Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on

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Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #80 on: May 21, 2009, 06:28:12 PM »
Thanks for keeping this updated man.

Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #81 on: May 22, 2009, 02:10:05 PM »
Thanks for keeping this updated man.

my pleasure, a major escalation today sadly, see below
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #82 on: May 22, 2009, 02:10:44 PM »
Big attack on Mogadishu militants

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8062883.stm

Militants fought running battles with soldiers as concerned crowds looked on


Pro-government forces in Somalia have launched a major attack against Islamist militants controlling parts of the capital, Mogadishu.

The assault is an attempt to recapture areas seized by the rebels.

Medical sources told the BBC that at least 30 people had been killed in the latest clashes.

Forces loyal to the transitional government - which is recognised by the UN - lost control of about one-third of the city to militants last week.

Bitter fighting

Ten days of fierce clashes between the pro-government forces and militant Islamic groups - al-Shabab and Hisbul-Islam - have left more than 100 people dead and displaced about 50,000 civilians.
   
 This is a large military offensive against violent people
Farhan Mahdi Mohamed
Military spokesman

Somali justice - Islamist-style
Q&A: Somalia's conflict


The BBC's Mohamed Olad Hassan, in Mogadishu, says the pro-government military offensive against the insurgents is significant.

Most of the fighting is focusing around one of the city's main routes, Wadnaha Road, he says.

African Union peacekeepers based in the capital to support the fragile administration are not involved in the attack, he adds. The 4,300-strong force does not have a mandate to pursue the insurgents.

"This is a large military offensive against violent people," military spokesman Farhan Mahdi Mohamed told AFP news agency.

"The government will sweep them out of the capital and the fighting will continue until that happens."

A moderate Islamist President, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, was elected by a unity government in January as part of a UN-backed peace initiative.

But even his introduction of Sharia law to the strongly Muslim country has not appeased the hardline guerrillas, who are accused of links to al-Qaeda.

The Horn of Africa state has been mired in conflict for 18 years.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #83 on: May 23, 2009, 09:52:03 AM »
Mogadishu street fighting kills 45, wounds 182
Somali government forces try to dislodge insurgents

   Severe fighting
http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/05/22/73560.html




Somalia has been mired in civil war for 18 years


MOGADISHU (Agencies)

Somali government forces attacked rebel strongholds in Mogadishu on Friday, triggering battles across the capital that killed at least 45 people, the highest daily death toll for months.

Neighboring states and Western security forces fear Somalia, which has been mired in civil war for 18 years, could become a haven for terrorists linked to al-Qaeda.

"At least 45 people including 28 civilians died in today's fighting," Ali Yasin Gedi, vice chairman of Elman Peace and Human Rights Organization told Reuters.
" The opposition groups have been provoking us for the last three weeks "
Somali Defense Minister Mohamed Abdi Gandi

"One hundred and eighty two people, including civilians and the warring groups were also injured."

Residents scuttled across the dusty streets and sheltered by walls as heavy gunfire shook the capital. Some children milled around near a dead body, its blood draining into the sand.

Fighters wearing headscarves with ammunition belts draped over their shoulders loitered on a corner as a battered 4x4 pickup with a heavy machinegun on top raced past.


Severe fighting
" We shall defeat the government soon, God willing. We should not be deceived by Westerners like Sharif "
Opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys

The government says there is little hope of negotiating with al-Shabaab gunmen trying to topple it. The administration says the rebels have no political agenda and have hundreds of foreign extremists in their ranks.

"The opposition groups have been provoking us for the last three weeks," said Defense Minister Mohamed Abdi Gandi.

"We shall continue fighting this opposition with foreign ideologies. They want to destroy our government by the use of violence but it will not be," he told reporters.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, an influential Islamist opposition leader who once ran Mogadishu with President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, also said his forces would battle on.

"We shall defeat the government soon, God willing," he told Reuters in his Mogadishu home. "We should not be deceived by Westerners like Sharif."

The heaviest fighting for months has killed scores of civilians and uprooted tens of thousands in the last two weeks.


Somalia's interim government is struggling with a powerful insurgency


Residents said Friday's pre-dawn assaults looked to be a concerted effort by pro-government forces to seize back control of strategic sites. One man said government troops had encircled Bakara Market, al-Shabaab's biggest stronghold in the city.

Fighting has killed at least 17,700 civilians and driven more than 1 million from their homes since the start of 2007. About 3 million Somalis survive on emergency food aid.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR says 49,000 people have now fled clashes in Mogadishu in the past two weeks.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #84 on: May 24, 2009, 02:49:43 PM »
Blast kills seven in Mogadishu

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8065902.stm

A suicide bomber has killed a civilian and six government guards in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, where Islamists and pro-government forces are fighting.

The bomber drove a pick-up truck to the gate of a military base, and detonated an explosive in front of the guards.

The attack follows two weeks of intense fighting which the UN's special envoy for Somalia called a coup attempt.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah told the BBC the Islamists knew they cannot run Somalia while the UN lists them as terrorists.

Mr Ould-Abdallah warned the Islamist leaders that "to take the whole country hostage is not a solution, it is a failure".

