26 October – Source: Daily Monitor – 1690 Words
President Museveni has told United States officials that Uganda is ready to deploy 5,000 additional troops to bolster military operations of the African Union Mission for Somalia (Amisom) against the resurgent al-Shabaab insurgents. Sources familiar with the discussions told Daily Monitor that Gen Museveni announced the offer in a meeting with Mr Donald Yamamoto, the acting US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, in New York last month. The President, however, told his American hosts that Uganda would only send more troops to Somalia if the international community commits more predictable funding and donates equipment, force enablers and multipliers such as attack helicopters.
Uganda, with more than 6,000 troops in Somalia, is the largest contributor to the 10-year-old AU-led mission. The operation has lately been threatened by reduced funding, non-payment and declining morale of the combat soldiers and defections to al-Shabaab of Somali troops, already too weak to hold liberated territories.
In the New York lunch meeting, which happened on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Yamamoto offered no explicit response to President Museveni’s offer, according to one diplomat. He, however, praised Mr Museveni as a long-serving experienced leader whose “strategic ideas” the United States values and will consider. Gen Museveni had reasoned that increasing the number of troops in Somalia was necessary for an all-out offensive on the al-Shabaab instead of the current fractional approach where liberated areas are quickly recaptured by the insurgents when foreign forces move to new forward operating bases.
- Museveni Ready To Send 5000 Troops To Somalia (Daily Monitor)
- Somalia’s 1st Police Chief Dies In U.S. At 91 (Garowe Online)
- Galmudug Blames Local Politicians For Fueling Tension (Radio Dalsan)
- Somali PM Visits Terror Attack Victims Receiving Treatment In Turkey (Daily Sabah)
- Ethiopia Pledges Support For Somalia’s Fight Against Al-Shabaab (CGTN)
- Al-Shabaab Returnees Hinder Elimination Of Terrorists (Daily Nation)
- Somalia Doesn’t Need Tears. Help Us Fight Terrorism (New York Times)
Somalia’s 1st Police Chief Dies In U.S. At 91
26 October – Source: Garowe Online – 231 Words
The first Somali Police Force commander, General Mohamed Abshir Muse has died in a hospital in Minneapolis, United of America (USA) at the age of 91. The late Muse born in 1926 and received training from the Carabinieri, Italy’s national gendarmerie, before he joined the Somali Police Force. He served as the force chief for nine years till the military coup of 1969. General Muse resigned in 1969 ahead of elections as he opposed the electoral process. He was later jailed by the military dictator Siad Barre for speaking out against the regime.
After serving ten year-jail, Muse wrote to Barre calling him to resign to save the country as it was on the brink of a civil war that broke out in 1990. One year after the conflict began, he became the leader of the SSDF’s political wing while late former Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed led the armed wing from 1991 to 1998. SSDF – Somali Salvation Democratic Front ruled northeastern regions, current Puntland state.
There was a leadership struggle between the two parties, with Abdullahi Yusuf garnering the support of former military officials and Mohamed Abshir Muse the support from politicians associated with the civilian government of the 1960s. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo sent heartfelt condolences on the demise of the General and said his contribution to the building of Somali Police force shall always be remembered.
Galmudug Blames Local Politicians For Fueling Tension
26 October – Source: Radio Dalsan – 101 Words
The minister of information for Somalia’s central semi-autonomous region of Galmudug, Mohamud Osman “Masagawaa” has accused local politicians of fuelling tension in the region. Speaking at a press conference in Adado city, Osman has warned the so-called politicians against any plan to create a political turmoil in Galmudug state.
He added that authorities will put in place measures to prevent such people from turning the situation upside down, and will deal them with an ironic fist. The Minister’s remarks came as Galmudug state leaders in deadlock over the Gulf diplomatic crisis after President Haaf sided with Saudi-led Arab coalition against Qatar.
27 October – Source: Daily Sabah – 122 Words
Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre on Thursday met the injured victims of of the recent Mogadishu blast who have been receiving treatment in a hospital in Ankara. Thirty-five Somalis, including three children, injured in the terror attack were airlifted to Turkey for medical treatment following an Oct. 14 truck bomb which killed at least 358 people and injured 228 others in Mogadishu.
“Our brothers in this country [Turkey] stood by us when we needed [them] the most,” he said during his visit at Ankara Numune Hospital. The hospital visit was a part of Khayre’s three-day official visit to Turkey. Earlier on Thursday, Khayre met President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to discuss bilateral relations, regional and international issues.
