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Thread: Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    Does anyone have any info on the somali army training by EU?
    I've came across a few articles that discuss it (here and here)

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    MA,

    Not sure about the EU training mission, although my recollection was that something was underway in Kenya.
    I haven't heard anything about Kenya. However, the EU mission is taking place in Uganda. They plan to train 2,000 soldiers and police. The links above detail more information.

    Also, recently, there has been a bolster in the AU Mission. Here is an interesting quote from Stratfor (PM me if you want it sent to you).

    The 4,000 additional troops pledged to AMISOM will bring the force to a total of just over 10,000. The 2,000 soldiers from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development countries (Uganda most likely will be the country sending the troops) and the Guinean and Djiboutian troops will represent a significant increase to the 6,200-strong AMISOM force currently in Mogadishu. Of course, this assumes all the new soldiers make it there — something which cannot be taken for granted. The list of states that have reneged on pledges to send peacekeepers to Somalia since 2007 is longer than the list of countries that have actually followed through (Uganda and Burundi).
    Also, since the bombing, Uganda has called for the mandate to be changed so Ugandan's can act more aggressively. More from Stratfor:

    The AU did authorize an additional 4,000 peacekeepers for Somalia at the summit but left AMISOM’s mandate — which renders the force effectively a high-profile protection unit for areas under the control of the Western-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) — intact. Uganda, the largest contributor to AMISOM, responded by announcing that its troops in Mogadishu would begin acting more aggressively toward al Shabaab with a new interpretation of what qualifies as legitimate self-defense.
    My opinion: I don't think the training is being done properly. As the article mentioned in the post above, troops are deserting and taking advantage of the services and weapons provided to them. If we want the training to succeed properly, I think that the trainers should be allowed to embed to a certain extent. This will require a heavier footprint, which has obvious negatives. However, embedded trainers would allow for more cooperation, better training, and possibly a more confident military. That's just an opinion though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerguy7 View Post
    My opinion: I don't think the training is being done properly. As the article mentioned in the post above, troops are deserting and taking advantage of the services and weapons provided to them. If we want the training to succeed properly, I think that the trainers should be allowed to embed to a certain extent. This will require a heavier footprint, which has obvious negatives. However, embedded trainers would allow for more cooperation, better training, and possibly a more confident military. That's just an opinion though.
    With respect you need to start with the selection of the people to be trained. There is little point in training, arming and equipping Somalis only to have them desert with their weapons.

    Hundreds of German-financed Somali police officers go missing

    U.S.-Trained Somali Troops Defect to Insurgency

    Then of course the following jaw dropper Finns Training Somali Troops in Uganda. The Finns have the credentials to train anyone for warfare in Africa?

    The hard question must be asked as to whether US and European funders have learned nothing about working in developing (African) countries? This is all pretty close to rank incompetence.
    Last edited by JMA; 08-01-2010 at 09:03 AM.

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    OK, so now we know what we are up against in Somalia.

    Al Qaeda veterans now run Al Shabaab militia

    The Islamists, mostly veterans of the Al Qaeda training camps of Afghanistan, now control the movement’s policy making organs and were directly responsible for ordering the Kampala bombings which announced the Al Shabaab’s arrival as an actor with a reach that extends beyond Somali territory.

  4. #64
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    Default South African troops to Somalia?

    An unexpected twist to the AU involvement in Somalia:
    The African Union’s (AU) mission in Somalia could soon receive a boost, with reports suggesting South Africa may send troops to the troubled country. Themba Maseko, a spokesperson for the South African cabinet said that ministers would be meeting on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of troops from the South African Defence Force joining the mission in Somalia, to supplement the 5,000 troops from Uganda and Burundi that are currently in Mogadishu giving support to the fragile interim government there.

    “It appears President Zuma will definitely give a nod to the AU's request for South African military support. The South African government will definitely seize the opportunity to show the continent that they are the big brothers,” said a government source quoted by the Guardian.
    Not much more on the link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensec...-08-16%2013:27

    My recollection was that the SANDF do not have the capability to deploy much beyond a battalion group; perhaps our RSA members can add some facts?
    davidbfpo

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    Default What about Sudanese ones...