He said that if they succeeded in defeating the government it would leave "the whole population hostage to drastic sanctions, including threats to arrest [the Islamists] and bring them to justice".

On Friday the government hit back at this latest action against it, attacking key rebel strongholds.

Mogadishu has been blighted by 18 years of almost uninterrupted civil unrest.

Rise in violence

"A speeding car laden with explosives entered the camp and exploded inside," Deputy Mogadishu Governor Abdifatah Shaweye told reporters.
 


Four guards were killed at the scene and two more died in hospital of their injuries, a police commander told Reuters news agency. At least seven people were injured.

Little is known about the bomber, but Deputy Regional Governor Abdifitah Ibrahim Shawey told the Associated Press news agency that he is believed to have been one of about 300 foreign fighters helping the insurgents.

This month has seen a notable upsurge in violence in Mogadishu - with first the Islamists and then pro-government forces renewing their attacks.

About 200 people are thought to have been killed since the beginning of May, at least 50 of whom have died since Friday morning.

So far, most of the fighting has focused on one of the city's main routes, Wadnaha Road, according to the BBC's Mohamed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu.

African Union peacekeepers based in the capital to support the fragile administration are not involved in the attacks, our correspondent says.

The 4,300-strong force does not have a mandate to pursue the insurgents.

A moderate Islamist President, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, was elected by a unity government in January as part of a UN-backed peace initiative.

But even his introduction of Sharia law to the strongly Muslim country has not appeased the guerrillas, who are accused of having links with al-Qaeda.

Mr Ould-Abdallah would not be drawn on the African Union request for UN sanctions against Eritrea, which is suspected of aiding the Islamists.
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Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #85 on: June 01, 2009, 09:23:35 AM »
Somali officials rumored to overseeing militia training in Ethiopia.
http://somalilandpress.com/6042/somali-officials-rumored-to-overseeing-militia-training-in-ethiopia

Mogadishu, 01 June 2009 (Somalilandpress) Somalia militias who have concluded intensive training in Ethiopia are now being mobilized in the town of Feerfer, which is in the Somali self governing region of Ethiopia.

Reports reaching us from Feerfer in the Somali self governing region of Ethiopia indicate that there has been a large influx of Somali militias in the town from southern and central regions of Somalia. Some of these militias have recently concluded their training in the outskirts of Mustahil which part of the Somali self governing regions of Ethiopia.

Latest reports from there indicate these newly formed on the outskirt of Beledweyne town. It appears that the militia is heading to Bulo Burte which is a strong hold of Alshabaab militants.

It has been reported that hundreds of these Somali militias have filled up military bases in the outskirts of Feerfer where they are being awaited by Ethiopian and Somali senior army officials.

It has also been said that some of these militias have been heavily armed as some of them recently travelled with Ethiopian troops to Kalabeyr Junction and Jawil district in Hiiraan Region [central Somalia] although they have since returned to Feerfer and it is only Ethiopian troops who are now in the area.

It is not yet officially known why these militias are being mobilized in these areas in Ethiopia although sources indicate that senior officials of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia [TFG] are actually in Godey in the Somalia self governing regions of Ethiopia. It is not yet known what their intentions are.

Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #86 on: June 02, 2009, 05:58:39 PM »
sounds damned ominous to me.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #87 on: June 15, 2009, 04:37:45 PM »
Ethiopian troops deeper into Somalia

Published: 12:07PM Saturday June 13, 2009

Source: Reuters

http://tvnz.co.nz/content/2782268


Reuters
A Somali Islamist fighter from Hispul Islam patrols an empty street in Wardigkey, in Mogadishu

Heavily-armed Ethiopian soldiers crossed into central Somalia and entered a town controlled by a pro-government militia nearly 30 kilometres from the border, residents said.

"They came with battle wagons and trucks all full of soldiers and guns," said Hassan Abdi, a resident in the town of Balanbale in Galgadud region. "Everybody is very worried."

Residents said the Ethiopian troops were setting up positions in the centre of the town.

Ethiopia sent thousands of troops into Somalia in 2006 to help topple an Islamist movement holding Mogadishu and most of the south. That drew protests from some in the Muslim world and enraged the Islamists, who regrouped to launch an insurgency.

The Ethiopian soldiers withdrew in January but residents, insurgents and humanitarian organisations have reported new incursions in the past few months.

Addis Ababa initially denied any soldiers had crossed into Somalia but said earlier this month that military personnel had been carrying out "reconnaissance" missions into its neighbour.

"Ethiopia has no intention to go back into Somalia. That is the standing position of our government," the Ethiopian government's head of information, Bereket Simon, told Reuters on Friday when asked about reports of new incursions.
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People living in the southwestern Somali region of Bakool, which is controlled by hardline Islamist rebel group al Shabaab, said Ethiopian troops moved into a village called Washaga on Friday and residents were fleeing.

"I'm now packed up to leave the village, al Shabaab and the Ethiopians are close to each other and on the verge of fighting," said resident Fatima Isaq Madey.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #88 on: June 18, 2009, 02:25:42 PM »
Somalia minister killed by bomb
 
Mr Aden had moved to Beledweyne to boost the fight against insurgents

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8106838.stm


Somalia's Security Minister Omar Hashi Aden has been killed in a suicide car bomb attack north of the capital Mogadishu, witnesses and officials say.

