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War in Southern Somalia:Push to take Kismayu ‘is on course’ + Related News

Friday, October 28, 2011

Laaska News Oct. 28,2011              Kenya Media

Laban Walloga | Nation A Kenya Army jeep at the Ishakani border point in Kiunga as it heads for the battlefront in Somalia on October 27, 2011. Kenyan troops killed nine Al-Shabaab fighters and injured several others during an ambush. Photo:Nation

In Summary

Kenyan forces on the outskirts of Burgabo, which they hope to use as a launch pad

Kenyan forces were on Thursday preparing an onslaught on Burgabo, a town 120 kilometres from Kismayu, a bastion of the extremist group, Al-Shabaab.

The troops were said to be about seven kilometres outside Burgabo.

Conquering this town is a key objective of the Kenyan forces as it would serve as a launching pad for an onslaught on the port city of Kismayu, which is the hub of the terror group’s activities.

Kismayu is a smugglers’ haven and the revenues from it have funded terror groups and the warlords who have kept Somalia at war for 20 years.

Heightened activity

“Everything is on course and we plan to push farther ahead in our operation today,” a source within the military told the Daily Nation, on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed to speak to journalists on the operation.

On Thursday, there was heightened activity around Ishakani on the Kenya-Somali border point which is another line of approach to Burgabo through Ras Kiamboni and Mnarani.

The soldiers, backed by the police, have intensified security along the border and the supply lines linking to the troops already inside Somalia.

The border is a virtual no-go zone with even the villagers living there have to be vetted before being allowed on the Kiunga-Ishakani road.

“This is a full military operation zone and no one is allowed to walk around. Everyone moving around this place must be cleared by security,” a soldier told the Nation at Kiunga.

Kismayu residents who spoke to the Nation on Thursday said they had seen dozens of Al-Shabaab fighters headed to Woravole between Burgabo and Ras Kiamboni in an attempt to block the Kenyan advance on Afmadow.

The militant group has also sent fighters to some Bajuni islands apparently to block an invasion by sea.

There are about six islands occupied by members of the Bajuni community.

“There are a few Al-Shabaab soldiers guarding the island but many fighters are in the water,” a Mdoa Island resident told Nation by phone on Thursday.

The Kenya Navy is said to be headed to the Bajuni islands.

Thursday, October 27  2011

Nation.

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Kenyan troops kill Al shabaab militants

Written By:Margaret Kalekye/release,     Thu, Oct 27, 2011

Kenyan troops in Somalia have killed nine Al shabaab militants while several others escaped with injuries.

Two Kenyan soldiers were injured in  the  fire exchange with the Al shabaab militia in Tabda in Somalia.

This is Kenya’s first engagement with the militia force. The two, one in critical condition have been airlifted to Nairobi for treatment.

A statement from the Defense ministry said the Kenyan soldiers were moving from Tabda to Beles Qooqani to reinforce the forward positions when they came under attack.

” Today at 11.30, Kenyan troops came under attack. Al shabaab strength at the time is estimated at 45 militants ” said the statement.

Earlier in the morning, the troops carried out an air attack in Anole, the militants logistical and training camp locateg sector central.

The soldiers are now preparing to capture Burgavo, a key town for charcoal and fish business also controlled by Al Shabaab.

The Defense Ministry says the KDF strategy is to reduce the Al Shabaab effectiveness and  to restore TFG authority to achieve enduring peace in Somalia.

 KBC News.

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9 Shabaab men killed in battle with Kenya army
By PETER LEFTIE  October 27  2011

In Summary

•Terror group raids Mandera leaving four dead as soldiers swing back to action, bombarding Anole, taking Bursar and advancing on Burgabo

Kenyan troops on Thursday killed nine Al-Shabaab fighters and injured several others in a fierce exchange of fire after they were ambushed by the militants in Southern Somalia.

The Kenyan troops were ambushed by an estimated 45 Al-Shabaab fighters as they moved from the town of Tabda to Beles Qooqani in central Jubaland to reinforce their compatriots.

Today, at around 11.30am, Kenyan troops came under Al-Shabaab attack, which marks the first engagement with the militia force. Al-Shabaab strength at the time of attack is estimated at 45 militants,” said Kenya Defence Forces spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir in a statement.

