing more than 200 people and forcing tens of thousands others to flee their homes.The rebel onslaught has been led by the Terrorist Al Shabaab , and extremist faction accused of links to Al-Qaeda; and Hezb al-Islam, a more political radical group loyal to opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys foreigners fighting The groups want to topple President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a moderate Islamist who came to power in January. They have confirmed that they are receiving support from foreign fighers.Sharif recently accused Eritrea of backing the insurgency and the African Union has called on the United Nations to apply sanctions on Asmara.

Some quick updates on the Somali Piracy situation.,,Somalia piracy crackdown shows signs of success: U.N..Government Opposes Creation of International

Going through the news, here are some specific contributions to what CBS calls a “global effort” to clamp down on piracy in Somalia:
India: “An Indian warship patrolling the seas near the lawless African country responded to a distress call Thursday from the Liberian-registered merchant vessel MV Maud, which said eight armed people on a skiff were approaching it at high speed, the navy said. The ship and a helicopter with marine commandos made their way toward the ship, where they saw two people attempting to board it, the navy said in a statement.”
Australia: “An Australian warship will join international efforts to combat pirates operating from Somalia, the government said in Friday. Australia will send a frigate and maritime patrol aircraft currently on Persian Gulf security duties to join anti-piracy operations in and near the Gulf of Aden, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said in a statement.”
Canada: “Canadian Forces boarding parties detained and searched two suspected pirate skiffs about 90 kilometres off the coast of Yemen, uncovering a large cache of automatic weapons, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenade launchers with warheads. Cmdr. Craig Baines, the captain of the Winnipeg, said the weapons seizures marked a very successful day for the Canadian frigate, which has been a constant thorn in the side of the Somali pirates that hunt merchant vessels in this, one of the world’s busiest shipping corridors.”
The United States of America: We’re making a movie.
Somalia piracy crackdown shows signs of success: U.N.
Government Opposes Creation of International Tribunal to Trial Somali Pirates
The Somali transitional government has opposed the creation of international tribunal for convicting Somali pirates, an official told Shabelle radio on Sunday.
Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, the foreign minister of the transitional government who is in New York city told Shabelle media that the government did not request to form tribunal court to sentence the Somali pirates pointing out that they and the world are not satisfied with implementing an international court for pirates...more..

The Most Dangerous Place in the World

Somalia is a state governed only by anarchy. A graveyard of foreign-policy failures, it has known just six months of peace in the past two decades. Now, as the country’s endless chaos threatens to engulf an entire region, the world again simply watches it burn.
When you land at Mogadishu’s international airport, the first form you fill out asks for name, address, and caliber of weapon. Believe it or not, this disaster of a city, the capital of Somalia, still gets a few commercial flights. Some haven’t fared so well. The wreckage of a Russian cargo plane shot down in 2007 still lies crumpled at the end of the runway.
Beyond the airport is one of the world’s most stunning monuments to conflict: block after block, mile after mile, of scorched, gutted-out buildings. Mogadishu’s Italianate architecture, once a gem along the Indian Ocean, has been reduced to a pile of machine-gun-chewed bricks. Somalia has been ripped apart by violence since the central government imploded in 1991. Eighteen years and 14 failed attempts at a government later, the killing goes on and on and on—suicide bombs, white phosphorus bombs, beheadings, medieval-style stonings, teenage troops high on the local drug called khat blasting away at each other and anything in between. Even U.S. cruise missiles occasionally slam down from the sky. It’s the same violent free-for-all on the seas. Somalia’s pirates are threatening to choke off one of the most strategic waterways in the world, the Gulf of Aden, which 20,000 ships pass through every year. These heavily armed buccaneers hijacked more than 40 vessels in 2008, netting as much as $100 million in ransom. It’s the greatest piracy epidemic of modern times.
In more than a dozen trips to Somalia over the past two and a half years, I’ve come to rewrite my own definition of chaos. I’ve felt the incandescent fury of the Iraqi insurgency raging in Fallujah. I’ve spent freezing-cold, eerily quiet nights in an Afghan cave. But nowhere was I more afraid than in today’s Somalia, where you can get kidnapped or shot in the head faster than you can wipe the sweat off your brow. From the thick, ambush-perfect swamps around Kismayo in the south to the lethal labyrinth of Mogadishu to the pirate den of Boosaaso on the Gulf of Aden, Somalia is quite simply the most dangerous place in the world. ..more..
For Somalia, Chaos Breeds Religious War
Somali Armed Group Says It’s Poised to Defeat Al-Shabab,Somalia's Sufis Fight the Shabab