Somali diplomats were also reportedly among at least 10 people killed in the blast at a hotel in Beledweyne.

Somalia's president blamed al-Shabab - accused of links to al-Qaeda - which later claimed the attack.

Al-Shabab is among militants who have been trying to topple the fragile UN-backed government for three years.

On Wednesday, at least 10 people died when a mortar hit a Mogadishu mosque. The city's police chief was killed in a separate attack.

'Invaded by terrorists'

In Thursday's blast, witnesses said a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the Medina Hotel in Beledweyne, some 400km (249 miles) north of Mogadishu.
   

Mogadishu carnage devastates lives


Most of the victims were burnt beyond recognition after the explosion, a local medic was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

Abdulkarim Ibrahim Lakanyo, a former Somali ambassador to Ethiopia, was reportedly among those killed in the blast.

Mr Aden had recently moved to Beledweyne, a town close to the Ethiopian border, in an effort to stop Islamist insurgents gaining more ground in Somalia, the BBC's Will Ross in Nairobi says.

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed told a news conference in Mogadishu: "As you see this country was invaded by terrorists who do not allow for the existence of the Somali national flag, its sovereignty and any peace to this country.

"This group is hiding under the cloth of Islam. You know that a lot of foreigners are pouring into the country day by day," he added, in an apparent reference to Islamist fighters from overseas he has previously warned are entering Somalia to join the insurgents.
 


Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme the transitional federal government was still in control but urged the international community to help "before it is too late".

The failed Horn of Africa state has not had an effective national government since 1991 and some four million people - one-third of the population - need food aid, aid agencies say.

Pro-government forces have been locked in ferocious battles with radical Islamist guerrillas in Mogadishu since the second week of May.

The UN refugee agency's representative to Somalia, Guillermo Bettocchi, said on Wednesday the recent bout of bloodletting in the country was the "worst ever" in nearly two decades of chaos.

But Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN special representative for Somalia, denied on Thursday that the conflict was getting worse.

"The president and prime minister have been put in place in January and February. It is not even six months, so you will not have total peace after two decades of violence overnight," he told Focus on Africa.

"These people [Islamist guerrillas] tried around 7 May to take power by force; they have not been able to do it. That they have resorted to suicide bombs or killing, there is nothing any country can do against these kind of people, but this is different from taking power."

President Ahmed, a moderate Islamist, took office in January but even his introduction of Sharia law to the strongly Muslim country has not appeased the guerrillas.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #89 on: June 26, 2009, 06:10:06 PM »
25 killed in Somali suicide attack

    June 20 2009 at 02:36PM

http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=vn20090620065613772C381404

Nairobi, Kenya -
Somalia's National Security Minister and at least 24 other people have been killed in a suicide attack in western Somalia, and an extremist Islamic group with alleged links to al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility.

President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed accused al-Qaeda of being behind yesterday's bombing, which also killed a senior Somali diplomat.

The attack appeared to be another indication that Somali Islamic militants are adopting two tactics long used by al-Qaeda: suicide attacks and videos promoting their fundamentalist ideology.

In March, Osama bin Laden, the global terrorist network's leader, urged Somalis to overthrow Ahmed, calling him a tool of the US in an audiotape that outlined al-Qaeda's ambitions in Somalia.
Continues Below ↓






The bombing in western Somalia far outside Mogadishu - claimed by the Somali militant group al-Shabab - raised concerns that local insurgents are aiming to take out leaders of security forces to further cripple the country's weak, UN-backed government.

Analysts say the insurgents have identified suicide attacks and assassinations as the best way to defeat the government.

National Security Minister Omar Hashi Aden was the second senior security official to be killed in as many days. Mogadishu's police chief died during fighting with Islamic insurgents in the capital on Wednesday that saw at least 34 people killed. - Sapa-Ap
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #90 on: June 26, 2009, 06:22:04 PM »
Friday, June 26, 2009
13:20 Mecca time, 10:20 GMT  
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/06/200962520481752248.html

 
News Americas  
 
US sending weapons to Somalia  

 
Fighters have taken control of parts of the capital Mogadishu [EPA]


 
 
The US has revealed it is sending weapons and cash to the Somali government to aid its fight against al Shabab.

The US state department said on Thursday it was "concerned" about whether the government of Sharif Sheikh Ahmed could be overwhelmed by fighters from the group.

Washington was hoping to help "repel the onslaught of extremist forces which are intent on ... spoiling efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia", Ian Kelly, a state department spokesman, said.

Fighters cut the hands and feet off alleged thieves in Mogadishu and paraded the body parts through the streets of the capital on Thursday.

In depth :

Visit page for following links :

 Profile: Sharif Ahmed

 Timeline: Somalia

 Inside Story: What next for Somalia

 Video: Foreign fighters 'invade' Somalia

 Video: US 'fears collapse' of Mogadishu government

 Riz Khan: Somalia - From bad to worse

 Restoring Somalia

 A long road to stability

 Al-Shabab: Somali fighters undeterred

 Somalia at a crossroads

 Somaliland: Africa's isolated state

+ + + + +
 
In a bid to contain the violence, President Ahmed declared a state of emergency on Monday.

