Saturday, June 16, 2012

Al-Shabaab pushed back in Somalia by African peace enforcers

  Troops from the Amisom peacekeeping force in a camp for internally displaced people in Mogadishu. Photograph: Clar Ni Chonghaile for the Guardian

Soldiers from the UN-backed Amisom force are edging towards the Islamist militants' stronghold of Kismayo

Colonel Kayanja Muhanga is describing his troops' latest victory when suddenly there is a rattle of machine-gun fire somewhere beyond the fortified base set among thorn trees and cacti.
"That's about three kilometres away," the Ugandan commander says. "Mop-up operations. We know where they are."
"They" are al-Shabaab, the Islamist militia allied with al-Qaida who are in retreat. Having surrendered the capital, Mogadishu, last August, they were recently pushed out of Afgoye, a town 30 miles away, by a force of African peacekeepers aided by Somali troops.
Ethiopian forces have also driven them out of the southern city of Baidoa, and Kenyan troops, now part of the Amisom peacekeeping force, are edging towards their stronghold in the port of Kismayo. Amisom commanders, Somali government officials, and residents of Mogadishu say al-Shabaab, which means "the youth", is on its last legs. Its forces are scattered and weak, deprived of income and losing fighters.
Somalia Al-Shabaab map  
The sites of the ongoing struggle against the al-Shabaab militia

There are increasing reports of rebels switching sides – young men such as Khalid, a 24-year-old who surrendered to Muhanga's forces and is helping Amisom winkle out militants hiding among the population in Afgoye. Khalid joined al-Shabaab four years ago. Speaking through a translator at Muhanga's base just outside Afgoye, he said he left because he saw the rebels were punishing civilians. "I found these people were deceivers," he said, cracking his knuckles. During the interview, his phone rang. Khalid said it was his former commander. He put him on speakerphone and they talked for a long time. Afterwards, the translator said the commander threatened to kill Khalid with his own hands if he ever caught him.
Khalid seemed unconcerned. "The most important thing is that [the militants] are not supported by the people … Shabaab don't have any strategic points. They are in the bush," he said. Increasing the pressure, the US last week offered rewards of up to $7m (£4.5m) for information on seven al-Shabaab leaders, the first time the militant group has been targeted by the Rewards for Justice programme. Khalid said it might lead to some "useful information".
The 17,000-strong Amisom force has notched up gains where others have failed, such as the US and the United Nations in the 1990s, and more recently Ethiopia, which invaded in 2006 but left three years later having failed to defeat al-Shabaab. Amisom is backed by the UN and funded by the international community. Its commanders acknowledge that without this support, it could not function. The troops are from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and soon Djibouti and Sierra Leone. Some Amisom officials believe this has helped win support among Somalis, who are notoriously hostile to foreign intervention. "This is a very unique partnership between the United Nations and the African Union [AU]," said Augustine Mahiga, the UN secretary-general's special representative to Somalia, in his Mogadishu office.
"What the AU has been doing is peace enforcement. Mogadishu is free, Baidoa is free. It doesn't mean it is the end of al-Shabaab but there are areas of stability and in these areas, we need to keep the peace."
It is certainly not the endgame just yet. In Baidoa last Thursday, one person was killed in a grenade attack on the foreign exchange bureau. The day before, a decapitated body was found nearby. Hundreds of children have also reportedly been snatched by al-Shabaab.
The deputy district commissioner Sandeere Mohamed Iftiim said children aged 14 and 15 had been taken from Baidoa but their families could not talk about it while al-Shabaab were in the town. "If they talked about it, they could be tortured or killed," he said, adding that he and other government officials were trying to encourage rebels, and the children forced to join them, to surrender.
Some of those calls are being heeded. Another official in Baidoa said around 36 "defectors" had formed a counter-terrorism unit. This group, the official said, had facilitated the arrest of 110 al-Shabaab fighters, including 40 members of the group's intelligence arm.
Many analysts say Amisom's next big military challenge will be capturing Kismayo. But Brigadier-General Paul Lokech, commander of the Ugandan contingent, said driving the militants out of the Shabelle region around Mogadishu was even more crucial. "If you liberate Mogadishu and Shabelle, that is where the bulk of al-Shabaab is. That is their centre of gravity," he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Ankunda, an Amisom spokesman, believes an estimated 250 foreign fighters – from Britain, America, Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere – in al-Shabaab's ranks will flee if and when Kismayo falls. There have been some signs that militants are heading north, to the semi-autonomous region of Puntland and beyond. There are also fears al-Shabaab could seek to build stronger links with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen. Al-Shabaab still carries out suicide bombings and other deadly attacks in Mogadishu. There is no guarantee that further losses in Somalia would reduce the threat from the militants in neighbouring countries such as Uganda, where nearly 80 people were killed in an explosion while watching the World Cup final in 2010, or in Kenya where al-Shabaab and its allies have claimed several grenade attacks. The Islamist militants are not the only threat to peace in Somalia, which is regularly described as one of the world's most failed states: there are also freelance militias, former warlords and unscrupulous politicians. Military officials stress that they can only do so much. Somalia also needs a political solution and there are few who believe the discredited members of the UN-backed transitional federal government can or will deliver that. A new parliament and president are due to be in place by 20 August. But there are reports of bribery and intimidation of the traditional elders who are supposed to choose members of a national constituent assembly, which will then pick the new parliament.
Then there are the guns-for-hire and former warlords, who could re-emerge in the vacuum left by al-Shabaab. There are already reports that freelance militias are harassing displaced people in Mogadishu. Mogadishu's mayor, Mohamud Ahmed Nur, believes Somalia is at the beginning of a new era, one that is fraught with challenges, but not necessarily from al-Shabaab. "This is the beginning of the end of al-Shabaab," he said. "They lost experienced leaders and they lost weapons and manpower. And at the same time, the Somali people turned against them." His concerns centre on the fragile political process. "[Somalia] needs a very strong government with vision. If we continue this way, we are …. I don't know," he says, lifting his hands helplessly. Nur says al-Shabaab will be gone in six months. And yet, in a poignant reminder that the group could live on in some form even after a rout on the battlefield, he says he knows he could be killed any day. "It says in the Qur'an, you don't know where you will die or when you will die. So I will not worry about death or al-Shabaab." via Guardian News

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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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