Somalia: The threat next door

Al-Shabaab Islamist insurgents stand guard in the capital Mogadishu January 19, 2009. PHOTO/ REUTERS

The statement last week of Kenya’s intention to help “crush” the insurgency in Somalia is the strongest government response so far to the crisis in the troubled eastern neighbour.
Foreign minister Moses Wetang’ula did not specify what sort of intervention Kenya could make in support of the beleaguered Transitional Federal Government of Sheikh Sharif Ahmed Sharif, but the strong terms he used echoed the positions already taken by the African Union and the regional organisation, Igad (Inter-governmental Authority on Development).
Both have in recent days taken positions in unequivocal support of the Somali government and condemnation of the al Shabaab militia and the Islamist grouping led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.
Somalia has been Kenya’s most enduring security headache since independence, starting with the Shifta movement that waged a secessionist war supported by Mogadishu in the 1960s; onto the present threats posed by the infiltration of global terrorist groups like al-Qaeda into the governance vacuum in Somalia.Al Shabbab, the Islamist militia group currently engaging government forces in Mogadishu, makes no secret of its links to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network, and that would be a major concern to Kenya.The devastating 1998 bombing targeting the US embassy that killed more than 200 people in the heart of Nairobi was traced to radicals who had infiltrated the country through Somali.The Paradise Hotel bombing in Kikambala in which more than a dozen people died in 2002 was also coordinated from Somalia. Some of the key leaders of the East African Al-Qaeda cell that planned the two bombings are believed to be still operating in Somalia and playing key roles in managing the Islamist militias that now threaten to topple the transitional government. ..more..

Somalia’s new government: Presenting new hope or false hope?

