Showing posts tagged as "amisom"

Showing posts tagged amisom

21 Nov
Despite Setbacks, al-Shabab Still a Potent Threat | Harun Maruf and Dan Joseph
A year ago, Somalia’s government and African Union troops were on the move against al-Shabab, taking over town after town.  The al-Qaida-linked militants were in clear retreat, and violent in-fighting among top leaders was shaking the group.
Since then, the tables have turned and al-Shabab appears resurgent with renewed attacks inside and outside Somalia, most notably the assault on an upscale Kenyan shopping mall in September that killed more than 60 civilians.
Analysts say the Islamist militant group should never be underestimated.
FULL ARTICLE (VOA News)
Photo: Albany Associates/Flickr

Despite Setbacks, al-Shabab Still a Potent Threat | Harun Maruf and Dan Joseph

A year ago, Somalia’s government and African Union troops were on the move against al-Shabab, taking over town after town.  The al-Qaida-linked militants were in clear retreat, and violent in-fighting among top leaders was shaking the group.

Since then, the tables have turned and al-Shabab appears resurgent with renewed attacks inside and outside Somalia, most notably the assault on an upscale Kenyan shopping mall in September that killed more than 60 civilians.

Analysts say the Islamist militant group should never be underestimated.

FULL ARTICLE (VOA News)

Photo: Albany Associates/Flickr

7 Nov
Zakaria Yusuf, our Somalia analyst, spoke to the BBC’s Somali service about the need to increase AMISOM troop levels in Somalia. Listen to the full interview (in Somali) here.
Zakaria argues that it is important to increase the AMISOM troop level and their resources, including their military capability, in order to stabilize Somalia.
Zakaria contends that the Westgate attack has necessitated the sudden need to increase AMISOM troop levels, although the matter was being deliberated even before Westgate.
Zakaria says that as much as it is necessary to increase AMISOM troop levels, it is equally important to equip and raise the status of the Somali National Army (SNA), as it can lead the process of stabilizing the country.
Lastly, Zakaria thinks that the solution is not in increasing AMISOM troops alone, but rather reconciliation and talks among Somalis.
INTERVIEW (soundcloud.com, in Somali)

Zakaria Yusuf, our Somalia analyst, spoke to the BBC’s Somali service about the need to increase AMISOM troop levels in Somalia. Listen to the full interview (in Somali) here.

Zakaria argues that it is important to increase the AMISOM troop level and their resources, including their military capability, in order to stabilize Somalia.

Zakaria contends that the Westgate attack has necessitated the sudden need to increase AMISOM troop levels, although the matter was being deliberated even before Westgate.

Zakaria says that as much as it is necessary to increase AMISOM troop levels, it is equally important to equip and raise the status of the Somali National Army (SNA), as it can lead the process of stabilizing the country.

Lastly, Zakaria thinks that the solution is not in increasing AMISOM troops alone, but rather reconciliation and talks among Somalis.

INTERVIEW (soundcloud.com, in Somali)

8 Oct

Much has already been written about the latest Al-Shabaab attack in Nairobi. It is however important to note that it had long been expected, and it was certainly not the first, only the most destructive, with consequently the most media attention. Since Kenyan troops went into Somalia, militia groups have launched some 50 attacks into northeastern Kenya, and a number of grenade attacks in Mombasa and Nairobi. Almost all seem to have been aimed at creating a backlash against Kenyan Somalis and Muslims, deepening sectarian divisions and driving those populations to provide more support to radical Islamist groups.

—EJ Hogendoorn, testifying today at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Somalia. Read EJ’s full comments here (PDF).
Photo: UN/Flickr

Much has already been written about the latest Al-Shabaab attack in Nairobi. It is however important to note that it had long been expected, and it was certainly not the first, only the most destructive, with consequently the most media attention. Since Kenyan troops went into Somalia, militia groups have launched some 50 attacks into northeastern Kenya, and a number of grenade attacks in Mombasa and Nairobi. Almost all seem to have been aimed at creating a backlash against Kenyan Somalis and Muslims, deepening sectarian divisions and driving those populations to provide more support to radical Islamist groups.

—EJ Hogendoorn, testifying today at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Somalia. Read EJ’s full comments here (PDF).

Photo: UN/Flickr


"Al-Shabaab is down but not out."

—EJ Hogendoorn at today’s Senate hearing on Somalia. Read EJ’s full testimony here (PDF).
Photo: UN/Flickr

"Al-Shabaab is down but not out."

—EJ Hogendoorn at today’s Senate hearing on Somalia. Read EJ’s full testimony here (PDF).

Photo: UN/Flickr

17 Oct
Africa, West combine to rout militants in Somalia | Huffington Post via AP
By Jason Straziuso
MOGADISHU, Somalia — The first Ugandan soldiers to fly into Somalia 5 1/2 years ago came under attack as soon as they arrived: Militants fired mortars at the new mission’s welcome ceremony.
Today, backed by a sweeping multinational effort that includes $338 million in U.S. equipment, wages and training, the force of Ugandans, Burundians, Kenyans and Somalis that was deployed to take on the country’s Islamic radicals can claim a degree of success that had initially seemed highly unlikely.
FULL ARTICLE (Huffington Post)
Photo: United Nations/Flickr

Africa, West combine to rout militants in Somalia | Huffington Post via AP

By Jason Straziuso

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The first Ugandan soldiers to fly into Somalia 5 1/2 years ago came under attack as soon as they arrived: Militants fired mortars at the new mission’s welcome ceremony.

Today, backed by a sweeping multinational effort that includes $338 million in U.S. equipment, wages and training, the force of Ugandans, Burundians, Kenyans and Somalis that was deployed to take on the country’s Islamic radicals can claim a degree of success that had initially seemed highly unlikely.

