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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

    13 May Washington Post commentary - Ethiopia's Iraq by David Ignatius.

    "Get it done quickly and get out." That, says a senior U.S. diplomat here, was the goal of the little-noticed war that Ethiopia has been fighting, with American support, against Islamic extremists in Somalia. But this in-and-out strategy encounters the same real-world obstacles that America is facing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Conflict is less the problem than what comes after it. That's the dilemma that America and its allies are discovering in a world where war-fighting and nation-building have become perversely mixed. It took the Ethiopians just a week to drive a Muslim radical movement known as the Islamic Courts from Mogadishu in December. The hard part wasn't chasing the enemy from the capital but putting the country back together...

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    Default Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

    3 June Washington Post - U.S. Warship Fires Missiles at Fighters in Somalia by Stephanie McCrummen.

    A U.S. Navy destroyer launched an attack on foreign fighters in a remote corner of northeastern Somalia late Friday, according to a senior U.S. official, though details of the operation remained sketchy.

    The bombardment was concentrated in and around the port town of Bargaal, the official said Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is classified...

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    Default Somalia Continues its Political Collapse

    14 June Power and Interest News Report - Somalia Continues its Political Collapse by Dr. Michael A. Weinstein.

    ... Somalia's weak and internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government (T.F.G.) continues to be a severely impaired participant in the country's multiple conflicts, facing a chronic insurgency in its official capital Mogadishu; unrest, lawlessness and failing control in the country's regions; and inadequate funding from international donors, on which it depends for its financial survival. Ethiopia, on which the T.F.G. depends for military protection, has been over-strained financially and is anxious to withdraw its forces, yet their replacement by an 8,000 member African Union (A.U.) peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) has yet to materialize, except for a contingent of 1,500 Ugandan troops, which have withdrawn to guard duty at Mogadishu's airport and seaport, and at government facilities, after one of its convoys was attacked on May 16.

    Despite efforts by the T.F.G. to gain control of Mogadishu through a crackdown on armed opposition, closure of independent media outlets and arrests of leaders of the Hawiye clan, which is distrustful of the Darod-dominated T.F.G., the city remains insecure. Although donor states and international organizations have edged toward providing the T.F.G. with greater financial support, the transitional authority still lacks the resources to govern...

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    Default Mujahideen in Somalia (w/fighter from U.S.) [al-Jazeera]

    For those who know Arabic and wish to know...


    Interesting al-Jazeera video of the Mujahideen fighting in Somalia... Nearly at the end you can see a video of a Muslim fighter from America fighting side by side with his Somali brothers.

    http://www.aljazeera.net/mritems/str...19191_1_12.wmv
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 09-13-2007 at 05:36 PM.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    UN World Food Programme office stormed in Mogadishu by government forces.

    Dozens of heavily armed government security officials detained the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) office in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 17 October, an act decried by the UN organisation as a violation of international law.

    In a statement, WFP called for "the immediate release of Mr Idris Osman, WFP's officer-in-charge of our Mogadishu office, who was taken at gunpoint by the Somali National Security Service (NSS) after the storming of a UN compound in Mogadishu this morning at 0815 local time by 50-60 heavily armed and uniformed members of the NSS.

    "Mr Osman is being held in a cell at NSS headquarters near the presidential palace. WFP has not received any explanation for this action, which violates international law. International law also bars authorities from entering UN premises without prior UN permission," the statement said ...

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Why I love Somalia...

    Let me count the ways...

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    Default Where is Guriel?

    I could not find it on the map but it seems a very strange move on the part of the Ethiopians if it is strategically positioned on a main supply/escape route. (The second link is to a good selection of maps on University of Texas' site)

    Ethiopia leaves key Somali town

    The Ethiopians are not popular in Somalia
    Ethiopian troops have withdrawn from a key town in central Somalia.
    Islamist insurgents say they now control Guriel, where Ethiopia had a big military base to secure the road linking the two countries.

    A BBC correspondent in Somalia says it is not clear why the Ethiopian troops withdrew without any fighting.

    Guriel was a stronghold of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), which lost power to Ethiopian-backed government troops a year ago this week.