In recent years, attention on Somalia has been focussed primarily around the domestic political tensions, as well as the increasingly alarming humanitarian crisis in the country. In late-December 2008, issues came to a head when the then-Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf resigned from power.
The Western-backed government headed by Yusuf since 2004 had failed dismally to restore peace and security to the strife torn country, which was faced with further indecision following the announcement that Ethiopian troops would be withdrawing from Somalia. Yusuf’s resignation was further prompted by increasing tensions between himself and Prime Minister Nur Adde Hassan Hussein over the composition of the government. In addition, increasing acts of piracy were abounding off the Somali coast, resulting in obstacles to the delivery of much needed aid services in the country. Following the resignation of Yusuf, Parliamentary Speaker Sheikh Aden Madobe became interim president according to the Constitution and elections were scheduled to be held within a 30 day time frame.
New beginnings
Due to safety concerns, elections were held in Djibouti, where Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, a moderate Islamist leader, was elected into office on 31 January. Sharif won with a majority after the other leading candidate, Prime Minister Nur Adde withdrew. Sharif represents the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) and was Chairman of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) that ran Mogadishu for six months in 2006 before Ethiopian soldiers removed them from power. Immediately after being elected to Government, Sharif called for co-operation from all Somalis, as well as assistance from the international community in rebuilding the country.
International support
At the forefront of support for the new Somali President is the United Nations. The peaceful elections were praised by the Security Council and they echoed Sharif’s calls for peace and co-operation from all factions in Somalia. Council members also requested that Sharif constitute a Government of National Unity at the earliest possible date. According to various media reports, the United Nations has, in addition, invested millions of dollars to support the process of governance in the country. However, peace and security in the country will be ultimately dependent on Sharif’s success or failure to reach out to the different clans and propose a solution that is acceptable to all.
Domestic challenges
Already, a challenge is being faced from the al-Shabaab group, who is on Washington’s list of foreign terrorist groups and has control of large areas of Somalia. Al-Shabaab, headquartered in neighbouring Eritrea has denounced the elections and described it as an illegitimate ‘puppet’ administration. Another group, the Hisbal Islam (Islamic Party), has said that it will keep fighting against the new Government and the African Union forces in Mogadishu. This group has been joined by three other factions who also do not support the new Government, including the Asmara wing of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia led by Hassan Dahir Aweys, the Ras Kamboni Brigade, and a little-known group, Anole. One of the main reasons for their opposition to Sharif was that he would not adhere to Sharia law, but Sharif had since indicated that his Government is ready to practice Sharia law.
Sharif has also recently announced a new Cabinet, consisting of many former opposition politicians, as an attempt to have an inclusive Government. The 36-member Cabinet has Sheikh Abdulkadir Ali Omar, the Islamic Courts Senior Ground Commander during the two-year insurgency, as the Minister of Interior, while ex-Parliamentary Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan became the new Minister of Finance. The Minister of Security, Omar Hashi, was a key member of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), while the new Minister of Defence is Prof. Mohamed Abdi Gandhi. Sharif has also promised to hold elections in two years. During a meeting with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), he indicated that he believed it was vital to the long-term peace effort in the country to set a timeframe for elections. Sharif also communicated his vision for the political, economic, security and humanitarian development of the country to the various leaders and called for their assistance with regards to his objectives. Sharif has also pledged to work in conjunction with African Union peacekeepers to restore order to the country.
The humanitarian crisis
It is without doubt that Somalia will require international support in order to launch a recovery programme. Infrastructure in the country is severely underdeveloped and in some cases, non-existent. Running water and electricity is not available in some regions and years of overall neglect to the economic sectors will require massive input, not only from the Government, but also from the donor community and international investors.
However, the main challenge lies in dealing with the humanitarian crisis that prevails in the country. According to reports from various UN agencies, approximately 3 million Somalis are dependent on food aid, 1.3 million are internally displaced and countless others are refugees in other countries. These people have paid the largest price relating to the conflict and will continue to be helpless victims until peace is fully restored in Somalia.
Whether peace is possible is the question on everyone’s minds. President Sharif has ‘talked the talk’ and there is presently no doubt of the sincerity of his intentions. However, he has thus far failed in attracting even the possibility of talks with any of the clans opposing his rule, and unless he is able to make a breakthrough, he may be doomed to remain as the Head of a government effectively in exile. While new hope blooms in the hearts of many Somali’s, only perseverance and a concerted effort to compromise by both the government and the various opposing factions will be able to avert yet another case of false hope.

Fighting between Islamists starts in Mahaday district about 23 km north of Jowhar

JOWHAR(TF.SF)— Fighting between the pro government Islamic Courts Union and allied Harakat Al Shabab Mujahideen and Hizbul Islam have started in Magurto village near Mahaday district about 23 km north of Jowhar, witnesses and officials said on Sunday.
Moalim Dahir Adow Alasow, the leader of the Islamic Courts Union told MOGADISHU Radio that they have been attacked and defended the invading forces as he said.The two sides have recently fought in the area and more people fled from the region in fear for further clashes between the two sides.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Home Grown Terror Threat

It's in segment 2 of PJTV's Sharia and Jihad review. Worth the watch.H/T Jawa Report

G8 wants closer cooperation to fight terrorism, piracy

ROME (AFP) – Fighting the global terrorism threat as well as the scourge of piracy calls for stronger cooperation among G8 nations, the group's interior and justice ministers said Saturday. Despite some successes, "terrorism is still one of the most serious threats to international security," the ministers from the Group of Eight rich nations said in a final statement after three days of talks near Rome. Extremists have shown a "significant offensive capability" and "organisational flexibility," they said, along with an ability to recruit and radicalise their followers, which is "a cause of great concern."
"The counter-terrorism cooperation between G8 nations is essential" to stop the spread of such radicalism, stressed the justice chiefs of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.
"The exchange of information on the movement of funding to finance terrorist groups is a major example" of such cooperation, said Italy Justice Minister Angelino Alfano when presenting the final communique. According to Interpol's special anti-terrorism taskforce, there is a database of more than 8,000 suspects linked to terrorist activists and a network of nearly 200 contact officers in more than 100 countries. The head of the global police organisation spoke to the G8 ministers Friday on the rising attacks of piracy on the seas, especially off the east African coast of Somalia, saying law enforcement was the missing link in combatting this organised crime...more..

