03 Jun 2011 – Daily Monitoring Report

Key Headlines:

  • AMISOM TFG forces capture crucial road
  • President Sharif calls for an extension of government term
  • Burundi president calls for an extra year tenure for TFG
  • Al Shabaab shuffles fighters in Mogadishu
  • Al Shabaab attack Kenya
  • 2 al Shabaab suspects arrested at Kiunga
  • South Africa Mozambique combine to fight Somali pirates

Titres Principaux:

  • Les forces de l’AMISOM et du GFT prennent contrôle d’une route cruciale
  • Le président Sharif appelle à l’extension du mandat gouvernemental
  • Le président Bouroundais appelle à l’extension d’un an du mandat du GFT
  • Al Shabaab ré-organise ses combattants à Mogadiscio
  • Al Shabaab attaque le Kenya
  • Deux suspects d’al Shabaab arrêtés à Kiunga
  • L’Afrique du Sud et le Mozambique joignent leurs forces afin de combattre les pirates Somaliens


AMISOM, TFG forces capture crucial road

03 June – Source: AMISOM – 273 words

Government troops supported by troops from the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have on Thursday morning captured the Damanyo military camp also known as Shirkole Ofishiale, the last remaining outpost of Al Qaida-linked extremist insurgents in the western part of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

“This gives the Somali government full control over Terebunka road, a major city artery which leads north from the bustling K4 junction to Industrial road, as well as western access routes to the famous Bakara Market, the city’s commercial hub,” said Col. Innocent OULA, the AMISOM Chief of Staff. “The road will soon be reopened to civilian traffic once mopping up operations to ensure safety are complete,” he added.

In a series of operations carried out since late February, troops from AMISOM’s Burundi contingent have helped government troops push the insurgents out of all their positions along or near to Terebunka road, including their former logistical and operational headquarters at the Ministry of Defence Building at Gashandigga, the Milk Factory, and just last week, the African Village.

Coupled with last month’s taking of another major road, Wadnaha road, which runs east to west along the southern edge of the market, by the Uganda contingent, this now means that the two AMISOM contingents have linked up and are presenting a common front. It also ensures that civilian access to Bakara Market will significantly ease once the extremists within it are gone.

AMISOM and government forces are closing in from three directions on the strategic market, which the AU force has designated a no-fire zone for its artillery and mortar units, leaving an escape route to the north-east open to the militants.


President Sharif calls for an extension of government term

03 Jun – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 151 words

The president of Somalia Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed asked for the extension of the government’s term which will expire on 20th August this year. The president made this statement while addressing the delegates at the Kampala meeting on Somalia in Uganda.

The president said there are many unfinished tasks which could not be accomplished by the government if no extensions are granted, adding that the Somalis need to be left alone to shape the destiny of their country.

The president touched on the current political, security and financial gain of his government as well as the public development in the international contact group (ICG) meeting on Somalia in Uganda.

The president commended the efforts of the Uganda and Burundi forces to bring about peace in Somalia. He also accredited the US, EU and the Arab League for their unrelenting support to drive Somalia out of its current mess.

Burundian president calls for an extra year tenure for TFG

03 Jun- Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 221 words

The ICG meeting for in Kampala is in its second day where issues about Somalia are being discussed. The president of Burundi who only arrived today at the meeting called for a one year extension echoing the same request President Sharif and President Yoweri Museveni have made earlier in the meeting.

President Nkurunziza of Burundi argues that it is important to for the government’s term to be extended for a period of one year. He said the government cannot afford to hold elections at a time it is completely engrossed in fighting with the extremist. Elections will undermine the current gains and bring bitterness, he said.

The meeting was later attended by former Ghanaian president and AU representative of Somalia, Jerry Rawlings who reiterated the importance tenure extension for the government.

The request by the Burundi president barely comes a day after President Yoweri Museven of Uganda called on for the term of the TFG to be extended to accomplish the remaining tasks.

The term of the government expires on August this year where the parliamentary self-term extension brought fresh row in the top government officials.