Asked if the US was afraid the government might collapse or be overwhelmed by attacks by fighters, Kelly replied: "We are concerned.

"We think that this government ... represents Somalia's best chance for peace, stability and reconciliation," he said.

"In addition to this threat to the government ... this kind of violence is causing real suffering for the Somalian people and it's just prolonging the chaos and preventing the country from getting on stable footing."

Kelly confirmed that the US organised an arms shipment made to the Somali government earlier this month, but did not confirm plans to train Somali forces in Djibouti.

The state department said it was providing the arms in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

'Horrific acts'

The rebels used long knives to cut off a hand and a foot each from four young men in Mogadishu as punishment for theft, witnesses said.

"The horrific nature of such acts that were carried out in front of a crowd adds further injustice and dehumanizes these teenagers," said rights group Amnesty International.

Al Shabaab has carried out executions, floggings and amputations before, mainly in the southern port of Kismayu.

Movies and football matches are reportedly banned in areas it controls, and men and women cannot travel together on public transport.

The government has launched a series of attacks this month to drive the fighters out of Mogadishu but it has failed to make headway and is relying on African Union troops to protect the presidential palace, airport and seaport.
 
 Source: Agencies  
 
  
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #91 on: June 28, 2009, 10:51:01 AM »
Somalia violence kills more than 250 civilians: UN
 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090626/wl_africa_afp/somaliaunrestkenyarefugeesun_20090626175516

AFP/File – A hardline Islamic fighter of 'Hizbul Islam' fires a heavy callibre machine gun during training …

Fri Jun 26, 1:55 pm ET

GENEVA (AFP)
– Clashes between Islamist rebels and Somalia's government have killed some 250 civilians and forced more than 160,000 to flee their homes since last month, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.

The fighting "is leaving a trail of civilian casualties, destruction and renewed displacement," said William Spindler, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

"According to records of local Somali hospitals, more than 250 civilians have been killed and at least 900 wounded since last month," he said.

"We estimate that since the start of the fighting in May, more than 160,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere within Somalia or in neighboring countries."

He said that some 26,000 were displaced from Mogadishu between June 19 and June 22 alone amid an Islamist offensive that has seen them take control of much of the country.

Large numbers of people have fled to neighbouring Kenya, where 38,000 new refugees have arrived since the start of the year, nearly all Somalis, according to the agency.

The Dadaab camp in Kenya, which the UNHCR calls the largest refugee complex in the world with more than 280,000 people, saw 4,104 arrivals in June.

Those fleeing the capital have also faced major difficulties in trying to leave, with most seeking rides on minibuses that charge 250 dollars (178 euros) or more for a fare in the impoverished country, according to the UNHCR.

A mother-of-six told aid workers "it took her nine days to reach Afmadow as the local transporters took her money and then left her and her children stranded along the route," according to the UNHCR.

Afmadow is some 400 kilometres (250 miles) southwest of Mogadishu.

"The deteriorating security situation has sharply reduced deliveries of desperately needed humanitarian aid to the displaced in and around Mogadishu," said Spindler.

Somalia's speaker last week made an urgent appeal for foreign military intervention to prop up the internationally backed government, which has been facing a fierce insurgent military offensive since May 7.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #92 on: June 28, 2009, 10:51:52 AM »
US sending weapons to Somalia

http://english.aljazeera.net//news/americas/2009/06/200962520481752248.html

Fighters have taken control of parts of
the capital Mogadishu [EPA]



The US has revealed it is sending weapons and cash to the Somali government to aid its fight against al Shabab.

The US state department said on Thursday it was "concerned" about whether the government of Sharif Ahmed could be overwhelmed by fighters from the group.

Washington was hoping to help "repel the onslaught of extremist forces which are intent on ... spoiling efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia," Ian Kelly, a state department spokesman, said.

Fighters cut the hands and feet off alleged thieves in Mogadishu and paraded the body parts through the streets of the capital.
In depth


 Profile: Sharif Ahmed
 Timeline: Somalia
 Inside Story: What next for Somalia
 Video: Foreign fighters 'invade' Somalia
 Video: US 'fears collapse' of Mogadishu government
 Riz Khan: Somalia - From bad to worse
 Restoring Somalia
 A long road to stability
 Al-Shabab: Somali fighters undeterred
 Somalia at a crossroads
 Somaliland: Africa's isolated state

In a bid to contain the violence, Ahmed declared a state of emergency on Monday.


Asked if the US was afraid the government might collapse or be overwhelmed by attacks by fighters, Kelly replied: "We are concerned.

"We think that this government ... represents Somalia's best chance for peace, stability and reconciliation," he said.

"In addition to this threat to the government ... this kind of violence is causing real suffering for the Somalian people and it's just prolonging the chaos and preventing the country from getting on stable footing."

Kelly confirmed that the US organised an arms shipment made to the Somali government earlier this month, but did not confirm plans to train Somali forces in Djibouti.