Humanitarian crisis in Somalia

CNN's Isha Sesay interviews Donna Canali of Medicines Sans Frontieres about the humanitarian situation in Somalia.

Somalia: one week in hell – inside the city the world forgot

In a rare dispatch from war-ravaged Mogadishu, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad found a city daring to hope for a break from years of violence. Then the fighting resumed
Mogadishu's best barometer of ­violence is the little blackboard on which Dr Taher Mahmoud daily records the number of patients in his hospital. For the last 20 years the tall surgeon with huge hands has been operating on the victims of the city's civil war.
"It's good times now," he told me when we met a few weeks ago. "We are only getting four to six gunshot casualties a day. That's very good." He pointed at the blackboard covered with his neat white handwriting: it recorded that 86 patients were undergoing treatment. "During the Ethiopian war [2007-08] we had 300 in this hospital."Reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad was not prepared for what he found in the Somali capital Link to this audio Few respites in this most ravaged of cities last long, and within days of our conversation the relative calm had given way to a more familiar story: running battles between the forces of Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the notional president, and the more radical Islamist al-Shabaab militia. More than 200 people have been killed in these skirmishes and as many as 60,000 people have fled.Yet the chances are you won't have heard about it: with the exception of the latest pirate drama, Somalia is the country the world forgot, a state so broken that scenes which would elsewhere dominate international news bulletins are barely noted on the foreign pages of major newspapers. Last year Foreign Policy magazine ranked Somalia as the state most at risk of total collapse, a verdict some might have considered flattering.Yesterday I spoke to Mahmoud again. The hospital was full and around 40 patients were having to sleep under the trees outside. "We need tents to shelter the patients from rain, and medicine is running very low. If the fighting continues we will be without medicine." The number on his blackboard was 167.

Somalia peacekeepers learn about urban warfare

MOGADISHU (AFP) – Somalia's Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers have years of experience battling rebels at home, but faced with Mogadishu's Islamist insurgents they have had to enlist the help of a private company.The main threat is often invisible and comes in the shape of an explosive device: the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has suffered its worst losses in roadside bomb or car bomb attacks.Unfamiliar with the kind of guerrilla tactics that US-led foreign troops in Iraq have been dealing with, AMISOM hired Bancroft Global Development, a private outfit based in South Africa and specialising in "landmine research".
At the gate to AMISOM's fortified headquarters in the war-ravaged seaside Somali capital, members of the force's Ugandan contingent are being trained.Wagging its tail, a black labrador is led around a grey Mercedes, which sits with doors, bonnet and boot open. It sniffs behind the tyres and on the seats: no explosives."Any type of explosives, the dog can find them. They are 100 percent reliable. No machine or technology could do that better," said David Schoman, a Bancroft expert wearing fatigues and a khaki T-shirt.If the sniffer dog detects something, it sits. "Then one of the military police guys goes around and searches the car with a mirror as well, so we check it twice," Schoman explained."You've got different types (of explosives) but the dog can find all of them. He's trained for three months on all of them. The same type of dogs is used in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are labradors and German shepherds."Since the African Union peacekeeping force dispatched its first Ugandan contingent to Mogadishu in March 2007, the most deadly weapon used by hardliners opposed to their presence has been IEDs (improvised explosive devices).More than half of the peacekeepers killed over the past two years died in such attacks, involving bombs either planted by the roadside or concealed in vehicles."For us the main threat is the IEDs," said Jack Bakasumba, operations commander for AMISOM's Ugandan contingent."For the three or four kilometres between the airport and the K4 crossroad, we set up some monitoring positions because that was where we had the highest number of incidents with IEDs," he explained.In February, a suicide car bombing targeting Burundian troops killed 11 people, including the two bombers, and completely destroyed a building where the peacekeepers had set up a small shop run by Somalis...more..

Kenya to help fight Somali rebels

Kenya has given its clearest indication of intervention in Somalia by pledging to help crush the al-Shabaab militia group.Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula said Kenya will give Mogadishu all the necessary assistance in destroying the al-Qaeda-connected group.Mr Wetang’ula did not indicate what kind of help Kenya would offer the Transitional Federal Government of President Ahmed Shariff but did not rule out military involvement.