FULL ARTICLE (Huffington Post)

Photo: United Nations/Flickr

9 May
All Africa | Africa: A Quick Reaction Force Moulded By Africa’s Circumstances
Johannesburg — Africa’s crises are both honing and stalling the formation of the African Standby Force (ASF) of the African Union (AU) - a quick reaction force that could eventually number about 30,000 troops to be deployed in a range of scenarios, from peacekeeping to direct military intervention.
Originally intended to become operational in 2010, the deadline for the ASF has been reset for 2015; but despite the delay, the ASF is becoming increasingly woven into the operating procedures of current AU security operations.
The ASF “is very much a work in progress”, African Union Commissioner of Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra told IRIN, but “at the political level there is a strong support for it under the guiding principle of bringing about African solutions to African problems.”
Once up and running, the ASF will be based on five regional blocs each supplying about 5,000 troops: the Southern African Development Community (SADC) force (SADCBRIG), the Eastern Africa Standby force (EASBRIG), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) force (ECOBRIG), the North African Regional Capability (NARC), and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) force (ECCASBRIG), also known as the Multinational Force of Central Africa (FOMAC).
The regional forces are not a standing army like national forces. As the AU Peace and Security Council protocol of the ASF stipulates, they “shall be composed of standby multidisciplinary contingents with civilian and military components in their countries of origin and ready for rapid deployment at appropriate notice.”
The ASF is the legacy and logic of the Constitutive Act of the AU adopted in 2000, the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). In a complete break from the OAU, which had advocated non-interference in member states, the Act gave the AU both the right to intervene in a crisis, and an obligation to do so “in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity”.
Lamamra said the ASF “Implies the immediate availability of the instruments [of intervention and prevention] to be translated into concrete deeds… when they relate to some kind of enforcing decisions of the legitimate organs of the African Union, such as cases of unconstitutional changes of government… or armed rebellion, such as the terrorist situation in northern Mali.”
I believe the learning curve for the standby force is AMISOM. We have to deliver on the lessons learned in the AMISOM process
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was held up as an example of what the ASF could be. “I believe the learning curve for the standby force is AMISOM. We have to deliver on the lessons learned in the AMISOM process - five years of effective presence on the ground under quite challenging circumstances,” Lamamra said.
FULL ARTCILE (All Africa)
Photo: AMISOM RHIB off the coast of Somalia Heb/Wikimedia Commons

All Africa | Africa: A Quick Reaction Force Moulded By Africa’s Circumstances

Johannesburg — Africa’s crises are both honing and stalling the formation of the African Standby Force (ASF) of the African Union (AU) - a quick reaction force that could eventually number about 30,000 troops to be deployed in a range of scenarios, from peacekeeping to direct military intervention.

Originally intended to become operational in 2010, the deadline for the ASF has been reset for 2015; but despite the delay, the ASF is becoming increasingly woven into the operating procedures of current AU security operations.

The ASF “is very much a work in progress”, African Union Commissioner of Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra told IRIN, but “at the political level there is a strong support for it under the guiding principle of bringing about African solutions to African problems.”

Once up and running, the ASF will be based on five regional blocs each supplying about 5,000 troops: the Southern African Development Community (SADC) force (SADCBRIG), the Eastern Africa Standby force (EASBRIG), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) force (ECOBRIG), the North African Regional Capability (NARC), and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) force (ECCASBRIG), also known as the Multinational Force of Central Africa (FOMAC).

The regional forces are not a standing army like national forces. As the AU Peace and Security Council protocol of the ASF stipulates, they “shall be composed of standby multidisciplinary contingents with civilian and military components in their countries of origin and ready for rapid deployment at appropriate notice.”

The ASF is the legacy and logic of the Constitutive Act of the AU adopted in 2000, the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). In a complete break from the OAU, which had advocated non-interference in member states, the Act gave the AU both the right to intervene in a crisis, and an obligation to do so “in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity”.

Lamamra said the ASF “Implies the immediate availability of the instruments [of intervention and prevention] to be translated into concrete deeds… when they relate to some kind of enforcing decisions of the legitimate organs of the African Union, such as cases of unconstitutional changes of government… or armed rebellion, such as the terrorist situation in northern Mali.”

I believe the learning curve for the standby force is AMISOM. We have to deliver on the lessons learned in the AMISOM process

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was held up as an example of what the ASF could be. “I believe the learning curve for the standby force is AMISOM. We have to deliver on the lessons learned in the AMISOM process - five years of effective presence on the ground under quite challenging circumstances,” Lamamra said.

FULL ARTCILE (All Africa)

Photo: AMISOM RHIB off the coast of Somalia Heb/Wikimedia Commons

7 Nov

NYT: Somalis Cautiously Return to Normal Life, and the Beach

MOGADISHU, Somalia — After years of surviving under the yoke of fundamentalist Islamist militants, Somalis are getting their swagger back.

Over the weekend, an unexpected sight could be seen along the shores of the capital, Mogadishu. In a city known for shelling, suicide bombs, Sharia law and public executions, hundreds were out enjoying the scenery and sunning themselves at the beach.

“For the first time in years,” said Mohamoud Abdi, who came to Mogadishu’s again-popular Lido Beach on Friday with his two sons. “People are feeling delightful.” […]

But in a country used to war, it is unclear how long the respite will last.

“Al-Shabab is down but not out,” says EJ Hogendoorn, a Horn of Africa analyst for the International Crisis Group. “AMISOM has made impressive advances, but with very high casualties.”

As for the Shabab, Mr. Hogendoorn says, the group has reverted to “guerilla warfare.”

FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)