Somalia Watch

African politics and terror threat analysis.

Somalia Watch

Joined: 07 May 2006, 23:31

18 Sep 2006, 23:11 #1

The president's convoy had just left when the explosions went off

Somali leader survives bomb blast

At least 11 people have died in an apparent bid to assassinate Somalia's interim president outside parliament in the town of Baidoa, say officials. 

A suspected car bomb went off soon after a convoy left carrying President Abdullahi Yusuf. The leader is said to be unharmed but his brother was killed.

A second blast went off near the first, setting at least five cars ablaze.

Mr Yusuf has strained relations with an Islamist group which controls much of southern Somalia.

Somalia: Who supports whom? 
By Martin Plaut
BBC Africa analyst

Q&A: Somali Islamist advance

Why Ethiopia is on war footing

Is Somalia next for 'war on terror'?

Combined Joint Taskforce Horn of Africa

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

18 Sep 2006, 23:16 #2

Somali's Yusuf escapes bomb, gunfire that kills 11
Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:45 PM BST160

By Hassan Yare

BAIDOA, Somalia (Reuters) - Somalian President Abdullahi Yusuf escaped a bomb on Monday that killed five people and wounded several others outside parliament in the provincial capital Baidoa.

He blamed it on al Qaeda. The attack is sure to heighten tension between Somalia's weak official government and Islamists who control Mogadishu and a large swathe of the south.

"This explosion came from a suicide bomber," he told the BBC Somali service when asked who was behind the attack that came as lawmakers approved a new cabinet.

"There is nothing like this in Somalia except for al Qaeda. Anyone who is looking for a solution for Somalia will not get it through political assassinations and suicide bombings."

Foreign Minister Ismail Hurre Buba, in Nairobi, told Reuters a car had exploded as the president's convoy was passing on the way to his residence.

"It was an assassination attempt on the president," he said.

Hurre said five people were killed in the blast. Yusuf escaped unharmed but said his own brother was one of the dead.

Hurre said six attackers had been killed in a gunbattle with Yusuf's bodyguards after the explosion that he said had been triggered from afar.
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti

Joined: 07 May 2006, 23:31

12 Dec 2006, 02:05 #3

Somalia government fear regional war

MOGADISHU: Somalia’s government on Monday said its stand-off with the country’s powerful Islamic movement posed a “grave danger” to the region and urged the world to step in and avert a looming all-out conflict.

As Islamists and government forces faced off in southern Somalia after two days of deadly clashes that claimed dozens of lives, the government said a full-scale war in the lawless country would spill across borders.

The government “draws the attention of the international community to the grave danger that the current situation poses to peace and stability in Somalia and the region and would like the issue addressed urgently,” the information ministry said in a statement. It claimed foreign fighters, notably from Eritrea, were streaming into the country to support the Islamists, who control swathes of south and central Somalia.

“Thousands of Eritreans and other foreigners, who are answering Islamic Courts Union’s call for ‘jihad’, are pouring into ICU-held regions,” it added. “Our intelligence sources also indicate increased flow of arms shipments from Eritrea and abroad,” the statement said.

Last week, Islamic fighters and government troops, backed by Ethiopian forces, exchanged artillery fire for two days south of Baidoa, the seat of government in a deadly escalation of the fighting.

Both sides accused each other of starting the conflict in Dinsoor, 110 kilometres south of Baidoa, with the the government accusing the Islamists of “constant aggression, war mongering and the influx of foreign terrorists.”

“Furthermore, the government views the attack on the garrison in the Dinsoor district as a blatant attempt to expand into areas in Bay and Gedo regions,” it added. The Islamists have declared jihad against the thousands of Ethiopian soldiers it says are in Somalia protecting the government and pledged to extend the fight to any peacekeeper entering the country.

Ethiopia denies having deployed combat troops to Somalia, but admits sending several hundred military advisers and trainers to help the government at its base Baidoa, the only town held by the two-year-old administration. Many fear that full-scale war in Somalia will engulf the Horn of Africa region, drawing in arch-foes Ethiopia, on the side of the government, and Eritrea, on the side of the Islamists.

Meanwhile, fighters loyal to Somalia’s weak government and their powerful Islamist rivals were on Monday moving towards a key southern town, opening up a new front for conflict in the lawless country. Two days after heavy artillery duels near the government seat in Baidoa, both sides sent fighters to secure Tiyeeglow town, about 150 kilometres to the north.