Terror threats The Somali insurgents, he said, posed a risk to the economy of the region through insecurity and terror threats.“This is not good for investment in the region,” he told the press on the sidelines of the first anniversary celebrations of Prof Miriam Were’s Aids awards. Prof Were’s is the first laureate of the Hideyo Noguchi medical prize.The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, valued at Sh60 million, was presented to her in Yokohama, Japan, last year in recognising her role in the health sector...more..

Somali government Freed Hostages “Young Boys Abducted By Al-Shabab”

TF.SF Exclusive Report
MOGADISHU —Somalia’s government said Saturday it captured 11 young boys that Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahideenabducted them, officials said.Gen. Abdi Hassan Awale Qeibdeed, the commander of the Somali police forces told reporters that the eleven boys were abducted from Bulo Mareer and Golweyn towns in Lower Shabelle region.He said that the government soldiers captured the young boys in Ex-control Afgoye checkpoint in Mogadishu.Gen. Qeibdeed accused Harakat al-Shabab Mujahideen of being abducted the teenagers from their houses to make them soldiers.Abdifitah Ibrahim Shaweye, Mogadishu deputy governor said ,The Islamist hardliners Al-Shabaab jehadist guerrillas kidnap boys to turn them into child soldiers, The government soldiers killed Al-Shabaab Terrorist Commander Ex Control Afgoye checkpoint today.

Al-Shabaab Terrorist Commander killed in Mogadishu

A second Terrorist Al-Shabaab commander has been killed in Ex- control Afgoye checkpoint manned by government soldiers out side Mogadishu, witnesses said on Saturday. TerroristAbdulkadir Osman Sheekhi, the dead commander was the Shabaab militia commander in Bulomarer town in Lower Shabelle region. second man killed less than 48 hours Top Islamist insurgent commander gunned down in Somalia said the government soldiers in the checkpoint captured the commander in a mini bus that he was traveling in and they captured him with a pistol and a bomb and killed him instantly on the scene. Al Shabaab is fighting against the Somali government and the African Union troops in the country.on Insurgent commander who was killed in Mogadishu on Friday evening. Terrorist Abdulkadir Hamsa better known as Qatatow, was killed in Bakaro market in Mogadishu on Friday evening. He defected from the government recently and joined Hizbul Islam Insurgent group. Speaking with Mogadishu FM radios, a spokesman for the Islamic Courts Union Abdirisak Ahmed Qeylow condemned the killing of the commander. Qatatow, was famous for the fighting against the Ethiopian troops and the former transitional government led by president Abdulahi Yusuf Ahmed.Last week newly appointed top somalia military commander General Yusuf Hussein (Dhumal Announces Plan to Defeat Insurgents in Mogadishu announced major combat offensives , on his First Statement he said ,We are fighting a Global Unconventional War. Clearly, our way of life is at stake. Victory is defined when others are capable and motivated ,Because it is an unconventional war, we absolutely must transform the way ... "To defeat terror, you must go on the offensive and take the fight to the them. an unconventional war against it by unconventional means is ... We are in a big war, and we cannot fight it by playing defense, . It is now time to take an unconventional approach . Somalia government sacks top military commander General Said Dere,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fighting for control of Somalia,AMAZING photos ,The Big Picture

While Somalia recently has been in the news for its notorious pirates, back on-shore the country continues to struggle through a years-long war that has intensified lately, and to seek some sort of functional unifying government. Back in January, the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia elected moderate Islamist Sharif Sheikh Ahmed as President. Ahmed has gained international backing in his efforts to bring an end to 18 years of civil conflict. However, hard-line Islamist groups such as al Shabaab, Hezb al-Islamiya and others continue to reject the government and have been attacking its forces and civilians for years now, most of the fighting taking place in the capital city of Mogadishu. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) provides over 3,000 troops to maintain security where it can. Since the start of this insurgency in December 2006, nearly 17,000 civilians have lost their lives. (32 photos total)
The Reason why Al Shaabab must be destroy immediately