Two Kenyan soldiers were injured, one critically during the fire exchange and were airlifted to the Advanced Dressing Station in Garissa for treatment.

It was the first time the Kenyan troops were encountering resistance from the militants since they started Operation Linda Nchi 10 days ago.

The attack was conducted as KDF was moving from Tabda to Beles Qooqani to reinforce the forward positions. Nine Al-Shabaab killed with others escaping with injuries. Two KDF troops injured, one critically. The soldiers have all been airlifted for medication,” the statement said.

Earlier, Al-Shabaab caused a stir by reportedly asking for a truce and negotiations, a report later denied by government spokesman Alfred Mutua.

A cat among pigeons

In Parliament, Foreign Affairs assistant minister Richard Onyonka appeared to have thrown a cat among pigeons when he declared that the government is ready to negotiate with the Al-Shabaab for an end to the current military operation if the group renounces violence and stops its actions there.

He claimed Al-Shabaab has frequently been in touch with the government.

The truth is the Al-Shaabab is frequently and constantly in touch with the Kenyan government…If the Al-Shaabab would like to discuss and engage with the Kenyan government, our channels are very open,” said Mr Onyonka.

“If they don’t renounce violence, the Kenyan government shall not discuss anything with them,” he added.

His comments provoked a rare media comment from Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura who told the Nation that he “is not aware” of any negotiations between Kenya and Al-Shabaab.

“The government cannot negotiate with a terrorist group,” he said.

However, he said, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia is sending a delegation for “bilateral talks to strengthen cooperation between the two countries”, possibly a polite way of saying the two sides have agreed to sit down and hammer out a deal on the military operation.

President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed has been sending mixed signals as to whether he supports the campaign against Al-Shabaab.

At the same time, Al-Shabaab was reported to have called on its supporters inside Kenya to stop throwing grenades and set off a major explosion.

The terror group’s fighters also crossed the border in Mandera and struck at Lafey. They are reported to have thrown a grenade that killed two Ministry of Education officials, a civic leader and their driver.

The truck was ferrying Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination papers.

North Eastern provincial commissioner James ole Seriani said Kenyan forces had crossed into Somalia in pursuit of the militants responsible for the morning attack.

“We will follow them to their hideout using all means at our disposal,” the PC warned.

In Somalia, Maj Chirchir said Kenyan forces attacked the town of Anole from the air at dawn on Thursday.

The attack was aimed at destroying a camp used by the Al-Shabaab for logistics and training of fighters.

To the South, Kenyan forces were preparing to capture Burgavo, a key town used by the militants for charcoal and fish business, which accounts for the bulk of their revenues.

Maj Chirchir confirmed that the Kenyan troops had also captured Busar town and were advancing towards another Al-Shabaab controlled town, Burahache.

As the Kenyan troops intensified the war against the Al-Shabaab, the government reportedly took its diplomatic offensive to the UN Security Council, stating that it had permission from the Transitional Federal Government to conduct the military operation in the war-torn country.

Bar Kulan, a public radio station operating in Somalia, said Kenya’s Ambassador to the UN, Macharia Kamau, had written to the Security Council saying that the Kenya government had decided to take pre-emptive actions “in direct consultations and liaison with the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu” after an escalation of terrorist acts and incursions by Al-Shabaab militants.

He attached last week’s communiqué in which Foreign Minister Moses Wetang’ula and Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Hussein Arab Isse agreed “to undertake coordinated pre-emptive action and the pursuit of any armed elements that continue to threaten to attack both countries,” the station reported.

The CNN had quoted an unnamed Kenya government official claiming that the militants had approached the government expressing a desire to negotiate.

But Dr Mutua, in a press briefing, disputed the reports and said that Kenya would not talk with the militants.

“Al-Shabaab has not contacted Kenya in any way,” said Dr Mutua.

He said Kenyan troops have enjoyed success since crossing the border into Somalia to pursue Al-Shabaab.

“They are running scared. I think they are busy running for their lives,” Dr Mutua said. “They don’t have time to talk.”

Defence assistant minister Joseph Nkaissery also dismissed the reports. “There is nothing like that,” he told the Nation.
Nation.

Four dead in Mandera car attack


By ISSA HUSSEIN
 Thursday, October 27  2011

Four people have died following an attack on a vehicle transporting Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams materials in Lafey, Mandera Thursday.