The state department said it was providing the arms in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

'Horrific acts'

The rebels used long knives to cut off a hand and a foot each from four young men in Mogadishu as punishment for theft, witnesses said.

"The horrific nature of such acts that were carried out in front of a crowd adds further injustice and dehumanizes these teenagers," said rights group Amnesty International.

Al-Shabab has carried out executions, floggings and amputations before, mainly in the southern port of Kismayu.

Movies and football matches are reportedly banned in areas it controls, and men and women cannot travel together on public transport.

The government has launched a series of attacks this month to drive the fighters out of Mogadishu but it has failed to make headway and is relying on African Union troops to protect the presidential palace, airport and seaport.
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #93 on: June 28, 2009, 10:52:55 AM »
Rights body: AU should investigate peacekeepers' actions in Somalia
Africa News

Jun 26, 2009, 9:58 GMT

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1486042.php/Rights_body_AU_should_investigate_peacekeepers_actions_in_Somalia_


Johannesburg
- Human Rights Watch called Friday on the African Union to set up a commission to investigate allegations of indiscriminate use of force by peacekeepers in conflict-ridden Somalia.

An AU peacekeeping force of 4,300 troops from Uganda and Burundi is propping up the Somali government, which is wobbling under a fierce onslaught by Islamist insurgents.

The peacekeepers have faced repeated accusations of responding to roadside bombs and other attacks by randomly opening fire on civilians.

'The Somalia peacekeeping mission is the AU's toughest and most dangerous undertaking in Africa today,' Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at HRW, said in a statement. 'The AU should ensure that its troops are not drawn into the abuse that surrounds them.'

HRW alleged that peacekeepers in February killed at least 13 Somalis, most of them civilians, when they opened fire wildly following an attack.

The body, which sent its request to AU leaders in advance of a the upcoming AU summit in Libya on July 1-3, said that all such incidents should be investigated and those responsible held to account.

Civilians have borne the brunt of Somalia's bloody insurgency, which broke out in early 2007 after Ethiopia invaded to kick out an Islamist regime.

An estimated 18,000 civilians have died, while over a million have fled. Millions more are dependent on food aid.

Insurgent groups al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam launched a major offensive in early May aimed at toppling President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who was appointed this year as part of a United-Nations backed peace process.

The Somali government has unsuccessfully appealed for foreign military intervention as it clings to power.

However, the United States on Thursday confirmed it had sent an unspecified amount of weapons and ammunition to the Somali government.

The US is concerned about the consequences for regional security if al-Shabaab, which has links to al-Qaeda, takes over Somalia.

Somalia has been embroiled in chaos since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #94 on: July 04, 2009, 01:44:05 PM »
'Fighter influx' for Somali group
 
The radical Islamist al-Shabab are accused of links to al-Qaeda

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8132064.stm


An Islamist commander in Somalia has told the BBC there has been an influx of fighters from overseas joining their battle against the interim government.

The al-Shabab militant leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said several hundred foreigners had joined their militia, many from Pakistan.

Meanwhile, at least 30 people have been killed in fighting in the capital, Mogadishu, over the past three days.

Africa Union leaders meeting in Libya are due to discuss Somalia later.

There have been calls for the AU to boost its force of some 4,000 peacekeepers based in Mogadishu.

The BBC's Andrew Harding, in Buale in the south, says an al-Shabab commander confirmed foreign fighters were among his ranks.

The radical al-Shabab Islamists, who are accused of links to al-Qaeda, already control much of the south of the country.

Militant alliance

Earlier this week government forces displayed what they said were the bodies of some al-Shabab foreign fighters.
   

AU troops - 'fig-leaf' for Somalia?


But the insurgents denied that any foreigners had been killed.

Fierce fighting between government forces and militants around Mogadishu continued on Friday for a third day, leaving 30 people dead and 70 wounded.

The fighting started late Wednesday and has continued in residential areas north of the city, witnesses told the BBC

Each side blamed the other for starting the violence.

"We have been attacked and we are defending ourselves and our legal government," said military spokesman Farhan Asanyo on Thursday.

Muse Abdi Arale, of the Hisbul Islam group which fights alongside al-Shabab, said government soldiers attacked them and in response they pushed them back and have taken new areas.

Since 7 May, an alliance of militant Islamist hardliners has been locked in ferocious battles with pro-government forces in Mogadishu.

More than 165,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #95 on: July 04, 2009, 01:45:43 PM »
25 dead in 2 days in Somalia, witnesses sa
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=NLetter&id=b9e40af9-b1d7-4e5b-85cf-e2b3de0095b3&Headline=25+dead+in+2+days+in+Somalia%2c+witnesses+say


Associated Press
Mogadishu, July 03, 2009
First Published: 01:15 IST(3/7/2009)
Last Updated: 01:16 IST(3/7/2009)

      
Fighting in the Somali capital has killed 25 people over two days, leaving corpses in the streets of a city where a bloody insurgency is intensifying, doctors and witnesses said on Thursday.

The fighting in Mogadishu started late on Wednesday and continued on Thursday in residential areas. Yesterday, at least 10 people were killed and 40 wounded. Thursday's fighting killed about 15 people and wounded 30, hospitals reported.