Calm returns to Mogadishu, casualties rise

03 Jun- Source: Mareeg – 170 words

Calm has returned to the Somali capital Mogadishu, just a day after heavy fighting that took the lives of more than 10 persons, casualties of wounded civilians rose, according to health staff and witnesses.

Heavy fighting between the Transitional Government of Somalia backing the African Union troops AMISOM and al Shabaab continue in various frontlines such as Bondere, in north, Hodan and Wardhigley districts, including areas around the former defense ministry of Somali in Mogadishu.

Government officials claimed victory over yesterday’s fighting and said they seized more new military grounds from al Shabaab militias. Health officials said that several wounded civilians were rushed to hospitals overnight, adding that there had been more than 15 wounded people brought to hospitals on Thursday.


Bakara market businessmen make demands

03 Jun – Source: Somali National TV – 84 words

More than 30 members from Somalia’s Civil Society including, Political leaders, Business people, Religious leaders, Women’s group and journalists have gathered for a meeting organized by Somalia South Central Non State Actors (SOSCENSA) in Mogadishu on Thursday and demanded that the warring sides establish Bakara Market as a no war zone and ensure that property and goods are not damaged.

The participants focused on the challenges facing Mogadishu’s main market after it became the base for the al Shabaab militant seeking to control Somalia.

Government forces confiscate new positions in Bakara market

03 Jun – Source: Radio RBC – 254 words

Somalia government officials said on Thursday that they have seized new positions in the capital, Mogadishu from al Shabaab after fresh battle, RBC Radio reports.

“Our forces today captured al Baraka junction near the main market of the city and also the former residence of Somalia police officers” The commanding officer of Somalia military forces, Gen Abdulkarim Yusuf Dhagabadan told reporters at a press conference in Mogadishu.

Officials from the Mogadishu ambulance service told RBC Radio that at least 20 persons were killed when fresh gun battle erupted near the main market of Bakaro on Thursday.

Most of the civilians were killed in heavy shelling targeting the market, health officials confirmed on Thursday.

Head of al Shabaab’s Mogadishu administration, Mohamed abu Abdulrrahman told an al Shabaab-ran radio that their fighters will not run quickly but will resist as much as they could, calling the residents of Mogadishu to join what he says was ‘a holy war’ against Uganda and Burundi.

An RBC Radio correspondent who visited the newly seized bases says he has seen at least five bodies of dead al Shabaab fightera laying on the ground. Their ages ranged between 12 and 18. The government forces with the backing of African Union troops AMISOM are now approaching the market.

Somali MPs give mixed reaction to planned consultation meeting

03 Jun – Source: Radio Shabelle – 204 words

Some members of the Federal Somali Parliament have given mixed reactions to the planned consultation conference being organized by the government, which is expected to take place in Mogadishu.

A number of Somali MPs today spoke to radio Shabelle about the consultation meeting that is being organized by the government, which is expected to bring together various Somali political stakeholders. Salad Ali Jelle said the TFG has no authority to host such a meeting given the conflict being discussed between its own institutions and officials. The MP asked the government not to play the role of a host in these talks but rather remain a participant.

Dahir Abdikadir, another of the MPs that spoke to radio Shabelle was of a different opinion and said the government does indeed have the authority to host such talks as stated in constitutions. The MP urged all government institutions not to impose their vows on others but instead allow each to work independently.

The talks being organized in Mogadishu by the TFG and expected to take place in June are already proving to be quite controversial as a number of political parties and regional administration have already announced their plans to boycott them.

Al Shabaab shuffles fighters in Mogadishu

02 Jun – Source: Radio Risala – 52 words

Al Shabaab commanders have decided to withdraw their foreign militants from the frontlines in Mogadishu as they send other fighters to reinforce their troops in Bakara. More than 15 vehicles carrying foreigners reportedly from Abdul-Aziz district in north Mogadishu were seen moving out of Mogadishu towards Afgoi district in lower Shabelle region.

Al Shabaab take away TV set and equipment from Jowhar residents

03 Jun – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 112 words

The al Shabaab militias in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle have taken away a TV set from families in Jowhar after accusing them of watching the Somali National TV. The militias entered the house of the family taking away a TV set and arresting one family member in the course.