Councillor Salah Mohammed in Lafey said four people died when a Toyota Hilux vehicle belonging to the Lafey Secondary School head teacher was attacked.

Those who died included the school head, the District Education Officer (DEO), a former area councillor and the driver, he said.

Mr Mohammed also said two soldiers survived the attack.

The provincial police boss and the North Eastern Provincial Commissioner went into a crisis a security meeting after the attack.

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe, confirming the attack, said the area police boss was rushing to the scene to gather more details.

He promised that police will give a detailed report later.

“We have received a report of a banditry attack in Mandera District about 110 kilometres from Mandera town involving a vehicle carrying government officials among others .

“The District Police Commander and his security team are  proceeding to the scene, we shall give details in due course. No information on casualties and other circumstances has been confirmed yet,” Mr Kiraithe said in a statement.

 Nation.

Related Articles:

War in Southern Somalia:Somali Al-Shabaab threatens Kenya with retaliatory attacks

Somalia:Somalia’s Puntland region backs Kenyan incursion + Related Articles

NAIROBI:Kenya rules out talks with Somalia’s Al-Shabaab

War in Sothern Somalia:Jets pound Kismayu as forces gear up for clash + Related News

Somali:

Somalia: ” Arrinta Kenya dawladda moowqif mideysan ayeey ka taagan tahay” – R/wasaare Cabdi Wali

 

SOMALIA:Nuqulka Bayaanka CADDEYNTA MOWQIFKA DAWLADDA SOOMAALIYA kasoo Saartay Arinta Kenya – Akhriso

Muqdisho:Madaxweynaha Soomaaliya oo kahadlay Mawqifka Dawladda ee Soo galitaanka Ciidamada Kenya +

 

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Somali President wants Kenya troops out


 By ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu

Wednesday, October 26  2011

President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has maintained his opposition to the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia.

During a meeting held Thursday at Villa Somalia, the State House in Mogadishu, President Sharif repeated that Kenya was wrong in sending troops into Somalia.

The Head of State hinted that Nairobi’s action amounted to a breach of Somalia’s sovereignty.

President Sharif issued the statement following his meeting with Cabinet members.

Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali agreed with the President, dismissing any reports to the contrary.

On Monday, President Sharif stated that Kenya was required to limit its assistance to Somalia to training the government forces and provision of logistical support.

Somalia’s Defence minister –cum-Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Arab Issa, read out an agreement reached with Kenya, when Nairobi ministers visited Mogadishu recently.

Mr Issa stated: “The Somali Government and the Kenyan ministers only agreed to tackle the fighting against Al-Shabaab jointly by Kenya supporting the Somali forces.”  

The Somali minister on October 18 hosted his Kenyan counterparts, Moses Wetang’ula (Foreign) and Yusuf Haji (Defence) in Mogadishu.

Meanwhile, a number of Somali legislators held a meeting in Mogadishu Wednesday to discuss the issue of the Kenyan troops in Somalis, reportedly in hot pursuit of Al-Shabaab militants.

A combined force

Mr Mohamed Ibrahim Habsade (MP) stated that Kenyan forces coming into Somalia was consistent with Somali people’s desire to have Al-Shabaab’s menace eliminated.

He added that Kenya was defending the honour of the Somali people that have been humiliated by Al-Shabaab as well as its integrity.

“Our parliament had endorsed resolutions in the past seeking help from Somalia’s neighbours in order to stabilise the country,” said Mr Habsade. “And that is what Kenya is doing.”

But another MP, Mr Yasin Mohamed Bu’ul, agreed with President Sharif that the Kenyan troops were trespassing in breach of Somalia’s sovereignty.

In Nairobi, Kenya asked the Somalia Government to clarify its position on the military operation against the Al-Shabaab.

“The Kenya Government is seeking clarification of the Somalia Government’s position, as it is essential to have a unified approach in dealing with the destabilisation of Somalia by Al-Shabaab,” Internal Security minister George Saitoti said.

Prof Saitoti spoke as the Kenyan forces captured one more town on Monday in their pursuit of the Al-Shabaab militants in Southern Somalia.

The Kenya military and a local militia group, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaaca (ASWJ), which is on the side of the Kenyan forces, confirmed that the town of Busar had been captured from the Al-Shabaab.

 
Nation.

 

 
Laaska News.
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