    The BBC's Ayanleh Hussein in Guriel says residents have been cheering the Ethiopians' departure.

    During the occupation the local hospital was out of use as it was used as the Ethiopians' military base, he says.

    Meanwhile, unrest continues in the capital, Mogadishu, where most Ethiopian forces in the country have been based since last year's invasion, which ended the UIC's six-month rule.

    The bodies of four civilians were discovered after battles between insurgents and Ethiopian troops on Thursday around the animal market in the north of the city.

    Somalia has been politically fragmented since 1991 and the country's transitional government, faced with an insurgency, is dependent on international aid and Ethiopian military support.



    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7162957.stm

    http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/somalia.html

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    Default Somalia - President hospitilized

    It could get really worse their if he dies or somehow becomes incapable of performing his duties. It will be just going back to 2003 again. May be we will see the rise of the Islamist Militias again as the real power in Somalia.

    Whatever the case, I think its tragic for my homeland.
    Last edited by abduljrus; 12-05-2007 at 05:18 AM.

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    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    I thought he just had a "bad cold" and was just going for a "check up" and that he was just "delegating" his meeting with Rice (first time a secretary of state has traveled to region in last decade) to the new PM....I don't know what's going on, but I would assume he is either very sick or he does not want to meet with Rice. Your message seems to indicate that he his, indeed, sick.

    What do you think of the new PM, Nur Hassan Hussein? Any chance that he can keep things together?

    I've met some Somalis during my time in Eritrea and Ethiopia and have certainly followed events in your country with concern. I do hope for your sake and for the sake of the Somali people, that there can be some peace and stability. If President Yusuf is the key, then I really hope he gets better.

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    News came out today that he had bronchitis...

    As for Somalia, Well... I have become emotionally numb to the situation. I have suffered through the Civil war, I have been a refugee. Trust me, it sucks to sleep when you have not eaten or have not drunk anything for the last 2 weeks. you don't want to be a refugee.

    I have come to the United States around Feb. 01' and ever since, I have just become too attached sometimes and other times i have become too numb to care. You know, there are times when you just become too tired. when your hopes are dashed too many times, when you no longer.... care. Not in the sense that I don't care because of (put whatever reason here) but I Just can't deal with it anymore emotionally. I must try to live my life now. And I am one of the lucky ones. at least I don't have to sleep trying to ignore AK-47 shots anymore.
    Last edited by abduljrus; 12-06-2007 at 04:05 AM.

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    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default Dilemmas of the Horn article in newsweek

    This was just posted in the latest edition of Newsweek. A pretty provocative sub-title, but clearly, the author wants to send a message. Not sure anyone is listening, though.

    Dilemmas of the Horn

    Washington wanted to keep Somalia from turning into another Afghanistan. Now it's an African Iraq.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/131836

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    Default US air strike kills Aden Hashi Ayro

    Air raid kills Somali militants

    The leader of the military wing of an Islamist insurgent organisation in Somalia has been killed in an overnight air strike.

    Aden Hashi Ayro, al-Shabab's military commander, died when his home in the central town of Dusamareb was bombed.

    Ten other people, including a senior militant, are also reported dead.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7376760.stm

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    Default Begining of the end for Ethiopian adventure?

    Somali troops 'out of control'

    Somali government troops are out of control, as are their Ethiopian allies and other armed groups says human right's group Amnesty International.

    It says the situation is "dire" in central and southern Somalia, with civilians completely at the mercy of armed groups on all sides.

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    Default Re-cycling - HOA style

    Peacekeepers sell arms to Somalis

    Ugandan peacekeepers in Somalia have been selling arms to insurgents, a United Nations report says.

    The report, by the UN monitoring group on the Somali arms embargo, says Ethiopia, Eritrea and Yemen are also breaking the embargo.