    Sudan to renew efforts to bring peace in Somalia

    The Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed wrapped up a three-day visit to Khartoum where he had arrived on Monday for talks with President Omer Al-Bashir on Sudan’s efforts to reconcile the Islamist insurgents with the government.
    "We need to Sudan’s important role to resolve the Somali crisis and the coming days will witness new developments and a Sudanese move to reunite the Somali parties and support the central government and the peaceful transfer of power," said President Sheikh Sharif before to leave Khartoum today.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article36001
    The roads of peace are like those of god to me: incomprehensible...

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    Default It gets hotter...

    Deadly battles continue in Somalia

    The force has so far been able to do little more than guard the airport and port and shield Sharif Ahmed, the president.
    OK, so what is (or should be) Plan B?

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    Default Plan B?

    JMA,

    The AU remains committed to the inviolability of national borders IIRC, so I doubt if there is any Plan B, let alone really hard thinking on the options.

    My own armchair suggestion is that the AU will leave, after a suitable payment is made for "safe conduct". Will it be an undignified scuttle or not?

    If the AU had naval capability it could use Plan N, sitting offshore and blockading the ports etc - not sure if that would have any impact, except on those starving. I doubt if the daily air supply of khat / qat has stopped, business is business.

    Now a glass of wine.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    JMA,

    The AU remains committed to the inviolability of national borders IIRC, so I doubt if there is any Plan B, let alone really hard thinking on the options.

    My own armchair suggestion is that the AU will leave, after a suitable payment is made for "safe conduct". Will it be an undignified scuttle or not?

    If the AU had naval capability it could use Plan N, sitting offshore and blockading the ports etc - not sure if that would have any impact, except on those starving. I doubt if the daily air supply of khat / qat has stopped, business is business.

    Now a glass of wine.
    Well the additional 2,000 troops to bring the AU contingent up to 8,000 have started to arrive. Well there could well be a sort of Dunkirk retreat through the port should it get to that. The question is should it be allowed to get to that?

    As a point of departure I am really trying to understand what legitimacy the TFG has?

  9. #69
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    As a point of departure I am really trying to understand what legitimacy the TFG has?
    JMA,

    the UN said they are the good guys and they are the ones your taxes and mine are actually paying since more than a decade to rule the country from nice fancu hotels in Nairobi. What additional legitimacy are you looking for?

    M-A

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    JMA,

    the UN said they are the good guys and they are the ones your taxes and mine are actually paying since more than a decade to rule the country from nice fancu hotels in Nairobi. What additional legitimacy are you looking for?

    M-A
    Well then let the tax payers who live in the countries whose leaders have installed this TFG foot the bill. You are not going to beat Al-Shabab with any number of (Christian) Ugandan troops by any stretch of the imagination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Well then let the tax payers who live in the countries whose leaders have installed this TFG foot the bill. You are not going to beat Al-Shabab with any number of (Christian) Ugandan troops by any stretch of the imagination.
    I am not sure the christianity has something to do in that sad story. The somali do fear like plague the Ethiopian and the Ethiopian are christians. The Shebaab waited the ethiopian to be gone before attacking.

    Also, I just found on the site of the foreign legion that they do train somali soldiers. Somehow I wonder how far this will blow in our face. Remember the training made on ship security... Now they are pirates.

    But JMA you are right, I do not understand why we waste money in entertaining a ghost government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    I am not sure the christianity has something to do in that sad story. The somali do fear like plague the Ethiopian and the Ethiopian are christians. The Shebaab waited the ethiopian to be gone before attacking.

    Also, I just found on the site of the foreign legion that they do train somali soldiers. Somehow I wonder how far this will blow in our face. Remember the training made on ship security... Now they are pirates.

    But JMA you are right, I do not understand why we waste money in entertaining a ghost government.
    Christianity has a lot to do with it as the Ethiopian Christians are seen as infidel invaders of a Muslim land. The current infidel "Christian" Ugandans are just just providing more grist to the Al Shabaab propaganda mill. If that were not reason justify violence enough then we would see issues arising between Shia and Sunni and in this case mix in the Sufis as well.

    It is quite pointless to train people whose loyalty is in doubt and are likely to desert with weapons and equipment after training and join up with Al Shebaab. Actually it is not pointless it is criminally incompetent.

