Monday, October 29, 2012

Should the United States worry about the youth of Somalia?

The new threats issued by this week from Harakat al Shabaab al Mujahideen, the Movement of Striving Youth in Arabic, include a reference to the United States. Although they are mostly directed at the United Kingdom, they pose an interesting question for American national security analysts: where is the al Qaeda-allied Islamic movement in Somalia going next?
Earlier this year the House Committee on Homeland Security found the United States to be the “primary exporter of Western fighters to al Shabaab” with fifteen Americans killed in fighting there, including America’s first three suicide bombers.
More propaganda than a specific operational command, the series of threatening 140-character messages from #HSMPress, al Shabaab’s English language twitter account, likely reflect a changing face of Somali militancy rather than an elevated threat to the United States or its international partners.
A breakaway faction of the Islamic Courts Union and energized by widely held resentment against the Ethiopian invasion of 2006, al Shabaab has become more internationally focused over time, especially following its public merger with al Qaeda earlier this year. Although the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism, John Brennan, described the move as a “merger between two organizations in decline”, the United States subsequently put bounties on the heads of several al Shabaab leaders, reflecting continuing concerns about the movement’s capabilities.
Al Shabaab historically cut across clan divisions and in recent years has been focused on repelling a Transitional Government for Somalia. It was a radical, youth-based offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union. The latter grew, in a distant echo of the Afghan Taleban, from within communities, in opposition to violent clan-based warlordism and brought a unifying form of Islamic justice to large swathes of the country.
Now it has evolved into two main factions; one with an agenda looking towards global terrorism, led by Mokhtar Ali Zubeyr “Godane”, and a coalition of factions with a Somali Islamist agenda under Sheikh Mukhtar Robow. Often factionalized the most obvious split became evident during the famine last year when Godane’s stance on preventing aid relief into areas of southern Somalia lost the movement Somali support.
As al Shabaab has been pushed out of its homelands, first of Mogadishu and then latterly Kismayo, over the past twelve months, the movement is evolving quickly and somewhat unpredictably. However, an understanding of where al Shabaab has come from historically, the factors at play and the dynamics it is experiencing are a useful insight into where the once pre-eminent Somali Islamist insurgent group is going, but also the future hopes of the Somali people.
The nationalist agenda of al Shabaab, for now, seems ideologically and financially marginalized. The movement lost major sources of funding from inside Somalia after it was forced out of Bakara Market in Mogadishu and then Kismayo port, following operations by Kenyan, Ethiopian and AMISOM forces. To some degree too, a worldwide ban on the import of Somali charcoal and a reportedly diminishing supply of arms from Eritrea have had an impact. It has lost notable leaders recently and lost a useful ally when Hizbul Islam broke away earlier this year.
Cut off from its main historic sources of funding, increasingly factionalized and losing popularity the remaining leaders are looking to prove the movement’s relevance, attract new recruits, including foreign fighters, and source funding in order to survive. The language and message of the tweet regarding Abu Hamza will be lost on many youth in Somalia but makes for an interesting, new lever in bringing potential recruits from the worldwide Somali diaspora into the fold.
Inside Somalia, whether Shabaab is irreversibly retreating or regrouping will only become clear with time. Since the beginning of this year the movement’s fighters have certainly fragmented, leaving for the mountainous areas of Puntland, building stronger ties with groups in Yemen, encouraging extremist groups in Kenya and trying to consolidate their control in the remoter rural areas of Somalia’s south central. One well-known analyst on Somalia sees al Shabaab as knocked down, but not out.
The displacement and changing nature of the threat from al Shabaab will be worrying United States officials. That fighters and munitions are turning up in the relatively stable northern area of Somalia, where there are no African Union troops, may cast a shadow over the military-led, “offshore balancing” strategy, focused on fighting militants in the south of Somalia.
Yet it is further south still, over the border in Kenya’s capital, coast and restive North East province, where there has been the most notable increase in violence, since the Kenya military joined the war in Somalia last year. Kenya may well have the most to lost with an increasingly volatile Islamic movement at its northern porous border and with Presidential elections around the corner. Human Rights Watch logged twenty four attacks, in the majority Somali North East, between October 2011 and February 2012, and the attacks are continuing, provoking violent security clampdowns which risk stoking the fire of radicalization further.
The International Crisis Group has reported on increased radicalization in Kenya and lays out the often missed, powerful demographic, economic and political trends of influence Somalia is having on Kenya. These underlying trends will likely have been at the back of the minds of senior State Department officials as they tried to dissuade the Kenyan government from their risky invasion of Somalia, even years before the plan sprung into action.
Al Shabaab appears to be attempting a strategic adaptation, turning from a conventional fighting force when it fought from a frontline of trenches that divided the capital until August last year to an internationally-focused guerrilla force using more specialized assymetric tactics, including social media to keep itself in the global spotlight. A few recent high-profile suicide attacks on senior Somali government figures were effective in capturing the attention of the world’s media. A campaign of suicide bombings requires more ideological and better trained recruits.
Until only a few years ago, the Islamist movement operated throughout south central Somalia, including controlling most of the the capital. It is too early to tell if the attempt to regroup and ideologically change course are simply the last desperate gasps of a spent force.
However, the unstoppable resurgence of the Taleban in Afghanistan, a movement once thought to be defeated, is a useful reminder to question assumptions and look well beyond the military successes. Many insurgencies have shown themselves to be adaptable, latching on to causes of conflict as they change. Clanism, the absence of socially acceptable and unifying governance and a severely damaged society, that created the violent Islamist movement in the first place, are still present in today’s Somalia. Al Shabaab is only the most obvious and recent manifestation of Somalia’s long-running conflict.
Somalia’s youth and their families will need to continue to feel that they have better lives after al Shabaab’s rule if the movement is to be eradicated forever. With forces from neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia still present in large areas of Somalia and few signs of a notable improvement in basic services and security for the population, time continues to eat away at opportunities to build confidence in the future of the country.via

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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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