The government and rebels who want to install an Islamic state in the east African country blame each other for instigating the violence.

"The fighting is intensifying and the government soldiers seems to be retreating," said Ahmednuur Osman, a local resident.

"Insurgents are shouting 'God is great' and trying to advance toward Parliament's meeting hall."
Somalia has not had an effective government since 1991 when the overthrow of a dictatorship plunged the country into chaos. The vacuum has also allowed pirates to operate freely around Somalia's 1,900-mile (3,060-kilometer) coastline.

Over the past two months, Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed's government has come under heavy attacks from insurgents who have pounded government positions with mortars and targeting senior officials in suicide attacks.
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #96 on: July 10, 2009, 09:13:20 PM »
Fighting forces 204,000 to flee Mogadishu

UN says offensive by Islamist militias devastating Somali capital, as almost 500,000 people forced to live in temporary shelter
Xan Rice in Nairobi
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 7 July 2009 18.22 BST

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/07/somalis-flee-mogadishu-fighting




 

Families flee their homes in Mogadishu. Photograph: Mohamed Sheikh Nor/AP

Fighting between Islamist militias and government-aligned forces has caused 204,000 people to flee Mogadishu since May and forced the closure of some of the Somali capital's few health centres, the UN refugee agency said today.

The eight-week offensive by the al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam guerillas was devastating parts of north Mogadishu that had until now been "islands of peace", UNHCR said. Many residents were fleeing their homes for the first time since the country's descent into anarchy in 1991.

At least 105 people have been killed in the past week alone. Almost half a million people are living in temporary shelters made from sticks and plastic sheeting along the road to Afgooye, west of Mogadishu.

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) said there was a "desperate" shortage of food and water there. The aid organisation added that continuous shelling and open combat had forced it to close three clinics and a paediatric hospital in north Mogadishu last week.

"The population is terrorised, and in the past two weeks the number of dead and wounded has drastically increased. It has become impossible to provide medical and humanitarian assistance to those in need," said Monica Camacho, general co-ordinator of the MSF mission in Somalia.
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #97 on: July 14, 2009, 04:48:22 PM »
Monday, July 13, 2009
At least 43 killed as Somali troops clash with insurgents

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0713/1224250543080.html


Somali government troops backed by African Union (AU) peacekeepers fought insurgents yesterday in clashes that killed at least 43 people in north Mogadishu, residents and officials said.

Somalia’s government and a 4,300-strong AU force (Amisom) have been unable to take control of rebel strongholds in Mogadishu and other parts of the Horn of Africa nation despite international support and training.

“We have killed 40 fighters from al-Shabaab group and we continue to repulse them. We have now pushed them back from three northern districts of Mogadishu. AU peacekeepers were assisting us,” said Salad Ali Jelle, a parliamentarian who was involved in yesterday’s fighting.

Rebels were not immediately available for comment.

Mogadishu’s deputy mayor said the insurgents had captured an area near the presidential palace at the weekend.

“Amisom backed us up in this latest operation because the rebels were only one kilometre from the presidential palace,” said Abdifitah Shawey. “We lost three soldiers in battle.”

Somalia’s interim government has been pushing for a stronger mandate for Amisom to allow its soldiers to help government forces fight opposition groups.

Ugandan and Burundi peacekeepers are only allowed to defend themselves if attacked and protect key sites such as the presidential palace, airport and harbour. An ambulance driver said that he had seen eight dead fighters lying on the streets and had picked up 16 wounded. It was not clear if the eight bodies were al-Shabaab fighters.

“Shelling into the residential areas is still going on. We do not have access into some areas, said Ali Muse of Mogadishu Lifeline and Nationlink Ambulance service.

An Amisom spokesman said: “Our troops were in imminent danger, so we had to take some limited action because the rebels crossed the red line where they were not supposed to go to avoid our military action.”

Residents said they saw AU troops in armoured vehicles fighting against insurgents in north Mogadishu.

“I have seen early this morning tanks of Amisom going towards the frontline of the fighting and after a short while we heard gunshots much louder and heavier than in the past days,” said resident Ahmed Haji.

Fighting in Somalia since Ethiopian troops ousted the Islamic Courts Union in late 2006 has killed at least 18,000 people and sent hundreds of thousands more fleeing from their homes.

On Saturday, clashes between insurgents and government troops killed at least 20 people in the heaviest fighting for a week in the capital.
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #98 on: July 14, 2009, 04:49:49 PM »
Somali president hails victory in battle for Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA Jul 13 2009 07:48
http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-07-13-somali-president-hails-victory-in-battle-for-mogadishu


Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Sunday hailed a "clear victory" over Islamist rebels in a months-long battle to gain control of the capital, as the latest clashes left at least 21 dead.

At least 18 of those killed in the heavy fighting, as the government attacked rebel positions in the Abdiasis neighbourhood of northern Mogadishu, were civilians.

Sharif said the operation had dealt a heavy blow to the militants in long-running efforts to win control of the conflict-ravaged city.

"You can see government forces are today in control of most areas that were being fought over in the capital," he told reporters on Sunday.

