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Thread: Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

  1. #141
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Displaced and heading north?

    A BBC News report:
    Al-Shabab militants have moved north to semi-autonomous Puntland after being pushed out of central Somalia, Puntland President Abdirahman Farole says....The president says they are gathering in Puntland's Galgala mountains and the Golis range that borders the self-declared republic of Somaliland.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17674996

    I am aware of one dissenting tribe in Somaliland, but the BBC's own map indicates a not inconsiderable 'pro-government administrations' space between where Al-Shabaab was and where they allegedly are moving to. Now 'pro-government' can mean all sorts of things and perhaps there is no capability or will to oppose such a move north.
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  2. #142
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Saving Somalia: Turkey learns how to act

    An intriguing FP Blog article:
    Turkey may just be able to fix this war-torn east African nation -- if it doesn't fall into the same traps of would-be saviors who came before it.
    At the end:
    ....even skeptics hope Turkey can find that delicate balance between partnership and tough love. Turkey's new humanitarians could be game changers -- if they can avoid wearing out their welcome.
    Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...alia?page=full
    davidbfpo

  3. #143
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Ebbing away: Al-Shabaab?

    A curious BBC News report 'Defections put militant al-Shabab on the run in Somalia':http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18364762

    Citing a defector:
    Abu Khalit said he had little time for the foreign fighters who provide the Islamist group with its ideological backbone. "They hide their faces from us. They live in safe houses, and we are not allowed inside...I realised they were not about religion..They were about killing people".
    Near the end:
    now the group is in retreat - many here sense its weakness and that may turn out to be the most fatal blow of all.
    For a slightly bizarre sign of change:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18357660
    davidbfpo

  4. #144
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    Default AMISOM News sources

    Dear colleagues,

    I just started working with UN/AU Information Operations in Mog (with intermittent time in Nairobi) and am discovering sources that are not widely distributed or known (at least by me and I tended to follow Somalia pretty extensively prior to this job).

    Thought there may be some interest in the following sources

    1. AMISOM funds/runs this radio/website stories - called BAR-KULAN

    http://www.bar-kulan.com/category/news-in-english

    2. AMISOM daily and weekly media monitoring -

    http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/

  5. #145
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    BronwenM,

    Welcome back to posting on SWC after a lull.

    An interesting place to be, although I expect most American readers have written off Somalia after their searing experience.

    Now I must check those two websites.
    davidbfpo

  6. #146
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the welcome Dave. Quite a lull indeed but please know I was always lurking. Just did not feel I had much to share...

    Look forward to sharing what may be of interest as the info comes along. Open to helping any folks with info too via PM.

    I found this website from Kismayo area (big city of great interest as it has the only dry dock in all of Somalia) that posts some news articles in English (most of posts are in Somali)

    http://kismaayonews.com

    Best, Bronwen

  7. #147
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default CWOT's thoughts on the reported defections

    Catching up I found CWOT's comment on the BBC report, which reminds us of AQ's failure in Somalia twenty years ago and ends considering what might emerge:http://selectedwisdom.com/?p=681
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-21-2012 at 12:47 PM.
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  8. #148
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator at work

    I have merged the recent thread 'Omar Hammami's Plight Amongst al-Shabaab & al-Qaeda's Game of Thrones' into this thread. they are now posts 130 & 131.
    davidbfpo

  9. #149
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A jail you'd prefer not to be in

    A few weeks ago a BBC travel programme visited a prison in Somaliland.

    Hat tip to CWOT for id'ing this report by an American journalist, Eli Lake, visiting a very different prison for pirates and non-pirates like Al-Shabaab:http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...est-front.html
    davidbfpo

  10. #150
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BronwenM View Post
    I just started working with UN/AU Information Operations in Mog (with intermittent time in Nairobi)
    What a cool job.

  11. #151
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Out of the shadows

    The UK has established a small military presence in Somalia, the British Ministry of Defence has confirmed. A team of 10 military advisers is based at the headquarters of the African Union force in the capital, Mogadishu. They do not have a combat role; their job is to help the AU with planning, communications and medical support.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19001644

    A curious development. After all there has been an EU civilian training team in Uganda for sometime and in Kenya there has a long established Anglo-Kenyan military link. So why does AMISOM need this team now?
    davidbfpo

  12. #152
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Al-Shabaab external operations -v- Mo Farah, Olympic champion

    Hat tip to Clint Watts (CWOT) for identifying a Canadian newspaper report 'Star Exclusive: Documents found on body of Al Qaeda’s African leader detail chilling plans for kidnapping, attacks':http://www.thestar.com/news/world/ar...apping-attacks

    Worth reading in full IMHO. Interesting to see the focus on Israeli / Jewish targets and in the UK.

    Clint has a short commentary:http://selectedwisdom.com/?p=720

    An interesting contrast in the reporting of Mo Farah's Olympic success, born in Somalia and moved to the UK when he was eight years old. Who calls himself British and a Londoner. Who will be the hero for Somali youth in the UK? Mo Farah or Al-Shabaab?
    davidbfpo

  13. #153
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default South of Mogadishu

    Alas no details on this relatively long-range mission, one can speculate how the troops moved so far:
    Somali and African Union troops seized the port of Marka, Somalia, on Monday from the Shabab ......African Union officials said its fighters met little resistance in the battle for Marka, which is about 68 miles south of Mogadishu.
    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/wo...he-shabab.html
    davidbfpo

  14. #154
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Al-Shabaab And Post-Transition Somalia

    A short and very interesting commentary, which ends with:
    For more than a year, al-Shabaab has been fine-tuning its military strategy. The consensus among its leaders was to morph into a guerrilla movement and abandon traditional warfare by withdrawing into ‘Somalia’s Tora Bora’ – the mountainous region in Sanaag in the northeast, and into Ras Kamboni – a vast area of inaccessible jungles in Lower Jubba, near the border with Kenya. Both locations have been extremist hideouts for two decades.

