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Thread: Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

  1. #221
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Today a senior defector

    Yesterday an "insider" spoke and today the BBC has a - for them a quite long - report based on a defector:
    One of the most senior figures to defect from Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab has urged his former colleagues to stop targeting civilians and to begin negotiations with the Somali government.

    Forming an alliance with al-Qaeda "was a very big mistake. Our duty at that time was only to liberate Somalia - our interests were local." He added that it had a huge effect and diverted al-Shabab from is purpose.
    "Now it turns to terror acts, organised crime... we were against all that. In late 2010/2011 there was a lot of misunderstanding within the core leadership of al-Shabab... in terms of these terrorism events.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-32791713
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  2. #222
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    Default It's the charcoal stupid: Al-Shabab's black gold

    There are a small number of posts on the Somali charcoal trade, which reportedly assists financing Al-Shabaab and the murky part of the Kenyan Defence Force who did control Kismayo port.

    Al-Jazeera has a detailed report, mainly graphs and diagrams:http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/int...75925833.html?
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  3. #223
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Somalia: may be a failed state, it’s far from a failed society

    This week I listened to Mary Harper, the BBC World Service's Africa Editor at a conference, who is a SME on Somalia and she gave a grim picture of the chances of peace. Her personal website is:http://mary-harper.blogspot.co.uk/

    If businessmen want peace in Somalia, it will happen tomorrow. For all the fighters, including ANISOM, it is a good war; the same applies to all the charities and NGO's present.

    The refugee camps around Mogadishu are for the minority clans, who are seen as "lower than low" and are looked down upon by all the others.

    Sadly all politics and business in Somalia is done by the gun.
    Her talk was summarised as:
    Notorious for piracy of its coast and the rise of Islamist extremism, Somalia is often considered the world’s most comprehensively failed state. A threat to itself, its neighbours and the wider world. At least, that’s how the country is presented by politicians and in the media. In this insightful talk BBC World Service Africa Editor Mary Harper presents an alternative perspective, explaining that though the country may be a failed state, it’s far from a failed society. In doing so, she reveals what viewing Somalia through the prism of Al-Qaeda obscures – that alternative forms of business, justice, education and local politics have survived and even flourished.
    Until the international community start to get Somalia right the consequences will be devastating, and not just for Somalia and the region but for the world.
    Link:https://rising.org/programme/getting-somalia-wrong/
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  4. #224
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Somalia stumbling along 'bumpy and difficult' path to peace and prosperity

    A headline that baffles me somewhat, stumbling along for a failed state means what?

    This article is clearly a post-exit, maybe laudatory piece, as it is based on a British diplomat who quietly left his job as the UN secretary general’s Special Representative to Somalia from mid-2013 until December.
    Link:http://www.theguardian.com/global-de...kay-al-shabaab

    Just as baffling is what did happen last week when a Kenyan base was over-run?
    al-Shabab was saying it had killed 100 Kenyan..whilst Kenyan admits four dead
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-35364593

    Or the stinging attack on a beach restaurant @ Mogadishu:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ures-alshabaab
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-25-2016 at 10:20 AM.
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  5. #225
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default al Shabaab on the rise?

    An overview by Business Insider on how al-Shabaab simply "keeps on killing", which ends with:
    Al Shabaab didn't just bomb a commercial plane. It might also have managed to smuggle an explosive device inside the most heavily guarded location in the entire country. If Shabaab was responsible for the suspected bomb attack, it would mark the first instance of the group detonating a bomb onboard a passenger plane. Like the other two attacks, it would be a gruesome sign of the group's resilience — and of its increasing danger years after the height of its territorial power.
    Link:http://uk.businessinsider.com/shabaa...16-2?r=US&IR=T
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  6. #226
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    Default you are a brave soldier and only Allah can repay your sacrifices to humankind

    A rare tribute by a Somali to a Somali soldier, actually special forces from the National Intelligence Service Agency (NISA), by a girl survivor of the Lido beach attack:
    The soldier was so kind, professional, compassionate, committed and determined to save our lives.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-35500825
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  7. #227
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    Default Pentagon: Airstrike Kills 150 Al-Shabab Fighters in Somalia

    Pentagon: Airstrike Kills 150 Al-Shabab Fighters in Somalia

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  8. #228
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Rehab for Al-Shabaab: a report

    Not read, just skimmed:
    For the first time, a journalist gets access to the Mogadishu camp where about 500 former Somali Shabab members are being held.
    Link:https://www.thestar.com/news/atkinso...b-members.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-25-2016 at 01:07 PM. Reason: 91,733v
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  9. #229
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    Default ANISOM: Uganda gives notice of leaving

    Oh dear:
    Uganda will pull its soldiers out of the African Union mission fighting Islamist group al-Shabab in Somalia, its military chief has said. Gen Katumba Wamala said the decision to withdraw Ugandan troops by December 2017 was taken because of frustration with the Somali army and military advisers from US, UK and Turkey.....Uganda joined Amisom in 2007 and has just over 6,000 troops in the 22,000-strong force.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-36606194

    After ten years of being present in Somalia I am not surprised at this declaration, although the frustration with the barely functioning Somali army is understandable, blaming the others is odd. IIRC the USA pays most of the cost, historically training has not been in-country.