    It cites one incident in which a group of Ugandan soldiers allegedly received $80,000 for a transaction
    That bridge plan has been around for a while but a quick look at the map leaves you wondering just how much qaat these guys have been chewing. A mind bogglingly expensive bridge joining two bits of desert with no obvious demand or infrastructure at either end. The main takers for trips across this strip of water seem to be illegal African economic migrants or possibly Muslims on their way to fight the infidels.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

    After the successful hit on the Al Quaeda, the response covered on SWJ Bog ranged from the ecstatic to the dismissive with:

    US Kills Top Qaeda Leader in Southern Somalia

    U.S. Kills Top Qaeda Militant in Southern Somalia
    NAIROBI, Kenya — American commandos killed one of the most wanted Islamic militants in Africa in a daylight raid in southern Somalia on Monday, according to American and Somali officials, an indication of the Obama administration’s willingness to use combat troops strategically against Al Qaeda’s growing influence in the region.
    and

    Somalia strike and offshore balancing

    A helicopter-borne U.S. special operations group, apparently operating from a U.S. warship in the Indian Ocean, attacked and killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan along with several of his associates along a road in southern Somalia. According to the cited New York Times article, the U.S. special operations soldiers recovered the bodies and presumably other interesting intelligence products from the site.
    and

    Alternate View: Somalia Strike and Offshore Balancing

    OK, I’ll take the bait.

    To offer the killing of Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan as evidence of the success of a strategy of “offshore balancing” would be myopic in the extreme. By press accounts, it was a very well conducted SEAL raid, but let’s not confuse good tactics with good strategy.

    Let’s begin with U.S. strategy toward Somalia. Since the withdrawal from Mogadishu in the wake of the “Black Hawk Down” incident – and let’s remember why this was Osama bin Laden’s favorite movie, an exemplar of America the “weak horse,” unable to run the course – keeping that failed state from becoming an al Qaeda haven has been a very narrowly run thing, at best.
    Personally I found the following to be closer to the mark:

    Black Hawk’s Shadow
    Why we don't care about Somalia anymore.

    Picture Mogadishu in 1992. Marauding militias loyal only to Somali clan leaders stalk the city, looting aid shipments bound for the 1.8 million Somalis facing starvation. Then, from the green-blue Indian Ocean waters, there materializes a flotilla of U.S. transports bearing aid and armed men to deliver it. In the skies overhead, U.S. attack helicopters appear, providing cover for food shipments, while an American spy plane circles the city night and day gathering intelligence on militias trying to disrupt the rescue effort.

    Flash forward 17 years to the same city, still surrounded by squalid refugee camps. More than twice as many Somalis are now teetering on the brink of starvation in what many view as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Militias of heavily armed young men still stalk the city hijacking aid shipments. This time, though, no one's coming to the rescue.

    Somalia is in dire straits—maybe worse than ever. An estimated 3.8 million need humanitarian aid (fully half the population), according to the U.N.'s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia, which calls the crisis the worst since 1991–92. In the past six months alone, the number of people forced from their homes by fighting—between the country's barely functional transitional government and Islamist insurgents—has grown by 40 percent, to 1.4 million. Most live in squalid camps that a new report from Oxfam calls "barely fit for humans."

    So why don't we care anymore? The answer lies not only in how the giant U.S.-U.N. mission to Somalia came undone—in the ashes of the Black Hawk Down firefight in October 1993—but in a legacy of failures by both Somali and Western leaders to cure the country's ills.

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    Default Understanding the al-Shabaab Networks

    ASPI, 13 Oct 09: Understanding the al-Shabaab Networks
    The decision by the Australian Government on 21 August 2009 to officially list the al-Shabaab group as a terrorist organisation highlights a subject of growing concern in many Western governments: what is the danger posed by the Somali-based group, and is it merely a regional actor? The question is one of growing salience as stories increasingly surface of young Western (or Westernised) men leaving their homes to fight and train with the Islamic warriors in Somalia. Furthermore, the growing parallels with the ‘chain of terror’ that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown highlighted, emanating from Pakistan’s lawless provinces through Europe’s Muslim communities, mean fears are growing that it might result in a terrorist attack on the scale of the Madrid or London bombings.

