Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Militias and Insurgency in Somalia

Policy Watch #1593
is the first in a two-part series discussing trends in Somalia. This piece focuses on the country's growing insurgency, while PolicyWatch #1594 addresses peacebuilding efforts and Somalia's ties to terrorism.
During her recent tour of Africa, U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton held a press conference with Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, president of Somalia's transitional federal government (TFG). Her statements mark a major public commitment by the Obama administration to support Sharif's flagging government against the country's armed opposition groups, some of which are tied to al-Qaeda and threaten security across the greater Horn of Africa.
Transitional Federal Government
The TFG was created by an internationally supported peace process in Kenya in 2004. Before the TFG could negotiate its arrival in Mogadishu, a civil society-supported amalgam of various Islamic and tribal interests united to form the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). After fifteen years of rule by unpopular, clan-based warlords, the ICU temporarily brought security and hope to the war-ravaged capital city. The ICU, however, was an unwieldy creation. Under the influence of hardline Islamists, ICU militia extended control over most of southern Somalia, surrounded the TFG's rear base in Baidoa, and threatened to extend its holy war to Ethiopia. In response, Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia in December 2006, defeated the ICU, and installed the TFG in Mogadishu. This dispersed, but did not destroy, ICU forces across southern Somalia. They reemerged in many forms, notably the Hizb al-Islamiyah and Harakat al-Shabab groups, which slowly reinfiltrated Mogadishu in piecemeal fashion. The militias engaged in classic guerilla tactics to intimidate, harass, and wear down their opponents. Over time, they imported sophisticated attack methods into Somalia, including the use of improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings.
Even with Ethiopia's military support, the TFG was unable to defeat the insurgents and became hampered by leadership conflicts and clan-based schisms over power-sharing. In January 2009, the first TFG president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, was replaced by Sheikh Sharif -- a more moderate Islamist leader of the ICU -- in a move to split opposition forces and dilute the armed opposition. Nonetheless, the TFG remains a paper tiger. The parliament rarely meets, and many of its members have fled Mogadishu out of fear for personal security. TFG is unable to deliver desperately needed social services and has no civil service to speak of -- cabinet ministers are often the only TFG ministry staff. Force protection for the TFG is provided primarily by 5,000 Ugandan and Burundian troops that are in Mogadishu as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The TFG was almost pushed out of Mogadishu in June 2009 by a concerted insurgent offensive. The TFG controls only a fraction of the capital and has influence in other parts of southern Somalia through loose alliances with clan-based political leaders and militias. Even in Mogadishu, the TFG has extremely weak command and control over the militia forces that support it, including strongmen in the security services and Ahlu Sunna wa Jamaah, a Sufist movement that recently spawned several armed militias. These groups function with almost complete independence, are constituted by different and competing sub-clans, and control their own patches of Somali territory -- much as the country's warlord-based factions did in the 1990s.
Armed Opposition Groups
The insurgency in Somalia is comprised of two major groups: Hizb al-Islamiyah and Harakat al-Shabab, both of which have leaders associated with al-Qaeda's East Africa cell. Hizb al-Islamiyah is a loose amalgamation of several militant movements in southern Somalia that emerged from the ICU. The group is led by Hassan Dahir Aweis, the former military commander of al-Itihad al-Islamiyah (AIAI), Somalia's first modern Islamist militant movement in the 1990s and a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. Hizb al-Islamiyah is viewed by many as a vehicle for Aweis's personal ambitions to become the first leader of an Islamist state in Somalia. He was joined by the Ras Kamboni group, led by Hassan al-Turki -- another former AIAI leader -- and based in the Darod clan areas of the lower and middle Juba region. Hizb al-Islamiyah also includes two smaller militia groups: the Somali Islamic Front and the Anole group.
Harakat al-Shabab (The Youth Movement)
is a decentralized and violent Somali jihadist movement that aspires to create a fundamentalist Islamist emirate across the Horn of Africa. This contrasts with Hizb al-Islamiyah, which has maintained a more nationalistic, Somalia-focused agenda. Although al-Shabab did not come to the attention of analysts until mid-2006, the group's core leadership had been active since at least 2003. Al-Shabab evolved from a small group of committed Somali militants working with Aweis and AIAI to provide protection and support to al-Qaeda's East Africa cell. Al-Shabab eventually gained autonomy from the AIAI leadership, began "manhunting" operations against warlord militia commanders supporting Western counterterrorism efforts, and conducted a spate of murders of international aid workers and peace activists. The movement then became the elite fighting force of the ICU, and is now the backbone of the anti-TFG insurgency. Thus far, the group's most devastating attacks took place in the relatively peaceful northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland in October 2008. The five simultaneous explosions at local government offices, a UN compound, and the Ethiopian consulate demonstrated both the sophistication and reach of al-Shabab's network. ..To read the rest of the piece, click here

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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

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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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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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