Sunday, December 12, 2010

Salim Saleh's Saracen training militia in Somalia

Saleh; the man with the plan. Picture by Morgan Mbambazi
Saleh; the man with the plan. Picture by Morgan Mbambazi 
By Joint Report  (email the author)

Posted Monday, December 13 2010 at 15:51

Saracen International, a security company associated with Uganda’s Gen Caleb Akandwanaho, alias Salim Saleh, a senior advisor to President Yoweri Museveni, who is also his younger brother, has come under the international spotlight for its alleged involvement in training militia in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland state.
Intelligence sources told The EastAfrican that President Museveni’s younger brother’s interest in this private military contractor has major regional security implications that could affect the efforts to restore peace in Somalia.
Last week, the Associated Press reported that a well-equipped military force was being created in northern Somalia with the help of Michael Shanklin, a former CIA officer and Pierre Prosper, an ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues under former President George W. Bush.
The training and the equipment — which is so far estimated at over $10 million — is being paid for by a mysterious “Muslim nation.”
These sources said that this deal usurps the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), which includes security training. Ironically, Uganda has the most troops in Amisom, with the rest coming from Burundi.
The source said that the African Union is concerned that Saracen’s advent could be a propaganda gift for Islamic fundamentalist groups like Al Shabaab, because they can argue that Amisom is in Somalia to make profits and do business, not to bring peace.
“If this is not nipped in the bud, it could bring the roof down on the head of the AU in Somalia because Uganda has the largest contingent there,” he said.
The revelation comes at a time when some AU officials and members are allegedly concerned about how Uganda is handling the affairs of its troops in Somalia.
The Amisom troops are paid $750 a month. Uganda docks  $200 from each soldier. Burundi, on the other hand, takes off the recommended $100.
It is understood that the AU, fearful that this could demotivate the troops, has complained to Ugandan authorities, who have agreed to deduct the standard $100 only from each soldier, and refund the rest.
Our source also said that there is “grumbling” in the AU that Uganda, because it went in with the most equipment, has already been compensated more than handsomely for use of its resources — nearly $28 million so far, compared with $170,00 for Burundi.
Bad memories
A Nairobi diplomat also told The EastAfrican that the entrance of Saracen “conjures up the ghost of [Democratic Republic of] Congo,” where Uganda initially intervened in 1998 to deal with anti-Kampala rebels, but got embroiled in the conflict there and was later accused by an international panel of plundering Congo’s resources.
These concerns, however, may be coming too late because Saracen seems to have been quick in establishing itself.
The AP reported that, “In recent weeks, Shanklin and Prosper met several Nairobi-based diplomats to discuss the contract between the Puntland and Mogadishu governments and a private security company called Saracen International.
Prosper said Saracen is doing the military training and is being paid by the unnamed Muslim nation. Saracen is not providing the militia with any weapons,” he said.
The Uganda-based Saracen International was named in a March letter written by the Somali president’s former chief of staff, Abdulkareem Jama, and obtained by AP that described training for the presidential guard.
And it was also named in a November 18 statement from Puntland’s government announcing the anti-piracy training. Bill Pelser, the chief executive of Saracen International, said it is “definitely a mistake or a misrepresentation.”
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson recently announced the long-expected Obama administration’s policy on Somalia.
He stated that the administration will pursue a two-track policy in order to find a lasting solution to Somalia’s crisis.
On the first track, the United States will continue to support the Transitional Federal Government, and on the second, it will engage current “governments” in Somaliland, Puntland, and other regional or clan entities.
All this, and the US diplomatic cables that have recently been leaked by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, suggests that the level of interest in Somalia is more intense than had so far appeared.
In the cables, Museveni is said to have pushed for tougher UN sanctions against Eritrea and its leader, President Isaias Afewerki, for supplying weapons to Somali militants.
Museveni also criticised former Transitional Federal Government president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed for non-inclusivity and slow pace of building a national army.
It is not known yet what both Afewerki and Yusuf’s reactions to these revelations are. If Afewerki responds in his mercurial fashion and ups supports for militants, and also if Yusuf’s supporters come to view Uganda as not being honest and neutral brokers, then an already bad situation could get worse.
On the other hand, the leaked cables revealed that Kenya’s plans to create an autonomous region on the border with Somalia as one way of stabilising the war-torn country, are much more ambitious than previously thought.
However, the cables reveal that Ethiopia is not enthusiastic about the plan, dubbed the Jubaland Initiative, because of its likely impact on its own Somali-dominated Ogaden region where rebels are fighting for autonomy.
Addis Ababa also doubts Kenya’s tactical capacity to carry out the plan given the strong presence of Al Shabaab rebels in Jubaland, whose capital city is Kismayo. The rebels are opposed to a breakaway Jubaland.
With the AU still struggling to get more member states to commit troops to Somalia, and a UN resolution to increase support for Amisom still being awaited, this is not welcome news.
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

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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

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Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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