    The only excuse these people have for wasting taxpayers is money like this is the standard reply "well you elected our boss the president".

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Uganda Peoples Defence Forces soldiers carry a coffin at Entebbe airport,

    Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010, of one the four soldiers that were killed in a mortar attack.
    Uganda Peoples Defence Forces soldiers carry a coffin at Entebbe airport,Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010, of one the four soldiers that were killed in a mortar shell at the presidential palace in Somalia on Monday.

    Uganda said Wednesday it is ready to send 10,000 more troops to Somalia if the U.S. provides the funding, a move that would see the African Union force in Mogadishu more than double in size.( AP)
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-02-2010 at 08:19 PM.

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    Default In Somali Civil War, Both Sides Embrace Pirates

    Well, we may need to combine the "piracy" and "not piracy" Somalia threads...


    In Somali Civil War, Both Sides Embrace Pirates

    By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
    New York Times
    Published: September 1, 2010


    HOBYO, Somalia — Ismail Haji Noor, a local government official, recently arrived in this notorious pirate den with a simple message: we need your help.

    With the Shabab militant group sweeping across Somalia and the American-backed central government teetering on life support, Mr. Noor stood on a beach flanked by dozens of pirate gunmen, two hijacked ships over his shoulder, and announced, “From now on we’ll be working together.”

    He hugged several well-known pirate bosses and called them “brother” and later explained that while he saw the pirates as criminals and eventually wanted to rehabilitate them, right now the Shabab were a much graver threat.

    “Squished between the two, we have to become friends with the pirates,” Mr. Noor said. “Actually, this is a great opportunity.”

    For years, Somalia’s heavily armed pirate gangs seemed content to rob and hijack on the high seas and not get sucked into the messy civil war on land. Now, that may be changing, and the pirates are taking sides — both sides....
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


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    Default UN envoy calls for thousands more troops to battle Somali militants

    UN envoy calls for thousands more troops to battle Somali militants

    Somalia may need to triple its peacekeeping troops to 20,000 in the coming months to combat a surging threat by militants, a U.N. official said.

    "The threat level in Mogadishu and in southern-central Somalia has actually increased," Augustine Mahiga told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday.

    Mahiga said he is concerned about the security in the country and its impact in the region.

    "A scaled up assistance from the international community is needed to make a difference," said Mahiga, the special envoy to Somalia.
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

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    Who may I ask is running this war against the insurgents? And who should be paying the government forces or... who is stealing the money?

    PM: Somalia to open 2nd front against insurgents

    Kenya has a force of 2,000 Somali refugees stationed in northern Kenya, and Ethiopia trained a force of 1,000 fighters under a German-funded program.

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    Default How Much Turf Does the Somali Government Really Control?

    A good, short FP Blog article, with a map, which gives context to the reporting, repeats the fact external actors train Somalis for the government and they defect:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...ntrol?page=0,0

    Some 9,000 troops have been trained and armed to help fortify the government, but desertion rates are astronomical. Perhaps no more than 1,000 soldiers -- or fewer -- remain. AMISOM peacekeepers, by contrast, number about 7,000.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A good, short FP Blog article, with a map, which gives context to the reporting, repeats the fact external actors train Somalis for the government and they defect:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...ntrol?page=0,0
    Temporary loyalty to the highest bidder is similar to Afghanistan. But then that national characteristic has been known for ever. Now I wonder who the clowns were who thought they were really 'smart' and could ignore all that history? And of course what the 7,000 Ugandans are doing is a well kept secret... other than when they shelled the Bakara Market and killed a bunch of civvies. It is said they (AMISOM) are losing Mogadishu "one block at a time".

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    NPR story on the EU trainers trying to train the Somali TFG's army. The major problem with desertion appears to be that the TFG doesn't pay its soldiers.

    Not sure why we are even sending paychecks through the TFG. Why? So that government officials can steal them and spur desertion to al Shabaab?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    NPR story on the EU trainers trying to train the Somali TFG's army. The major problem with desertion appears to be that the TFG doesn't pay its soldiers.

    Not sure why we are even sending paychecks through the TFG. Why? So that government officials can steal them and spur desertion to al Shabaab?
    Exactly. Now someone needs to ask those 'smart' guys at the state department and at the EU how come they had not thought the whole thing properly through in the first place.

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