    This article outlines the growing sense of apparent threat in the West from networks linked in some way to al-Shabaab. It offers some brief thoughts on the growing links between what are herein termed ’the Shabaab networks’ and whether the threat from them is one than can be paralleled with the threat from the similarly structured al-Qaeda networks.
    ISS, 3 Jun 09: Somalia: Understanding Al-Shabaab
    On 8 May 2009, Al-Shabaab reinforced by a faction of Hizbul Islam and former Islamic Courts Union’s (ICU) leader Sheikh Aweys began what they claimed was a final assault on the capital Mogadishu in an attempt to destroy President Sheikh Sharif’s fragile National Unity Government. A wave of targeted assassinations of ICU officials and Al-Shabaab commanders in mid-April onwards, the reshuffling of military and political alliances among Islamist factions and inflammatory rhetoric that has led to a polarization of political positions has all but eliminated prospects for reconciliation between the government and the opposition.

    At the time of writing the government is managing to keep hold of southern Mogadishu. Nevertheless Al-Shabaab continues to gain ground in central Somalia and is positioning itself for what it hopes will be a decisive military victory.

    This report briefly examines the nature of Al-Shabaab’s ideological stance, their political ambitions and why this movement constitutes the gravest threat to the survival of Sheikh Sharif’s government and the Djibouti peace process that gave it birth.
    NEFA, 5 May 09: Shabaab al-Mujahideen: Migration and Jihad in the Horn of Africa
    Part I: The Early Years - Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI) and “Blackhawk Down”

    Part II: Ethiopia and the Ogaden War (1993-1997)

    Part III: The Islamic Courts Union (ICU)

    Part IV: Rise of the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement

    Part V: The Current Status of Shabaab and its Islamist Rivals

    Part VI: The Role of Foreign Fighters

    Part VII: Shabaab’s Propaganda Strategy and Media Infrastructure

    Part VIII: Shabaab al-Mujahideen and the Issue of Ocean Piracy

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    MEQ, Fall 09: The Strategic Challenge of Somalia's Al-Shabaab: Dimensions of Jihad
    Since emerging from an era of colonialism under Italy and Britain, Somalia has passed through military dictatorship, famine, and civil war to regional fragmentation. In the modern period, Americans best remember the loss of U.S. military personnel that followed attempts to secure order in the country as part of a United Nations operation. More recently, the hijacking of ships by pirates operating from the Somali coast has attracted considerable attention globally. But the biggest threat emanating from Somalia comes from a different source: An ongoing lack of internal order has left the country vulnerable to the rise of hard-line Islamist groups, of which the latest is Al-Shabaab (the youth), which rose from obscurity to international prominence in less than two years. Al-Shabaab's ideological commitment to global jihadism, its connections to Al-Qaeda, its military capabilities, and its ability to capture and control territory suggest that it will continue to pose a strategic challenge to both the U.S. and Somalia's neighbors.

    Since its emergence, Al-Shabaab has played a major role in the insurgency that pushed Ethiopian forces out of Somalia; it also received the endorsement of Osama bin Laden and has seen large numbers of Somalis living in the West flock to its camps. Somalia has become, like Pakistan, a significant Al-Qaeda safe haven. Due to the relatively large number of Americans who travel to Somalia for military training, individuals linked to Al-Shabaab are among the top U.S. domestic terrorist threats.....

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Catching up

    A lot of developments with Somali male youths leaving Western homes (Canada, Denmark, Italy and USA) for the delights of Mogadishu. Here are some pieces by one analyst: http://icsr.info/blog/Somalias-forei...ions#comments; earlier: http://raffaellopantucci.wordpress.c...merican-jihad/ and http://raffaellopantucci.wordpress.c...baab-networks/

    Some of which has been covered IIRC on other threads.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Somalia has not gone away, just emptying

    We and the media focus on the piracy off the Somalia coast, no doubt as it is safer to report on and few reporters venture into Somalia today. Here is an exception a grim report on the people trapped there and seeking to leave - for the "settled" north aka as Somaliland and beyond. Now if this could be used in Info Ops against Al-Shabaab on You Tube plus - to show what their rule means I would applaud.

    The link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010...litia-refugees - with a six minute video (yes not guaranteed to be viewable).
    davidbfpo

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