Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why Al-Shabaab will strike again, and isn’t about to die any day soon

By Charles Onyango-Obbo
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Could Al-Shabaab carry out another Westgate-type terrorist attack in Nairobi, or stage a similar outrage in Kampala?
This was one of the questions at the back of the mind of a couple of folks at a meeting of Somali intellectuals and civil society activists held by the African Union’s Somalia mission, Amisom, in Kigali this week.
One of the reasons Kigali was chosen for the meeting was to show the Somalis that no matter how far a country descends into hell, it can rise and shine again — as Rwanda has largely managed to do. Secondly, to help imagine what genocide might look like on a Somalia scale if they don’t get their act together.
Suffice it to say that a Tuesday visit to the Genocide Memorial in Kigali, and a rousing speech later by Alice Karekezi of the Centre for Conflict Management at the National University of Rwanda, left a trail of Somali tears in Kigali on the day.
Inevitably, though, while some lamented that Amisom and nearly everyone else in Somalia had become “obsessed” with Al-Shabaab, it dominated three days of debate and conversation because the uncomfortable truth, as one Somali intellectual put it, is that “Al-Shabaab or its ideology will very much be around for another 20 years”.
The Shabaab has been considerably buoyed by what it considers a spectacularly successful campaign in the attack on Westgate.
Indeed, a few days ago, London-based journalist Jamal Osman posted a revealing video following a rare visit to the group’s training camp in the bushes of Bulo Burto.
The public face of the Shabaab, Sheikh Ali Dhere, is effusive with praise for the Westgate attackers, and most ominously, promises Kenya that he will rain more fire on its head. The video also underscores why Al-Shabaab is not about to die.
To begin with, it is a more efficient group (or for that matter enforcer) and less corrupt, than the government of Somalia.
In Bulo Burto, the Shabaab police is shown on patrol. Where Shabaab rules, the streets are very safe, although the price for law and order is cutting limbs off or stoning to death criminals.
And they do something that not even governments, let alone the police in Uganda, Kenya, or Tanzania, do.
They go around shops making sure no expired goods are sold, and check out the medical supplies in clinics and hospitals to ensure they are not stolen. Elsewhere in East Africa, people in authority are the ones who sell expired goods.
Also, Al-Shabaab is the one group that organises big-time across clans, so it is probably the most nationalist platform now.
In addition, in a Somalia where in recent years many live or die by their clans, and the smaller ones have been locked out of all opportunities, the Shabaab came in and turned tables.
It gives long-marginalised clans administrative jobs, hands them business licences, thus cobbling together a new support base that is solidly in its corner.
There is the view that no international force will ever really defeat Shabaab. Only its mistakes and internal contradictions will.
Indeed Amisom estimates that while the terror group has 6,000 active soldiers, potentially, it can mobilise up to 30,000 if it needed to.
Meanwhile, the Somali National Army has nearly 20,000 troops. Amisom currently has just about 18,000. And they are trying to secure a territory that is almost the size of Afghanistan.
Not counting the international troops, Afghanistan has an army of 220,000 — but they have failed to subdue Al-Shabaab’s cousins, the Taliban.
To think that just 38,000 Somali and Amisom troops can dominate a territory the size of Afghanistan whose 220,000 better trained soldiers can’t, is a bit of a pipe-dream.
The Shabaab will, therefore, have lots of room and freedom to organise and plot.
And for sure, they will come knocking on Nairobi or Kampala’s doors again in the future. Only eternal vigilance, and angels running our governments, will save us.
But the ultimate solution lies in Somalia. Those who want to defeat Al-Shabaab, need to help the country elect a government that is more efficient and honest than the militants.
cobbo@ke,nationmedia.com & twitter:cobbo3

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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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