Somalia ‘taken hostage’ by continuing fighting, says UN envoy

29 May 2009 – Somalia has been “taken hostage” by fighting, the top United Nations envoy to the Horn of Africa nation, whose capital has been the scene of clashes between Government forces and opposition militias, said today.Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, told a news conference in New York that he had visited the country this week, noting that “it is very sad to see how the city, the population and the country are taken hostage by those who have been fighting and destroying their country over the last 20 years.”
Mr. Ould-Abdallah, who is based in Nairobi, said he had spoken with Government leaders about the latest developments there, including the breakout earlier this month of intense fighting between Government troops and the opposition Shabaab al-Mujahideen and Hisb-ul-Islam groups.He said up to 75,000 persons, who had fled the country and returned earlier this year, had fled again because of the renewed fighting. “It is very sad to see a capital city I have known in the 80’s becoming a shanty town,” the Special Representative said. Mr. Ould-Abdallah told the reporters, “I appeal to talk about the plight of Somalia – how many orphans, how many handicapped how many maimed, how many people are silenced.” “We cannot say we don’t know,” he said. “We should look we should not look the other way.” When asked about reports of Ethiopian troops returning to Somalia, the official said they had all withdrawn and that there were no Ethiopian troops in Somalia. “Unfortunately, Somalis are still fighting and killing Somalis,” he said. “Somalia is an unfortunate country taken hostage by...those who are still fighting.” Instead of evoking an alibi of the alleged presence of Ethiopian troops, he said they should “assume responsibility” for what is going on in their country. “One overriding problem in Somalia not often reported or talked about is still there. It is the problem of impunity,” Mr. Ould-Abdallah said. ..more..

Warships block vessel from rebel-held Somali port

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Foreign warships blocked a cargo vessel from entering Somalia's rebel-held Kismayu Kismayo port on Friday in a new strategy to try and choke the militant insurgent group Terrorist al Shabaab, the government said.Ports and Sea Transport Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Habasade said the action was taken in line with resolutions by East African body IGAD and the African Union (AU) to try and stop supplies reaching the al Qaeda-linked movement."I'm confirming to you that the international warships prevented a commercial ship from docking in Kismayu," he told Reuters. "We are warning Somali traders against chartering ships to the opposition groups' strongholds, because they have sanctions imposed on them."There was no immediate confirmation from foreign navies. They have deployed in the area since the turn of the year to try and prevent piracy that has flourished in the busy Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean shipping lanes due to lawlessness onshore.The ship had delivered goods to the capital Mogadishu before heading south to Kismayu, the minister said. Its nationality and details of its cargo were not known.Al Shabaab did not immediately comment on the ship issue, but said earlier on Friday that it had imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Kismayu after a rare attack near one of its bases in the southern city it has held since mid-2008...more..

Insurgent commander killed in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU-- gunmen have killed Hawiye Jehadist an insurgent commander in Bakaro market in Mogadishu, witnesses said on Friday.Abdulkadir Hamsa better known as Qatatow, defected from the government recently and joined Hizbul Islam Insurgent group.Witnesses said he has been killed in Bakaro market on Friday evening and it is not known why he was killed.He was famous for the fighting against the Ethiopian troops and the former transitional government led by president Abdulahi Yusuf Ahmed.

Swedes Killed Fighting Alongside al-Shabaab in Somalia....Swedish recruits joining Somali group?

Several young men who left Sweden to join the radical Islamic militant group al-Shabaab in Somalia have been killed in battle, according to Sweden’s security service Säpo.
Säpo estimates that about 20 people have left Sweden to train and fight with al-Shabaab, a militant group with alleged ties to
al-Qaeda.So far, a handful of people with Swedish passports have also been killed in the fighting, Säpo reports.“For the time being, it is believed there are ten or so Swedes on the ground in Somalia. They are either taking part in the violence or in training camps, but there may be more as of yet unknown cases. What worries us is that it’s ongoing and growing,” said Säpo counterterrorism analyst Malena Rembe to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.The recruits aren’t only Swedes with Somali backgrounds, but are also individuals of mixed ethnicity, according to Rembe.Some of them are leaving Sweden without telling their relatives what they are planning to do.“These are people who are going down on their own initiative. They see themselves as a part of a global struggle and want to contribute,” said Rembe.Somalia has been at war since 1991 when the country’s government collapsed. Recently, al-Shabaab militants have made advances toward the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
Swedish recruits joining Somali group?

