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Issue 474 -- 26th Feb - 04th March 2011

Front Page

News Headlines

UN Monitoring Group Provides Damning Report On Eritrean Regime

Despite International Efforts, Pirates Continue To Steal The Show -- And More

Local and Regional Affairs

UN Voices Alarm Over Plight Of Trapped Civilians As Fighting Intensifies

Somali Pirates To Pay Militants
Al-Shabaab Embark On Forced Recruitment In Mogadishu
Shifting Battlefronts Cut a Long Gash Across Somalia
The Shabaab In Somalia: Gaining Ground
Djibouti Welcomes Cooperation With Russia


Somaliland And The Changes In The Arab World

Features & Commentary

“Accept The Reality That A Unified Somalia Is Not Possible” Professor NIKOLAS GVO U.S. Naval War College

Somali Piracy Hits America: Some Questions In Need Of Answers

Dedicated To A New Model Educational NGO: A Q&A With Abaarso Tech Founder Jonathan Starr

Stabilization Opens Way To Reconciliation

Is There A Solution To The Problems Of Somalia?

Somalia: The Transitional Government On Life Support

International News


1969 Military Coup In Somalia Part LXV

The Leader Of The SSC Terrorist Group Slips Back To US

Somalia: Is General Samantar Partially Responsible The State Failure?

The Shabaab In Somalia: Gaining Ground

Mogadishu, Somalia, February 26, 2011 – African Union troops in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, claim to have made a decisive advance in the fight against the al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militia. Several days of fierce fighting have seen the AU troops and their Somali allies punch through Shabaab lines in districts close to the Bakara market. According to Major Barigye Ba-Hoku of the Ugandan army, a trench system used by the Shabaab has been destroyed and foreign fighters have been killed, including:

Abdi Asad (Syria)

Magid Abu Yaman (Yemen)

Abdi Mansour (Pakistan)

Saman Bito (Kenya)

Anool Joorkay (India)

Sahan Barqish (nationality unknown)

The Shabaab still controls Bakara and its flow of revenues. But the market is closer to falling and with it the jihadist dream of an Islamist state in the Horn of Africa. At least, that is the hope. Baobab would exercise caution in writing off the Islamists. The Shabaab have plenty of commanders with field experience who will resume the fight through a campaign of bombings, sniper fire, executions and mutilations. The group controls most of south Somalia and continues to earn money through fishing, charcoal, fruit and local taxation. There was probably also some connection between the AU advance and the general election in Uganda on February 18th. Most of the frontline troops in Mogadishu are Ugandan. Last year the Shabaab attacked Uganda with suicide bombers. For domestic political reasons it was important for the President Yoweri Museveni to show voters that their troops were hammering the fanatics on election day. The AU says it controls 60% of Mogadishu and 80% of its population. Its claim that 2m people live in the city looks far too high.

Source: The Economist





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