The residents of Jowhar are expressing sorrow over the constant harassment by al Shabaab who started to take the properties of the public.

It seems the militias are turning their rage on the residents after they were mostly flushed out of Mogadishu. With source of livelihood and finance sealed, the only options they had was to turn on the public who themselves have nothing to offer.

Hawiye cultural elders warn of continued fighting

03 Jun- Source: Bariga Afrika – 151 words

Cultural and Unity leaders of Hawiya clans have warned that if the fighting continues it might worsen the conditions of the People of Somalia especially those in the capital.

Spokesman for the group Ahmed Deriye Ali talking to the media said that he is very much concerned about the continuation and gaining momentum of the fighting in Benadir Province and urged an immediate halt to the Hostilities.

Mr. Ahmed Deriye also pointed out that the warring parties have previously refused mediation after the Ethiopian forces pulled out of Somalia but reiterated that they are still ready to broker a peace deal between the two parties.

The cultural leader also added that the bloodshed is increasing hence adding on the suffering of innocent people and therefore urged all in the involved parties to immediately stop the fighting.

The expressions of the Hawiye Cultural leaders comes amid continued heavy battles in Benadir province which claimed the lives of many people, especially civilians.


Detained fishermen released by war-ships in Somalia Sea

03 Jun – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 172 words

The administration of Lasqoray of Sanaag region says the five young men who were detained earlier by the joint naval warships to combat piracy have returned to their homes after they were under their custody for one month.

Ahmed Abdikarim Adan, one of the fishermen detained told Bar-kulan that they were in no possession of weapons at the time of their detention. Ahmed said the forces anti-piracy forces could not believe they were fishermen.

The freed young men said they were asked many questions regarding their presence on the water. They confirmed that they did not receive any mistreatment in the hands of the anti-piracy forces. The young men were taken captives by a Belgium naval vessel after they were suspected of being pirates.

Joint naval vessels from different countries of the world are patrolling the sea of Somalia after Somali pirates plagued the coast off Somalia, impounding ships and crew at gunpoint and demanding ransoms before release. This has made the piracy off the Somalia coast the most dangerous in the world.

Puntland police officer escapes bomb blast

03 Jun – Source: Shabelle – 100 words

A police officer on Friday morning has scarcely escaped from heavy roadside bomb attack at the center of Galka’yo town in Mudug region in central Somalia.

Ahmed Muse Abdurrahman, Puntland head of the operations at Mudug region has come under the attack while his private car was traveling in the town.

Witnesses said that the bomb was very heavy as it was heard in many parts of Galka’yo’s neighborhoods.

At least two people who were near at the explosion have been injured, according to the locals. Radio Shabelle contacted the officer and said that he was the target but fortunately survived.



Al Shabaab attack Kenya

03 Jun – Source: The Star (Kenya) – 92 words

One soldier is in critical condition after an explosion hit a Kenya army lorry in Mandera town last night in an attack believed to have been carried out by al Shabaab militiamen. Ten other soldiers were injured.

Military and police suspect the explosion was caused by a landmine that was strategically placed to kill the personnel. Witnesses said the explosion occurred as a lorry was ferrying the soldiers to a border point.

Those injured are expected to be airlifted to Nairobi today. There are ongoing military operations along the long and porous Kenya/Somali border.


2 al Shabaab suspects arrested at Kiunga

03 Jun – Source: The Star (Kenya) – 205 words

The Kenya anti-terror police has arrested two al Shabaab suspects along the Kenya- Somalia border at Kiunga. The Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) boss Nicholas Kimwende confirmed that the two, aged between 24 and 25 years, were arrested on Monday. Although the suspects said they were from Chad and were heading to Yemen, Lamu police boss Samson Ole Kinna said the nationality of the suspects had not been identified.

It is suspected that they have escaped from the war-torn Somali country after being recruited by al Shabaab.