Australia joins fight against piracy off Somalia,Kadhafi wants Somali exclusion zone to fight piracy

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia announced it will send a warship and a surveillance aircraft to the Horn of Africa as part of the international fight against piracy.frigate HMAS Warramunga, presently patrolling in the Persian Gulf, will be attached periodically to a new combined taskforce established to combat pirate activity in shipping lanes off Somalia.
An Australian airforce AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, based in an unnamed Persian Gulf country, will also join the taskforce.Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Australia was "stepping up to the plate" to help foil the hijacking of ships for ransom."We believe it's part of Australia putting its shoulder to the wheel, together with our friends, our partners, our allies to make a material difference to security in the region," he said.Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said the decision would enable Australia to provide a robust and effective contribution to anti-piracy efforts..more..
Kadhafi wants Somali exclusion zone to fight piracy
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi called on Friday for the creation of a Somali exclusion zone as part of efforts to fight piracy in lawless waters off the Horn of Africa country.
Speaking at an African regional summit, Kadhafi said he will "submit to the world a plan consisting of respecting the economic waters of Somalia in exchange for an end to piracy."
He described pirates who have attacked dozens of ships over the past year as "poor Somalians who are defending their wealth."
"They are not pirates but people who are defending their rights."
Kadhafi also accused unnamed "foreign countries of pillaging" Somalia's wealth.
Warships operating under US, European Union and NATO commands, as well as independent vessels from nations including China and Russia, are currently operating in the troubled region in a bid to thwart piracy...more..

Insurgents impose curfew after grenade attack

KISMAYU, Somalia, May 29 (Reuters) - Somali insurgent movement al Shabaab said on Friday it had imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Kismayu after a rare attack near one of its bases in the southern port city it has held since mid-2008. Two civilians were injured when a hand-grenade was hurled towards the base on Thursday night, locals said, in the latest violence in the Horn of Africa nation which has suffered 18 years of near-continuous civil conflict. "We imposed curfew on Kismayu to tighten security," senior al Shabaab official Sheikh Ahmed Hassan told Reuters. "We are interrogating the two injured civilians. We do not really know who hurled the hand grenade." Al Shabaab, which Western security services say is a proxy for al Qaeda, has been fighting the Somali government since early 2007 in a rebellion that has killed nearly 18,000 civilians and driven more than 1 million from their homes. The conflict has worsened a dire humanitarian situation, enabled piracy to flourish offshore, and heightened tensions and security worries around the Horn of Africa. Al Shabaab has imposed strict sharia law on Kismayu and other towns it controls in south Somalia. It often bans drinking, films, wedding parties and music, and punishes suspected government collaborators, sometimes by beheading..more..

‘Campaign Of Violence’ Against Somali Government

New York, May 28 2009 3:10PM Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the continuing armed attacks against Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, expressing concern at the growing numbers of civilians killed, wounded and displaced by the violence.
Intense fighting between the Government and the opposition Al-Shabaab and Hisb-ul-Islam groups erupted in several north-west areas of the capital, Mogadishu, on 8 May, uprooting over 67,000 people, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). ..more..

Somalia: Ethiopia has no plans to go it alone,Somali FM says al-Shabab a serious threat

Ethiopia will only intervene in Somalia as part of the regional Igad grouping, Mr Yelibu Lijalem, the deputy head of mission at the Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi, has said,He said the threat posed by the advance by radical Islamist forces in Mogadishu was not particular to Ethiopia. “We will decide as a region, we will not intervene unilaterally.’’Islamist leaderMr Yelibu, speaking at the embassy in Nairobi said: “We are a country of Muslims and Christians who have lived peacefully for 3,000 years and if any jihad is declared, it applies to all Ethiopians.’’ Ethiopia is supporting Somalia’s transitional government led by President Ahmed Sharif Ahmed, himself a former Islamist leader.On the other hand, Eritrea, which has gone to war with Ethiopia over a border dispute, is supporting the Al-Shabaab movement and the Hizbul Islam group led by Sheikh Dahir Aweys. Mr Yelibu said: “To be specific, the Eritrean Government is the common denominator in training and arming groups in Somalia.’’..more..
Somali FM says al-Shabab a serious threat

Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki Talks to Asharq Al-Awsat

Asmara, Asharq Al-Awsat- The simplicity with which Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki welcomed us was in harmony with the simple life of the people in the capital Asmara, the Port of Massawa, the cities of Keren and Tessenei, and other towns in Eritrea. However, Eritrea's celebration of its 18th anniversary of independence brings back to mind the years of war that the four-million strong population waged for independence from Italy and later from Ethiopia, turning the colony into one of the most recent free countries that joined the United Nations. The presidential palace - where the interview that Asharq Al-Awsat held with President Afeworki was conducted - has become the people's icon of freedom. However, the president does not reside there. Like other ordinary citizens, he lives in a rented home in the middle of Asmara where he is surrounded by neighbors. Simplicity, modesty, and friendliness are all present here in Eritrea.
The following is the full text of the interview:
(Asharq Al-Awsat) Your vision on the security of the Red Sea is that it should be managed by the peoples of the region in order to avoid international interventions. Would you tell us about this vision?
(Afeworki) This issue does not need any elaboration; it is a necessity. It is a necessity imposed by the geography and the needs of the countries in the region as well as the needs of this international waterway. The responsibility of maintaining security in the Red Sea as a strategic water passage is one of the priorities of these countries. How should these countries deal with these priorities and necessities? No doubt, the will exists but it should be followed with coordination in light of the presence of good intentions in this direction. However, the matter needs groundwork and then a mechanism to coordinate relations. The capabilities may be more than what the circumstances require. However, the first step in the right direction requires the organization of the beginnings and then finding the mechanism. I am certain that the regional mechanism will be more effective than external interventions that bring their own problems. We in this region can do without external interventions.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) You have repeatedly talked about your position on the Arab League. But at one time, Eritrea was chosen as an observer country, which was a precedent in the Arab League, and you later became a full member. What is your position now as an observer in the Arab League?
(Afeworki) This was a step that we described as a “courtesy”. We do not wish to engage in an argument on this subject. Talking about it has become extremely boring. I believe that there is an Arab consensus – a consensus with inconsistent voices - that this organization (the Arab League) is no longer up to the level of the demands and aspirations of the peoples of this region. It no longer has the power or the resources to carry out the services required from it. This is not a shame nor is it insulting to the officials of the Arab League. But the situation in the region has become inconsistent regarding many issues in view of the external interventions. With its present capabilities, the Arab League no longer represents the aspirations of the peoples of this region in light of the lukewarm attitude and unanimous agreement in opinion on the weakness of this organization. Eritrea does not gain anything by being a member of the Arab League. As I just said, the issue of membership as an observer was a courtesy; there was no reason for us to be present in Cairo. Our brief experiment proved to us that this organization needs a great deal of reform to become of use to the peoples of the region.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) There is an Israeli Embassy in Asmara and an Eritrean Embassy in Tel Aviv. Some assumed that this gives Eritrea a positive role to play in the issue of Palestine, the central issue of the Arabs. How can you play such a role?
(Afeworki) This likelihood may be impossible. Eritrea has no wish to involve itself in an issue that is already complicated and that has become one of the most difficult issues in the region. Even big powers or countries that consider themselves as the most powerful in this region do not have the resources to contribute positively or to be influential in this process. The issue is not one of having an embassy here and an embassy in Tel Aviv. Your embassy may be in distant lands with which you may not have any relationship. The important and crucial point is that this issue should be resolved by its own people; the efforts of others come later. Overstepping on the capabilities of a country or interfering in solving this issue that has become so internationally complex that even super powers have not been able to find a solution to it would not bring a solution. There is nothing that encourages one to make initiatives for a solution. In my opinion, what is being propagated in the media or in diplomatic and political circles are sheer falsehoods. They are mere words on something that does not exist in the first place. In view of all these complications, Eritrea knows its place and its role. Yes, we may have certain political stands and opinions on certain matters. But, in my opinion, it would be impossible for Eritrea to try to find a solution to this issue or to contribute to loosening the knot of this problem... more...

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

About Us

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.

Terror Free Somalia Foundation