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Old 12-06-2007   #21
abduljrus
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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 03:05 AM.
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Old 12-28-2007   #22
JJackson
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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Ethiopian troops have withdrawn from a key town in central Somalia.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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Old 12-28-2007   #23
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Well, Ethiopia has admitted it can't fight a war on 3 fronts and Eritrea recently accused Ethiopia of attacking some of their military forces on the border. Hmmm...
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Old 12-28-2007   #24
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I hope you are right and they will withdraw returning Somalia to the UIC/ALS but if they are to withdraw it would make a lot more sense to do it from the end of your supply line in an orderly fashion back to your boarders - not give up a position between you and home - unless it is a trap to get the ALS to commit assets to a fixed location.
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Old 12-29-2007   #25
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Default Remember Somalia is split

A quick point the old country of Somalia is no more. In the north east and essentially the old British Somaliland is a separate country, albeit not recognized by the UN or AU. Last time I looked it was stable and leaning towards a democracy.

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Old 01-06-2008   #26
abduljrus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
A quick point the old country of Somalia is no more. In the north east and essentially the old British Somaliland is a separate country, albeit not recognized by the UN or AU. Last time I looked it was stable and leaning towards a democracy.

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i think you are exaggerating that "split" factor. Puntland and Somaliland are making it on their own because there is no government and the Somali federal charter allows for one or more states to form regional governments so once the 2009 elections happen, their will be or can be easily integrated and they will benefit for a federal state.

they are split along clan lines now and even then, they are split along sub clan lines and it still split along sub sub clans. so i am not sure how solid these unions are.

and the current "president" of somaliland has been there since forever, arrested journalist, killed opposition and even one time banned it. you call that democracy?
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Old 03-03-2008   #27
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Default 'US planes' bomb town in Somalia

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Islamist spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow said the US was trying to hit Islamist hideouts in the area.

"The Americans bombed the town and hit civilians targets thinking that they were Islamist hideouts. They used an AC-130 plane," he told the AFP news agency.

Local official Ali Hussein told the BBC that many people were fleeing the town.

The border with Kenya has been closed for the past year.
Full story http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7274462.stm
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Old 03-28-2008   #28
Rex Brynen
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Default Somalia sinks into greater chaos as Islamist insurgents gain ground

Somalia sinks into greater chaos as Islamist insurgents gain ground, International Herald Tribune, 28 March 2008.

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The trouble started when government soldiers went to the market and, at gunpoint, began helping themselves to sacks of grain.

Islamist insurgents poured into the streets to defend the merchants. The government troops got hammered, taking heavy casualties and retreating all the way back to the presidential palace, supposedly the most secure place in the city. It, too, came under fire.

Mohamed Abdirizak, a top government official, crouched on a balcony at the palace, with bullets whizzing over his head. He had just given up a cushy life as a development consultant in Springfield, Virginia. His wife thought he was crazy. Sweat beaded on his forehead.

"I feel this slipping away," he said.
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Old 03-29-2008   #29
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Quote:
Islamist insurgents poured into the streets to defend the merchants. The government troops got hammered, taking heavy casualties and retreating all the way back to the presidential palace, supposedly the most secure place in the city. It, too, came under fire.
I have a problem with the use of language like this. We have Islamist and insurgent slapped together so casually, and both have become part of popular terminology and carry a certain meaning to perhaps 75% of the general American population out there...Yet in this case it would appear that the "Islamic insurgents" did a bit of good against some heavy hands. It's a new story so I read it with a grain of sand, but Somalia is all at once terribly complex and yet so simple (the economics of hunger driving violence quicker than ####).

Even with the arrival on stage of the Ethiopians, the remainder of the story reads just like Mogadishu circa May 1994, when I was watching that place fall further apart with my own eyes.

I don't know, maybe the "Islamists" can be the only ones to get things right, but you will never, ever be able to find one faction, tribe, or religious side that can do so without resorting to the way of the gun. We might as well get used to the fact that it is going to came as a result of violence. We need to get the engagement piece figured out, and spend more time drafting the operational risk management worksheet on this one, with a focus on mitigation. Realize however, that the overall risk factor remains EXTREME, and just deal with it.

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Old 04-20-2008   #30
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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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Old 05-01-2008   #31
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Default US air strike kills Aden Hashi Ayro

Quote:
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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Old 05-06-2008   #32
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Default Begining of the end for Ethiopian adventure?

Somali troops 'out of control'

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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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Old 05-23-2008   #33
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Default Re-cycling - HOA style

Peacekeepers sell arms to Somalis

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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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Old 05-23-2008   #34
Ron Humphrey
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Angry Well yeah

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJackson View Post
Peacekeepers sell arms to Somalis



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.
Lord knows they wouldn't want to interrupt those particular supply lines
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Old 05-25-2008   #35
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Default UK-Somali linkages

In today's UK Mail on Sunday, by an excellent journalist, Aidan Hartley, who contributes to (UK) The Spectator and lives in NE Kenya: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/moslive/a...d-general.html

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Old 12-23-2008   #36
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ICG, 23 Dec 08: Somalia: To Move Beyond the Failed State
Quote:
Since 1991 Somalia has been the archetypal failed state. Several attempts to create a transitional set-up have failed, and the current one is on the brink of collapse, overtaken yet again by an Islamist insurgency, despite the support of an Ethiopian military interven-tion since December 2006. Over the last two years the situation has deteriorated into one of the world’s worst humanitarian and security crises. The international community is preoccupied with a symptom – the piracy phenomenon – instead of concentrating on the core of the crisis, the need for a political settlement. The announced Ethiopian withdrawal, if it occurs, will open up a new period of uncertainty and risk. It could also provide a window of opportunity to relaunch a credi-ble political process, however, if additional parties can be persuaded to join the Djibouti reconciliation talks, and local and international actors – including the U.S. and Ethiopia – accept that room must be found for much of the Islamist insurgency in that process and ultimately in a new government dispensation.....
Complete 45-page paper at the link.
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Old 09-21-2009   #37
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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:

Quote:
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

Quote:
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

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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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Old 10-13-2009   #38
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Default Understanding the al-Shabaab Networks

ASPI, 13 Oct 09: Understanding the al-Shabaab Networks
Quote:
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
Quote:
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
Quote:
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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Old 10-28-2009   #39
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MEQ, Fall 09: The Strategic Challenge of Somalia's Al-Shabaab: Dimensions of Jihad
Quote:
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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Old 12-16-2009   #40
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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.
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