Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kenya’s war on terror is east Africa’s looming nightmare

On the evening of April 1 a black car slowed down in front of the law courts at Shanzu, some 15km north of Kenya's coastal tourist city of Mombasa. Its occupants in the still-moving car emptied their guns at a party of five men who were walking just outside the courtyard.
Once the dust and screams cleared, radical Muslim preacher Abubakar Shariff Ahmed lay dead in a pool of blood, felled by bullets to his head and torso. His 20-year companion was also killed, while the other three survived.
In truth, few Kenyans bar his supporters will admit to a sense of schadenfraude at the demise of the former grave-digger known as Makaburi (Kiswahili for grave). The fiery cleric had been a hugely divisive figure, especially after media interviews in which he said the Westgate mall terrorist attack in Nairobi last September was justified.
He was avowedly pro-al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda-allied Somalia insurgent group that claimed responsibility for the Westgate horror that left 67 dead and which is fighting to topple the fledgling Mogadishu government.
The United Nations Security Council in August 2012 put him on a sanctions list including an assets freeze and a travel ban following a report that identified him as "a leading facilitator and recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims for violent militant activity in Somalia."
Essentially, Shariff was a dead man walking and he foretold his death. "I will be killed anytime and would be happy to die as a martyr. I am the only remaining one [yet] to die like Sheikh Aboud Rogo. People have been asking why it is not happening to me," he once told a reporter.
Unexplained deaths
Shariff’s killing was the latest instalment in a series of unexplained deaths that have befallen prominent Muslim clerics claimed to be radicalising youths in Mombasa, where the majority of Kenya’s Muslims live, as the east African country wages a war on terror.

In August 2012, Sheikh Aboud Rogo Mohammed was gunned down in another drive-by shooting on a lonely stretch of road as he drove his wife and two daughters to hospital, leading to riots in the city.
His successor as imam at the controversial Musa mosque (which supporters renamed Martyr’s mosque], Sheikh Ibrahim Ismail, also met the same fate in October last year, again sparking deadly riots.
Authorities claim the Musa mosque is a recruitment and indoctrination centre for al-Shabab fighters. In February, Kenyan security forces stormed the mosque to scuttle what they said was a "jihadist convention" underway. A flag of the militant Somali movement al-Shabab was raised as scores of youths were rounded up in the operation that saw two policemen stabbed.
Shariff termed the police action "illegal", arguing that no one would recruit in the open at a mosque full of undercover policemen.
Makaburi is long buried, interred at midnight barely five hours after his shooting in his bloodstained clothing in what supporters said was signified martyrdom. However, his shooting threatens to further inflame religious tensions in a country whose faiths have for decades co-existed harmoniously.
Messages to maintain calm were broadcast on radios overnight, while imams also kept up the refrain. The city has so far been calm, but many fear this belies the growing tensions in Mombasa.
Shariff’s killing came a week after attackers shot dead six worshippers at a church in Mombasa’s Likoni area. A few days earlier a vehicle laden with pipe bombs and grenades had been intercepted reportedly on its way to a suicide mission.
Its target was said by investigators to have been a ferry that thousands of locals use to cross the Likoni water channel every morning.  A day before the cleric’s death six people had been killed in grenade attacks on two eateries in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh, which is predominantly populated by Somalis.
Fledgling government
Following heavy criticism over the rising insecurity, there is concern that the country’s year-old government, desperate to be seen as in control, has now resorted to extra-judicial measures.

"We demand justice for the victims," Mombasa Senator and former rights activist Omar Hassan said on Wednesday while speaking in the country’s upper house. "Speedy investigations into these unresolved murders must be done," he said, while also appealing for calm in this "trying time."
The country’s tranquillity is being sorely tested, although the terror attacks have so far failed to spark major religious clashes.
However, Muslims are increasingly being profiled by both civilians and security forces. "The systematic profiling of Muslim youths must end," Mr Joho, a Muslim, said.
Further alarm is stoked by conflicting messages about a shoot-to-kill order in the region allegedly issued by one of their own.
Following a spate of crossborder attacks claimed by the Shabab, Kenya in October 2011 sent its military into Somalia. Kenya, whose forces have since rehatted under the African Union’s Mission in Somalia (Amisom), maintains it will only leave once the terror group has been neutralised.
The insurgents and their supporters have used the Kenyan presence in Somali to justify current terror attacks.
Analysts say the brutal crackdown may instead aid terrorism, which has become a key security challenge for the nation of 41-million since a 1998 terrorist attack on the US embassy in the capital Nairobi left over 200 dead.
"These kind of killings are not helping. They are only fanning hatred and resistance. Government should find ways of stopping the reckless killings," Sheikh Mohammad Dor, chair of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, said Wednesday.
Top officials are now talking of bringing new legislation for a unified unit to tackle terror in a tacit admission that current institutions are struggling to cope.
Many argue that the Kenyan government should instead look at the factors that have made the terrorism message so appealing to youths.
"Our advice to the government is that you shall not use guns, the use of a gun shall not solve that problem. You cannot fight an ideology with the gun. You can win this war only through discussion, awareness," Sheikh Ngao M Ngao Juma, the chairperson of the Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council, told news agency Agence France-Press.
The coastal region struggles with poverty and has seen its leaders claim historical injustices when it comes to allocation of resources, despite being home to a bustling tourism industry that is now under threat, and a port that serves the hinterland of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Radical preachers easily tap into discontent at the lack of jobs, with al-Shabab recruits said to be on better wages than they would make back home
A separatist movement, the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) was put down brutally. MRC leaders had demanded secession, citing resource and political marginalisation.
However, there is a new argument that the attacks are coming from youths wrongly indoctrinated on the virtues of jihad. Shariff’s brand of ideology has been criticised as corrupt, with a danger that it could become mainstream.
As such, his death will only disrupt his network, but his extremist preachings will outlast him. Sheikh Ngao is on record saying that the word "jihad" means "striving", and of the over 30 shades of interpretation only one calls for a rise to arms.
It is a message that has so far fallen on deaf ears for recruits and their masters, who see the al-Shabab brand as the "real" Islam, portending more ill for Kenya's inter-religious harmony. M&G CORRESPONDENT

No comments:

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

About Us

The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.

Blog Archive

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.

Terror Free Somalia Foundation