"This is a clear victory over the rebels."

Battles for control of Mogadishu's districts have become increasingly focused on strategic points, such as police stations, but often both sides have been unable to declare a decisive victory.

Sharif is fighting to end an 18-year-old conflict in Somalia against a fierce insurgency led by al Qaeda-inspired al-Shebab armed group and the more political Hezb al-Islam.

The hardline Islamists control much of the country.

Paramedics, police and government forces said the fighting on Sunday spread across several districts of the city and claimed many lives.

 CONTINUES BELOW



"The ambulances collected 75 injured civilians and 14 dead bodies of civilians," said Ali Muse, the head of the city's ambulance service.

"Some of them were killed by mortar and artillery shells and others by crossfire."

Colonel Mohamed Farah, commander of the government forces, said: "Heavy artillery shells and crossfire left around 14 civilians dead around neighbourhoods in northern Mogadishu where the fighting spread."

Earlier on Sunday, witnesses, hospital sources and police said the clashes had killed seven people: two government soldiers, one fighter, and four civilians.

"We are advancing in on their last positions in northern Mogadishu and several of their dead lay in the streets this morning," said Somali police officer Abdulahi Duale.

One witness said African Union tanks fought the militants alongside government troops but Sharif denied this.

Mohamed Hashi Gurey, who lives in the Abdiasis neighbourhood, said two African Union tanks had been involved in the fighting.

"The tanks were firing shells at the rebels near [a hotel] and they advanced in onto the Islamists' strongholds," he said.

The African Union has deployed 4 300 peacekeepers to Somalia.

But the president said: "We have no information indicating African Union soldiers took part in the battle.

"It is the Somali government alone who is responsible for cracking down" on the insurgents, he added.

The clashes come after fighting on Saturday killed at least 10 people, mostly militants, in northern Mogadishu.

Hardline Islamists launched their latest offensive against the internationally backed administration of Sharif on May 7.

Government forces began their counter-offensive on May 22.

More than 200 000 people have been displaced in the past two months, while hundreds of civilians are believed to have been killed and wounded, according to the UN Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Shebab militia, the main force fighting to oust Sharif, have imposed strict sharia, or Islamic law in areas under their control.

Last month Shebab militiamen chopped off the right hand and left foot of four people found guilty of theft by their court in Mogadishu. - AFP
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #99 on: July 20, 2009, 12:41:02 PM »
Britain, Japan also arming Somali govt - Mugume

Angelo Izama

Kampala

http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/news/Britain_Japan_also_arming_Somali_govt_-_Mugume_87999.shtml


Washington is not the only country contributing arms and other forms of military aid to the embattled Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Speaking to Daily Monitor after a press briefing by Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, over the weekend, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ambassador James Mugume, said Uganda was receiving military aid on behalf of the TFG from other European countries and some unnamed Arab states.

“It is not only America giving the TFG weapons. So is Britain, France and Japan and some Arab countries,” he said, adding that all weapons transfers through the Ugandan-manned African Union Peace Keeping Mission [Amisom] were done legally.

“We are acting under a Security Council and African Union mandate,” he said.
The comments are likely to draw even more attention to any “allied” response to the civil war underway in Somalia and the role of influential actors like the newly-created US Africa Command which is prosecuting the security agenda there.

The arms transfers and training programmes being offered to TFG are a way of Washington intervening indirectly in Somalia after the 1990’s “Operation Restore Hope” was hurriedly concluded after US casualties were humiliated by Somali militants in Mogadishu.

The Ugandan army admitted recently that it was acting as a conduit for arms for the TFG after a state department briefing mentioned that Uganda was being reimbursed with cash for weapons given to the government of President Sheriff Ahmed.

However, government officials concerned about the logistical support to TFG told Daily Monitor that it may well encourage direct attacks on Amisom which, has a peace-keeping force, as so far been spared the fighting.

Mr Sam Kutesa, who will chair a debate at the United Nations Security Council this month on conflict and its resolution, told journalists that he will also be urging for sanctions against Eritrea, an erstwhile ally, for allegedly arming and training the Al Shabaab militia.
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #100 on: August 24, 2009, 02:03:58 PM »
Ethiopian troops back in central Somalia
Posted on Thursday 20 August 2009 - 14:36


http://www.africanews.com/site/Ethiopian_troops_back_in_central_Somalia/list_messages/26530


Ethiopian military forces on Thursday crossed the border into Somali central town of Beledweyne, some 206 miles (332 km) north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses said. The heavily armed troops with armored vehicles got into the town early in the day and set up bases in the centre of the town.
Pro-government forces from Union of Islamic Courts currently control the town, which connects the capital to central towns and it is not clear whether or not the Ethiopian troops are back under the invitation of the local administration, AfricaNews reporter said.

The forces reported return comes as Islamist militants and pro-government forces continue to battle for the control of central and southern towns. Heavy fighting erupted on Thursday in nearby town of Bulabarde between militant group Al-Shabaab and government forces who invaded the town in a bid to seize it.

This month alone, several central and southern Somali towns have changed hands between insurgents groups and forces loyal to fragile UN-backed transition government.