They were detained at the Lamu Police station before being taken to Mombasa. Kimwende said that the two will be charged in a Mombasa court. He however did not specify the charges they will face. The duo who appeared emaciated, were whisked on Thursday morning to the Mombasa law court but it was not known when they will be charged.

When the suspects were arrested, they did not have anything that could incriminate them, Ole Kinna said. One of the suspects spoke in Swahili while the other could not understand any of the local languages.

Their arrest came days after a youth from Nairobi was allegedly tricked to travel to Mombasa, in what could be a syndicate of human trafficking.


All 5 convicted Somali pirates to face appeals court

03 Jun – Source: Yonhap News Agency – 92 words

All five Somali pirates recently convicted of hijacking a South Korean-owned freighter earlier this year have appealed their sentences, claiming innocence for some of their charges, a local court said Friday.

The pirates were captured on Jan. 21 during a commando operation by the South Korean Navy to rescue the chemical carrier, the Samho Jewelry, in the Arabian Sea. Eight other pirates were killed in the operation, while all 21 crew members were rescued. The ship’s captain, Seok Haekyun, has been recovering in South Korea after sustaining serious gunshot wounds during the raid.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2011/06/03/0302000000AEN20110603004900315.HT ML

Twin Cities man may have been Somali suicide bomber

03 Jun – Source: Twin Cities – 996 words

A man who blew himself up in a suicide bombing in Somalia this week was a Twin Cities man under indictment for aiding terrorists, an official with that country’s U.N. mission said Thursday. The attack in the capital of Mogadishu on Monday, which killed three African Union soldiers, was carried out by Abdullahi Ahmed, 25, of Minneapolis, according to the website of al Shabaab, the group that claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Omar Jamal, first secretary of the Somali mission to the U.N., said the man was actually named Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax, 34, of Bloomington, who was among a group of men indicted last year for conspiracy to aid al Shabaab, a group the U.S. State Department says engages in terrorism and is linked to al Qaida.

“They are the same person,” Jamal said Thursday at a news conference in St. Paul. He said that for many Somali parents in the Twin Cities, the bombing raised the specter that their children would be drawn to fight overseas.

“Young kids are still lured from Minneapolis, the United States, Europe, back into harm’s way in Somalia,” he said.

U.S. officials could not or would not confirm that Ahmed and Faarax are the same. Special Agent Steve Warfield, spokesman for the FBI’s Minneapolis office, said investigators didn’t yet know the bomber’s identity.

“It’s all speculation at this point who this guy was,” he said. Jamal was sure the two men were the same. He said that in Somali culture, it is not unusual to leave off the last name. Also, he said the men had the same first name, and that the apparent differences – “Abdullahi” vs. “Cabdulaahi” – stemmed from how the name is translated from its Somali spelling (which starts with a “C”) and its English spelling.

Jamal also said the discrepancy in age between the two wasn’t troubling because many Somalis don’t know the date or even year they were born. “We don’t pay much attention to the age,” he said.

Before taking his post at the U.N., Jamal was director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in St. Paul and was, at times, the target of criticism from some in the local Somali community who felt he did not represent their views. He said that he met Ahmed years ago and that the man drove a taxi and had been in the U.S. for about nine years.


South Africa, Mozambique combine to fight Somali pirates

03 Jun – Source: rfi.fr – 218 words

Mozambique and South Africa have agreed to cooperate in fighting piracy, which is spreading south from Somalia. The two countries will operate joint patrols in the Indian Ocean between Mozambique and Madagascar and press the international community to finance beefing up the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.

Defence ministers Lindiwe Sisulu of South Africa and Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique signed the agreement in Pretoria.

They would not take questions about why it had taken so long to formalise a deal to protect Mozambique’s 2470km coastline from Somali pirates whose range has increased tenfold in recent years.

They attacked a ship off Mozambique last December. What touches Mozambique touches South Africa, Sisulu declared.

She sent a South African ship into her eastern neighbour’s waters two months ago. The Mozambique channel carries 30 per cent of the world’s oil and 98 per cent of South Africa’s maritime traffic.

South African Secretary of Defence Mpumi Mpofu says piracy is costing eight billion euros a year.


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