25 October – Source: CGTN – 159 Words
Somali President Abdullahi Farmajo is in Ethiopia to seek the country’s support in the fight against jihadist group Al-Shabaab. “I’m here to seek support from Ethiopia as I did in Uganda for AMISOM troop contributing countries to redouble their efforts so a renewed fighting against Al-Shabaab can take place sooner,” he said. Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, was hit by a deadly attack last week, killing more than 350 people, the country’s worst attack in years. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack so far.
Farmaajo is calling for a stronger and more concerted war against the militants, as he seeks to crush them. The Ethiopian government is said to have agreed to his request, and will support the fight. Officials said the Ethiopian army will stand alongside Somalia to execute all present and future missions planned to defeat Al-Shabaab. Farmaajo has previously visited Uganda, where he went to seek President Yoweri Museveni’s support in the same fight.
26 October- Source: Daily Nation – 194 Words
Al-Shabaab returnees are hindering eradication of the militants from three counties, the government says.Boni Enclave Campaign Director Joseph Kanyiri said hundreds of youth who had joined the militia in Somalia had returned and were hindering operations to weed out the militants in Lamu, Tana River and Garissa counties.
He said the youth failed to notify authorities of their return for amnesty and integration into the society. Speaking to journalists in Lamu on Monday, Mr Kanyiri said many of the returnees were helping the group carry out attacks in Bodhei, Ijara and other areas bordering Boni Forest. He said the recent terror attacks in Bodhei and the surrounding areas were “an indication that the perpetrators were under the guidance of local networks”.
The director suspected that the returnees were secretly re-grouping, recruiting and training other militants. He said the recruits were then being used to launch attacks in remote parts.Mr Kanyiri urged families of the Shabaab returnees to surrender their youth to the authorities for rehabilitation and amnesty “so that they can be fully reintegrated into the society”. Mr Kanyiri asked the returnees to surrender failing which they will be arrested and prosecuted.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“The Oct. 14 truck bombing in Mogadishu was a crime against the Somali people and a crime against humanity. But we have no way to assess the evidence, to exploit the intelligence and to build a case against those responsible. Such attacks are likely to continue not only in Somalia, but also in other countries where the Al-Shabaab operates. We need help to ensure that such carnage doesn’t happen again. To do that, we must not be afraid to confront our collective failure to prevent this heinous attack.”
26 October – Source: The New York Times – 1188 Words
On Oct. 14, a truck carrying about two tons of homemade explosives blew up near Zoobe Junction, one of the busiest streets in Mogadishu, the Somali capital. The blast sent shock waves for miles. More than 400 people were killed nearly 150 of them burned beyond recognition and hundreds wounded. Families wandered for hours searching for their loved ones in the rubble. Hundreds of citizens lined up at hospitals for hours to donate blood. Doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers did all they could to rescue the wounded. Grieving and angry Somalis gathered on Zoobe Junction blamed Islamist Shabab militants for the atrocity. Leaders from Turkey, the United States, Britain, Canada, France and the United Nations condemned the attack.
But condemnation isn’t going to help Somalia battle the Shabab and its bomb makers. To defeat Shabab terrorism, Somalia requires expertise and equipment that it lacks, and it needs a new paradigm of cooperation between Somali security services and our international partners. There is no doubt about the Shabab, which has links with Al Qaeda, being the perpetrator. Bombings with homemade explosives are a common tactic for these militants in their battle with the Somali government. The toll in the Oct. 14 bombing was so high, however, that the Shabab didn’t dare to claim responsibility and admit its murderous conduct even to its own members and sympathizers.
A few years ago, the Shabab controlled almost all of southern Somalia about half of the country. Since then, Somali and African Union forces have expelled the Shabaab from most major towns; American airstrikes and joint operations between Somali and United States Special Forces have killed dozens of militant leaders. But the Shabab, which has around 8,000 fighters in its ranks, retains a presence in rural Somalia, keeping many towns under an effective state of siege and disrupting traffic along major roads.
The weapon of choice for the Shabab has been the improvised explosive device. It used such homemade bombs in 395 attacks in 2016, which killed 723 people and wounded more than 1,100 — an increase of 110 percent over 2015, when 265 attacks were reported. The Shabab also magnified the potency of its weapons, increasing the average size of bombs from five kilos (about 11 pounds) to 40 kilos (about 88 pounds) and the size of the explosive charges in suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices from about 100 to 200 kilos (about 220 to 440 pounds) to 800 to 1,000 kilos (about 1,763 to 2,205 pounds) from 2015 to 2016.
The greater frequency and potency of bombs used by the Shabab have led to increased demand for explosives and other components. Where Shabab members once relied on military-grade explosives harvested from land mines and artillery shells, they have become increasingly adept at preparing homemade explosives from fertilizer and other commercially available products.