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In Somalia, Battle Looms for Militants' Last Major Stronghold


World  (tags: world, politics, africa, news, violence, war, Somalia )

AWAY AWHI
- 2140 days ago - csmonitor.com
Air and sea attacks around the key Somali port city of Kismayo this week point to a long-awaited offensive by the African Union Mission in Somalia against seasoned Al Shabab fighters.



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Comments

Past Member (0)
Friday September 7, 2012, 11:25 pm
I feel that Somalia is being overlooked by the media, so thanks for this update, Cal.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 8, 2012, 12:29 am
"Sustained artillery strikes, launched from Kenyan Navy warships, hit areas north of the city’s port and its airport on Tuesday night, and there were reports of extra Kenyan fighter jets patrolling the sky above.

Earlier the same day, small-arms battles took place in Mido, 50 miles north of Kismayo and the latest in a series of towns wrestled from the militant Al Shabab in recent weeks.

But Kismayo is by far the biggest target, still hosting senior Islamist commanders, battle-hardened infantry, and non-Somali Muslims drawn to fight for radical Islam.

[...]


Now, the Kenyans say they are waiting only for the green light from African Union military commanders in Mogadishu. Kenya’s forces officially joined the AU Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, in July.

“Our plan is in place, it is ready, but we cannot for sure say the date of the start of the invasion of Kismayo, because that is out of our hands,” says Col. Cyrus Oguna, spokesman for the KDF.

“That decision will be determined by the African Union commanders. Kismayo is a very significant target as it is the only large port that Al Shabab still controls.

“Taking it truly will disrupt their commercial activities," he continues, "and therefore their military capabilities.” [ ... ]"
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 8, 2012, 4:06 am
Noted.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday September 8, 2012, 1:13 pm
I'm glad to see it, but I don't think people should get their hopes too high too soon. The war is far from over. Groups like al-Shabaab can keep fighting for a long time without holding territory, and can establish control and new strongholds even without holding one. Defeating this one would be a serious blow to them, but not lethal, like it would be in conventional warfare. There is also another issue here: They demanded that clan elders provide them recruits. That means one of two things: Either they're so incredibly desperate to hold the city and overstocked with weapons, for some reason, that they would put guns in the hands of people they can't trust and then mix those people into their ranks, or they can trust people from the area to side with them against the government and AU force. Smart money is on the second possibility, and that means they will still be able to recruit, and even if al-Shabaab falls, there will be people ready to join any successor-group. The traditional way of dealing with this problem is highly distasteful and I hope it will be possible win over the locals, but if it is not, expect either massacres or even greater bloodshed (in the long-run) than there would be in such massacres.

I really hope the damage to al-Shabaab is a real victory on a larger scale rather than just a sign that its supporters have moved their focus and attention to northern Mali.
 

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Saturday September 8, 2012, 3:04 pm
noted
 

. (0)
Saturday September 8, 2012, 3:43 pm
I wonder when if ever the human species will grow up. If there is intelligent life out there why would they contact such a sophomoric, violent species that insists on committing global genocide and suicide? We're being kept inside our solar system until such time. We have one planet and if we don't get it right we won't get another.
 

Carol H (229)
Sunday September 9, 2012, 4:29 am
noted, thanks Cal
 

Marliese B (69)
Sunday September 9, 2012, 2:35 pm
Thank you, noted and shared!
 
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