“About 700 heavily armed troops were late Sunday sent to Tiyeeglow to protect the town from Islamist expansion,” said Mohamed Ali Gaboobe, a government commander. “We will not allow the Islamists to seize more territory,” he added. In response, the Islamists deployed fighters to secure the town, where residents prepared for possible clashes amid rumours that Ethiopian forces supporting the government were nearby.

“Our fighters, accompanied by a large number of battlewagons (pick-up trucks mounted with machineguns) are now advancing towards Tiyeeglow,” said top Islamic commander Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal said. “We are going to that town following an invitation from the local people who asked us to help them restore law and order,” he added.

Joined: 07 May 2006, 23:31

19 Dec 2006, 12:49 #4

Some more analysis :
Somalia Remains in Political Stasis Despite Mounting Tensions
11 December 2006 ... guage_id=1

Instability on the March in Sudan, Chad and Central African Republic
06 December 2006 ... guage_id=1

New Peace Deal in Sudan Unlikely to End Darfur Conflict
09 May 2006 ... guage_id=1

Joined: 07 May 2006, 23:31

23 Dec 2006, 10:49 #5

Thousands flee as war escalates in Somalia
POSTED: 3:49 p.m. EST, December 22, 2006 ... index.html

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Ethiopian attack helicopters and tanks headed for battle Friday as fighting raged for a fourth day between Somalia's Islamic militia and the country's secular government, witnesses and a government official said.

Tens of thousands of Somalis fled their homes as the Ethiopian-backed government used artillery to push back Islamic fighters who had advanced on the regime's only stronghold, Baidoa. Islamic forces who have declared they want to bring the whole country under Quranic rule said the latest fighting had been started by the government but now they would launch their own attacks.

Sheik Ibrahim Shukri Abuu-Zeynab, a spokesman for the Islamic movement, told reporters in the capital, Mogadishu, that the fighting so far was just a taste of what was to come.

Story Highlights

• Ethiopian helicopters, tanks head for battle to support government
• Islamic movement says fighting so far just a taste of what's to come
• Bodies lay in the streets of villages from Thursday night's attacks
• Familes abandon homes, crops and livestock

Somalia govt has collapsed: Islamist
23 Dec 23, 2006, 05:03 ... 6621.shtml

Ethiopian tanks moving toward Somalia
23 December 2006 | 11:01 | Source: VOA ... v_id=38794

Joined: 07 May 2006, 23:31

04 Jan 2007, 13:47 #6

America's interests in Somalia: Four major U.S. oil companies are sitting on a prospective fortune in exclusive concessions.
Global Research, January 3, 2007 ... cleId=4342

Somalia: New Hotbed of Anti-Americanism
by Nicola Nasser
Global Research, January 3, 2007 ... cleId=4308

Somalia: Country and Ethiopia Will Use One Passport, Somali Minister Says
Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)
January 2, 2007

Kenya seals border with Somalia
03/01/2007 19:04  - (SA) ... 35,00.html[/URL]

U.S. Joins Hunt For Islamists As Kenya Closes Border With Somalia
By BOGONKO BOSIRE, REUTERS, NAIROBI ... &C=mideast ://</a> </a>

Joined: 07 May 2006, 23:31

13 Jan 2007, 08:01 #7

Somalia's warlords agree to give up guns
January 12, 2007 ... index.html

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- As Somalia's warlords were signing a deal to lay down their weapons, six militiamen were gunned down just yards away in a dispute over a parking spot.

Their bodies were propped up against a bullet-scarred wall opposite the presidential palace on Friday -- a stark reminder of the challenges facing the government as it tries to restore order and establish real authority in this fractious, heavily armed country.

The government was only able to enter Mogadishu two weeks ago after Ethiopian troops routed an Islamic movement that had controlled most of southern Somalia for the past six months. Now it must deal with clan divisions that have spoiled the last 13 attempts to form an effective government since the last one collapsed in 1991.

There are believed to be around 20,000 militiamen in Somalia and the country is awash with guns. Other obstacles include remnants of the Islamic movement -- some are believed to be hiding in Mogadishu -- and resentment among some Somalis of Ethiopia's intervention in the war.

Hours after the signing, Defense Minister Col. Barre "Hirale" Aden Shire said Ethiopian-backed government forces had captured the last remaining stronghold of the Islamic movement after five days of fighting in the southern town of Ras Kamboni. He said Ethiopian and Somali forces chased fleeing Islamic fighters into nearby forests and the fighting would continue.

See also :

Somalia: Parliament Approves Three-Month Martial Law January 13, 2007