    Yet it’s al-Shabaab’s political strategy that’s likely to be more effective than its military one. The group now plans to rebrand itself as the alternative to the new Somalia government, should the latter becomes yet another playground for rapacious men.

    Notwithstanding their brutal justice system, al-Shabaab has a track record of delivering three fundamental things that successive Somali governments have utterly failed to achieve: basic security, stemming corruption and a non-sectarian governing structure.

    Unlike the new Somali government, which has a four-year term to achieve something, al-Shabaab is neither bound by term limits nor by a legal framework. Its faceless leaders are prepared to stay in the periphery until the new government commits suicide.
    Link:http://africanarguments.org/2012/09/...by-abdi-aynte/
    davidbfpo

  15. #155
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default

    Kenyan fighter jets bomb Somali city
    Aircraft target airport in southern city of Kismayo, where Kenya says al-Shabab is operating its last major base.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa...174849981.html
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  16. #156
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default AMISOM Uganda to leave?

    From the BBC:
    Uganda will withdraw its forces from UN-backed international missions, Security Minister Muruli Mukasa says, escalating a long-running row....The UN infuriated Kampala when it published an experts' report accusing Uganda of arming Congolese rebels....The remarks from the security minister echo a statement made in the Ugandan parliament on Thursday by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20187369

    Other operations in the Central African Republic - the hunt for Kony & the LRA and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be affected.

    Note Uganda was recently elected to the UNSC, with an overwhelming vote, so may have some clout in NYC.

    One wonders how the EU & USA, the biggest known supporters of AMISOM, will react. What is more important the hell-hole of Somalia or eastern DRC? Time for some delicate diplomacy and more US$ to Uganda.
    davidbfpo

  17. #157
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Calmer, cooking and bombing

    Aidan Hartley has been in Somalia recently to make a documentary. He has written two short articles in 'The Spectator', the first starts with:
    I return to Mogadishu to find it’s calm – only a few assassinations, hit-and-run attacks, IEDs or suicide bombs — and at last most Somalis seem ready for peace. I’ve covered events here for 21 years and love imagining an end to war in this delightful city. I also know that it’s during times of calm, when you drop your guard — forgetting that there’s one rule for Somalis and another for foreigners — you end up dead.
    He then writes about the risk of being kidnapped and preparations.

    Link:http://www.spectator.co.uk/life/wild.../wild-life-44/

    The next article uses a returning Somali restaurant owner's tale. Within are a few surprises:
    If Somalia could rid itself of extremists and warlords, it could have a bright future. The outside world often assumes that there’s a constant famine here; that all Somalis must be starving. And yes, countless thousands have died of hunger, but that was due to war, not drought or a harsh environment.

    The truth is that Somalia has wonderful food in abundance. It has some of the best surviving tuna fisheries in the world, thanks to the pirates, who have protected these waters. Its river lands are fertile and the markets are piled with fruit and vegetables — all organic thanks to the isolation of Somalia for a generation. The meat — ah, the meat! There are more camels in Somalia than any other nation worldwide.
    Link:http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/...g-for-freedom/

    The documentary is The Master Chef of Mogadishu’ which was broadcast on Unreported World, Channel 4. I don't know if this podcast will work outside the UK:http://www.channel4.com/programmes/u...012/episode-12
    davidbfpo

  18. #158
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Lights, Camera, Jihad: Al Shabaab's Western Media Strategy

    A new ICSR report:
    In recent years, dozens of young Muslims from Europe and North America have gone to Somalia to fight with the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab. While the threat that al-Shabaab poses to the West can easily be overstated, its outreach to Muslims living in Europe and the United States has been very successful.

    Through a combination of primary source analysis and background interviews in East Africa, together with a quantitative review of the group's Twitter output, ICSR's latest report -- Lights, Camera, Jihad: Al Shabaab's Western Media Strategy -- explains how al-Shabaab markets itself to Muslims in the West.
    A taster:
    Al-Shabaab presents its mission in cosmic terms, invoking a civilisational conflict between the forces of Islam and non-Islam. This is coupled with attempts to develop an ‘ummah consciousness’ in potential recruits, encouraging them to identify with Muslim causes worldwide. Typically, the suffering of Muslims around the world is juxtaposed with the ease of life in the West. The central tenet of this messaging is that faith necessitates action, and Muslims need to recalibrate their priorities by placing the liberation of Muslim lands ahead of esoteric matters of faith.
    Link to report and podcast for the launch last week:http://icsr.info/2012/11/icsr-report...edia-strategy/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-26-2018 at 05:40 PM. Reason: 14,372v when stand alone thread till today
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  19. #159
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Shape of Al Shabaab’s Post-Kismayo Attacks

    Since African Union forces surrounded Kismayo, we have kept a database detailing every publicly-reported attack known or suspected of being carried out by the group and its sympathizers. This database runs from September 30, 2012, through December 5, 2012, covering a total of 68 attacks. In this article, we map the early part of Shabaab’s attempted post-Kismayo insurgency by providing a visualization of this data.
    Link:http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawam...o-attacks.html
    davidbfpo

  20. #160
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Default

    French SOF lost 2 men Saturday in the failed rescue of a DGSE officer being held by al-Shabab, 110 km south of Mogadishu.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

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