Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lush Ribbon of Land Winds, Like a Fuse, Through Somalia’s Ravaged Capital

Ed Ou for The New York Times
A Somali soldier on the front line this month. About 200 feet separates a small government-

MOGADISHU, Somalia — There is a certain spot in this war-ravaged city that is unusually quiet and profoundly lush, where the trees are older and dripping with vines and where the branches interlace over the road, creating a canopy that filters the usually harsh equatorial sun into something softer. The leaves here seem a brighter, glossier version of themselves. The grasses are long and thick, perfect to hide in.


The New York Times
A government fight to liberate Mogadishu has yet to happen.
This is Mogadishu’s frontline. A no man’s land perhaps 200 feet wide of blasted-out buildings and overgrown bush, it snakes a jagged path across the city, separating a small, besieged enclave controlled by the government from thousands of radical Islamist insurgents. Part of the contested territory happens to cut through the Taleex neighborhood, which used to be one of the city’s grandest, “a neighborhood of haves,” as one young Somali put it, a place of huge, once-beautiful Italianate villas that are now abandoned and freckled with gunfire.
But the eerie beauty here is misleading. Hundreds of men on either side of this line are hunkered down behind tree trunks and chipped plaster walls, squinting at one another through their gun sights. The hush can be instantly shattered by ear-splitting bazookas that shake the ground and send birds screeching from the trees.
“You better be careful,” says Mohamed Mahamoud, a government commander. “The Shabab are just 50 meters away.”
The neighborhood is deserted and unkempt because it has been a frontline area for several years now, and all the residents have fled.
And the geography tells a story: despite millions of dollars from the United States and the United Nations; despite the fact that the insurgents are poisonously divided and widely reviled; despite Somalia’s president, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, coming into office more than a year ago with some of the highest hopes this country has had for a leader since Somalia’s central government collapsed in 1991, the frontline has barely budged.
A much-anticipated government offensive to liberate Mogadishu has yet to happen. Somalia’s government is still mostly holed up in a hilltop palace and fighting for survival in the wrecked neighborhoods below, like Taleex. Were it not for the thousands of Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers in Mogadishu, the hilltop palace would fall, too. Probably within hours.
There is not a lot of good news coming out of the palace these days. A few weeks ago, some of the president’s closest men abruptly resigned, including Hassan Moallim Mohamoud, a Western-educated, devoutly religious confidant who seemed to be a true believer in Sheik Sharif’s moderate Islamist leadership. Not so long ago, Mr. Hassan held court in the presidential guest house, plying visitors with heaping plates of dates and cool glasses of mango juice as he explained how Sheik Sharif’s transitional government would be different from the 14 failed transitional governments that came before it.
Western diplomats now sound dispirited — and totally frustrated. When one was recently asked why the government offensive had not begun, he vented: “These guys can’t get their act together. It’s as simple as that.”
Somalia’s Parliament building, which sits in an especially shot-up stretch of downtown, was recently repainted for the first time in years. But inside, it is a mess. Lawmakers have been caught up in a particularly bitter round of infighting (partly over what to do about the prime minister, whom the president recently tried to fire before backing down). Many Parliament members are now falling under the spell of Sharif Hassan Sheik Adan, a wily, illiterate livestock trader who was elected speaker last month. Considered one of the country’s most powerful men, and very close to Ethiopia, he seems to have little experience — or interest — in building democratic institutions.
Another potential setback is the looming departure of Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the United Nations’ top envoy for Somalia. For nearly the past three years, Mr. Ould-Abdallah has been one of Somalia’s most passionate advocates, organizing conference after conference, constantly flying to New York to keep the Security Council’s attention on this country and coordinating efforts of all the disparate players involved with Somalia: the United States, the European Union, Ethiopia, the Arab League and the African Union, to name a few. Replacing him is a little-known Tanzanian diplomat with experience in humanitarian affairs, possibly a signal of where the future focus will be.
For now, though, all eyes are on the battlefield.
And on the frontline, crouched down with the government troops, one quickly notices that there are no radios, no medics, no food, really, no transportation sergeants or supply captains, no lieutenant colonels or colonels. The troops are divided between a couple of graying men who call themselves commanders and hundreds of foot soldiers, including several children, which brings up another glaring problem (besides the child soldiers): there is no middle management.
As Ken Menkhaus, a professor at Davidson College in North Carolina who specializes in Somalia, has put it, the Somali government is an hourglass, with “a whole bunch of ministers at the top, a whole bunch of soldiers at the bottom and nothing in between.”
Somalia’s friends are urgently trying to address this void. For example, the European Union is training hundreds of noncommissioned officers in Uganda right now, trying to prepare a professional backbone to stiffen Somalia’s rank and file.
There are a few specks of hope, or at least normalcy. Money-changers now hang out at the airport, a sign, perhaps, that more visitors with dollars are passing through Mogadishu. For the first time in years, there is an airport duty-free shop, which sells iPods and sunglasses.
But the reality — as shown by that stubborn frontline, which in many places is manned not by officially trained troops but by loosely commanded, government-allied militias — is that Somalia’s transitional government is still on life support.
And the conventional wisdom that the United States and others will back that transitional government to the bitter end because they are terrified of the alternative — a Somalia ruled by the Shabab, the country’s leading insurgent group, which is openly aligned with Al Qaeda — may be changing.
Some Somali analysts are now contemplating a new approach known as “constructive disengagement,” which calls for the international community to disentangle itself from Somali politics while continuing to provide humanitarian aid and conducting the occasional special forces raid against known terrorists.
“Doing less is better than doing harm,” wrote Bronwyn E. Bruton in a special report for the Council on Foreign Relations, who is the driving force behind this new theory.
Ms. Bruton argues that outside efforts to shape Somalia’s politics have failed miserably and that the time may soon come for Somalis to fight it out among themselves.
“Unless there is a decisive change in U.S., U.N. and regional policy,” she wrote, “ineffective external meddling threatens to prolong and worsen the conflict, further radicalize the population and increase the odds that Al Qaeda and other extremist groups will eventually find a safe haven in Somalia.”

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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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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.

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