Somalia Update today 2nd April: According to prominent journalist Harun Maruf, Somali forces captured Sabiid village (40km SW of Mogadishu) from al Shabaab. Somali soldiers stumbled upon a tanker truck filled with explosives. Early assessment indicates it’s one of the largest bombs ever made by al Shabaab, with Mogadishu as the likely target.
In Mogadishu, last week, a series of car bombs, including a truck bomb chose four targets; a Government building, a high profile hotel and a popular restaurant including one of the main streets in Mogadishu, which represents a new offensive by Al-Shabab not seen since the massive vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) that injured and killed over 900 people nearly two years ago, in October 2017.
The bombings last week happened over consecutive days, causing last Saturday Mogadishu’s Mayor
Abdirahman Omar Osman to announce a new counter terrorism strategy to end the wave of attacks by Al-Shabaab sleeper cells thought to be hiding embedded among the local population.
“Since it’s a massive operation targeting houses across the city, we ask the public at large to exercise more patience and cooperate with the security personnel in the line of duty,” said Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman.
Starting last Saturday evening, the capital was put on ‘lockdown’ while a special unit of the Army embarked on a ‘search and destroy’ mission against the terrorists by hunting “house to house”.
The Government has promised the population that it will provide buses to those affected by disruptions caused by the inevitable road closures and security checkpoints which will be placed across the capital over the coming days and weeks.
The Mayor’s decision was announced on instructions of the Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire who convened, on Saturday morning, a emergency Cabinet meeting that discussed the new security situation in Mogadishu. The conclusion of that Cabinet meeting was to decide to conduct a massive counter offensive against Al-Shabab, the al-Qaida affiliate.
In response to that Government’s announcement of a crack down on terrorists, al-Shabab executed four men accused of spying for the British and Somali intelligence agencies on Saturday afternoon, 30th March.
Al-Shabab announced the killings on its Andalus radio station on Sunday, saying they were carried out by a firing squad in a public square in a town in the Jubba region.
Al-Shabab’s spokesperson added that its recent attacks on hotels in Mogadishu, have been part of its drive against Somali intelligence agents and other government officials who regularly stay in the hotels targeted.
“We don’t attack every hotel in Mogadishu, but those specific ones (hotels) attacked by Mujahideen fighters have got specific features meriting them for attacks,” said Al-Shabab’s Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, on the terrorist’s radio station.
A consequence of these executions means that the Somali government, is considering imposing a state of emergency and martial law in Mogadishu.
The limited number of Kenyan forces present in Somalia have decided to start a withdrawal of their personnel who were part of the multinational African Union (AU) forces, due to these increased attacks.
Al-Shabab, which is al-Qaida’s East Africa affiliate, has fought for years to impose a strict adherence of Islam in all the countries of the Horn of Africa.
Though the terrorists had lost ground in recent years, they are back with a vengeance with these renewed deadly attacks in many parts of the country, especially in Mogadishu.
Last Thursday up to 20 people were killed when Al- Shabaab, detonated a car bomb near a famous restaurant and hotel on Mogadishu’s popular Maka al Mukarama Road. Another 17 people were left wounded. According to local sources, the majority of those killed were dining in the restaurant at the time of the blast.
Earlier last Wednesday morning, the the terrorists launched an attack against a government complex in the heart of Mogadishu. The security forces were able to kill the terrorists and end the siege after some hours.
A chief impediment to peace and stability in countries where US combat troops and or Special
Forces are engaged today has been the rapid increase in numbers of multiple terrorist militias; and Somalia is no exception.
Despite the fact that the government in Somalia is now ranked by Transparency International as the world’s most corrupt country, the United States spends $900 million a year on Somalia without really anything to show for it.
Somalia’s resources are not unlimited; they spend one-third, of their $350m budget, on defense and security.
The fact that Donald Yamamoto, the U.S. Ambassador to Somalia, has never visited Somalia, unusual
surely for an Ambassador, doesn’t help!
Those that wish to blame the Trump administration’s Foreign policy need to be reminded of what Gen. Wesley Clark revealed to the world was the true origin of today’s disastrous US foreign policies.
Listen to him here, which though over ten years old, still remains shocking to hear:
Wesley Clark confirms that (subtly inferring it is really a Zionist plan) the Neocon strategy, is “to take out” 7 countries, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, Somalia and Iran as laid out by Donald Rumsfeld, an arch Neocon and the then Secretary of Defense, in 2001.
So it isn’t a Trump’s idea but he, like Obama before him, are just following the Neocon agenda set back in 2001.
So readers understand who Wesley Clark is, for those that don’t know, it should be realised he is a much respected retired four-star General of the United States Army.
Clark has also a notable academic background in addition to his distinguished military one. He was a Rhodes Scholar attending the University of Oxford where he earned a master’s degree in economics, and later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master’s degree in military science. Clark spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations, several honorary knighthoods, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Therefore we can only expect a major escalation of violence in Somalia (and other countries) over the coming months unless Trump ends the regime policies set by Neocons and former colleague of Rumsfeld like John Bolton et al.
It is not only Al-Shabab that uses firing squad’s to destroy its enemies.
There has been a sudden increase in summary executions in Somalia under the overall leadership of President Farmajo, a dual Somali-US citizen, which has come to the attention of human rights groups and the international community.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.