    Of the other contributors, Ethiopia has always been a reluctant ANISOM member, Burundi has good reason to reduce its troop level - as the situation at home is fraught, Kenya has had a "bloody nose" and Djibouti is a new participant.
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  10. #230
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    Default Can local muscle defeat Somalia's al-Shabab?

    A puzzling and rare BBC report on Somali security forces:
    Six hundred members of Jubaland state's police force have recently graduated, hundreds more will soon go through training and, for the time being, their efforts have brought security to the streets of Kismayo.The port city in Somalia's southern-most state has managed to avoid the high-profile suicide car bombings and armed assaults on hotels that the capital, Mogadishu, regularly suffers.

    (Later) More than 1,000 national troops are in Kismayo, mostly unarmed and un-deployed because of politics.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-38003595
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-23-2016 at 02:13 PM. Reason: 103,488v 9k since June
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  11. #231
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    Default Repressive COIN by AMISOM is not working

    An African commentary on AMISOM:
    The successes or failures of insurgency and counterinsurgency operations in Somalia depend on population support. So far, the counterinsurgency strategies in Somalia conducted by AMISOM and its coalition forces, especially the Somali National Army, have been unable to gain the support of the people. Al-Shabaab’s led insurgency has gained popular support among the local-level communities, largely due to the social services and more importantly the local-level security governance it provides, in the absence of a functional state.
    Link:https://sustainablesecurity.org/2016...ab-in-somalia/

    As readers will be aware AMISOM can be a rather fragile coalition and that the Somali military are rarely seen or commented upon - alas this article only considers AMISOM.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-19-2016 at 07:31 PM. Reason: 106,679v 3k in three weeks
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  12. #232
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    Default Ouch: Kenyan Army base overrun

    Once again a Kenyan base has been attacked, just inside Somalia this time and Al-Shabab spokesman claims:
    Islamic militant group says it killed at least 57 soldiers in takeover of peacekeeping base in Kulbiyow, Somalia
    Curiously a Somali Army officer at the base comments:
    Captain Nur Muhidin, a Somali national army officer stationed in Kulbiyow, said the troops spotted the al-Shabaab convoy before the attack and shelled it with mortars.
    Muhidin described an intense firefight that continued for close to an hour before the militants secured the complex. He said the base had been manned by at least 120 Kenyan soldiers deployed with the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) and dozens had been killed in the attack. Local forces were also among the casualties.
    “We are yet to confirm the number of the Kenya and Somali soldiers lost in this attack. But I can say this was a disaster,”
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ops-in-somalia
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-28-2017 at 12:45 PM. Reason: 111,139v nearly 5k in a month
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  13. #233
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    Default VOA Exclusive: Dozens More U.S. Troops Deployed to Somalia

    VOA Exclusive: Dozens More U.S. Troops Deployed to Somalia

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  14. #234
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    Default Stirring the pot or stabilizing?

    A backgrounder on the multi-national, independent involvement in Somalia, with an aside on Somaliland; notably by Turkey, Qatar and the UAE. With Ethiopia looking on as a 'concerned' neighbour.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-39654795
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  15. #235
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    Default Nation Building or Targeted Killings: Tough Choices for U.S. in Somalia

    Nation Building or Targeted Killings: Tough Choices for U.S. in Somalia

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  16. #236
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    Default U.S. Escalates Somalia Fight While Pentagon Downplays Buildup

    U.S. Escalates Somalia Fight While Pentagon Downplays Buildup

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  17. #237
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The USA keeps on trying

    From Politico an article on a new policy towards Somalia, summed up in this passage:
    The new operations also come as a peacekeeping mission spearheaded by the African Union is winding down. That is putting more pressure on the fledgling Somali security forces to confront al-Shabab, a terrorist army allied with Al Qaeda that plays the role of a quasi-government in significant parts of the country.
    Link:https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...buildup-247668

    Not easy to confirm to what level AMISOM will reduce to, a few media reports refer to contingents being reduced to a UN "cap" and so leaving some towns in the interior. A recent Newsweek article refers to:
    Firstly, AMISOM is scheduled to withdraw from Somalia by 2020. The drawdown due to begin with 1,000 troops leaving in December,
    Link:http://www.newsweek.com/somalia-war-...-shabab-714622
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-19-2017 at 08:19 PM. Reason: 141,091v
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  18. #238
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    Default The "Great Game" continues: new place, new nations

    A good overview of the Turkish and UAE involvement in the region, primarily in Somalia /Somaliland. I do wonder if they will fare any better than all thsoe before them.
    Link:http://eaworldview.com/2017/12/turke...anging-region/

    There was a BBC Radio report on a small UK team training the Somali Army (SNA), curiously it started with a stark "the Army really is not an army" line. Adding that the UK team have started building barracks for the SNA, as they had none and only afterwards will military training begin.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-26-2018 at 05:44 PM. Reason: 187,015v after two threads merged in
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