Ethiopian troops completely withdrew from the Horn of African nation in early this year after two years of military occupation. However, Addis Ababa amassed its troops at the border where they frequently crossed the border in what Ethiopia says is “small reconnaissance missions”.
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #101 on: August 24, 2009, 02:04:47 PM »
Somalia fighting kills at least 45 -residents
Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:53am EDT
 
http://www.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUSLK004914._CH_.2400?rpc=401&


* Al Shabaab fighters return to Bulahawa in force

* At least 30 wounded in fighting

* Hizbul Islam rebels also retake Luuq town

(Recasts with new deaths)

By Sahra Abdi

NAIROBI, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Fighting between Somali insurgents and pro-government troops killed at least 45 people and wounded 30 others in separates battles in the south of the country on Thursday, witnesses said.

Western security agencies say Somalia, which has been torn by civil war for the past 18 years, has become a haven for militants plotting attacks in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

Militiamen supporting President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's fragile administration attacked al Shabaab insurgents in the Bula Burde in the southern Hiran region and the ensuing fight killed at least 33 and wounded 22 others.

"I have counted 20 dead bodies around the bridge where the two groups have been fighting since morning," local elder Farah Ali told Reuters by phone.

Another resident said 13 civilians were also killed.

In a separate battle, al Shabaab fighters seized back the southern Bulahawa town from pro-government militiamen after fighting that killed at least 12 people, witnesses said.

Earlier this week, militiamen backing Ahmed's government chased al Shabaab fighters out of Bulahawa without any fire.

On Thursday, al Shabaab returned with reinforcements.

Local nurse Abdiraxman Ali said 12 people were killed and eight wounded: "The dead are from both sides, and civilians."

The United States accuses al Shabaab of being al Qaeda's proxy in the chaotic nation.

Al Shabaab spokesman in Bulahawa, Sheikh Osman, told Reuters the group had retaken control.

"We have defeated the Ethiopian-backed militia," he said.

Meanwhile another rebel group, Hizbul Islam, retook control of Luuq town, which is also in Gedo region. They had abandoned it on Wednesday to a pro-government militia. [ID:nLJ085215]



STATE OF EMERGENCY

The international community is trying to bolster Ahmed's U.N.-backed government, which controls only parts of the central region and small pockets of the coastal capital Mogadishu.

The Islamist rebels say Ethiopian soldiers are fighting alongside the pro-government militiamen, but a senior official in Addis Ababa denied that repeatedly.

On Wednesday, Somali lawmakers declared a state of emergency while the government battles the rebels. The move means Ahmed can make major decisions without having to consult parliament.

Violence in Somalia has killed more than 18,000 civilians since the start of 2007 and uprooted another 1 million.

An independent group of Somali elders led by former president Abdiqassim Salad Hassan is attempting to broker a ceasefire deal between the warring parties.

"This is a purely Somali initiative ... the opposition groups have not yet accepted a ceasefire, but we are hopeful they will do," Hassan, who was Somalia's president between 2001 and 2004, told Reuters from Cairo.

"In the end, we will come up with our recommendation of who is an obstacle to peace in Somalia, and fight against them together with our people." (Additional reporting by Abdiaziz Hassan, Ibrahim Mohamed, and Tsegaye Tadesse in Addis Ababa; Writing by Daniel Wallis)
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Re: Ethiopians reinvade western Somalia - the fighting rages on
« Reply #102 on: August 31, 2009, 04:52:15 PM »
Ethiopian troops enter Somali town

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2009/08/2009829101133876939.html


Ethiopian troops left Somalia in January under the terms of a peace agreement [File: EPA]

Ethiopian troops have crossed into neighbouring Somalia and seized control of a town from Islamist fighters, witnesses say.

Hundreds of troops reportedly entered the strategically important town of Beledweyne on Saturday.

Abdinur Ahmed Maow, a local resident, told The Associated Press news agency that the armed opposition fighters had left "without a single shot".

Abdulahi Faramiliq, another resident of Beledweyne, said that the troops were cordoning off residential areas and going from house to house searching for weapons.

However, General Muqtar Hassan Afrah, the Somali military commander in the region, denied that any Ethiopian troops were in the region.

Unpopular presence

Ethiopian forces withdrew from Somalia in January as part of a peace deal, more than two years after moving in to help the UN-backed interim government battle the Islamic Courts' Union, which had seized control of much of the south and centre of the country.

In depth

Their presence was unpopular with the majority of Somalis and was used by local Islamist groups as a recruiting tool.

Rashid Abdi, a Kenya-based Somalia analyst with the International Crisis Group, said that it is unlikely that Ethiopia is planning to send a larger force across the border.

"It's a strategic town for them," he said, referring to the Beledweyne's location near the border.

"They want a buffer zone and they won't allow it to be in hostile hands."

There have been several reports of Ethiopian troops crossing the border in recent months, but the Somali government has not confirmed their presence.

Somalia's government is struggling to control the country, despite including several factions of the Islamic Courts' Union.

Fighters from al-Shabaab and Hizb ul-Islam groups have seized control of large areas of the country and have vowed to topple the administration of Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the current president and former Islamic Courts leader.
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