Home > News > War in Southern Somalia:Somalia’s Al Shabaab says “obtained radar equipments to detect enemy aircraft” + Related News

War in Southern Somalia:Somalia’s Al Shabaab says “obtained radar equipments to detect enemy aircraft” + Related News

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Laaska News  Nov. 10,2011
Kenyan troops change strategy to focus on pacification
Shabaab parade in stronghold – Nation

Somalia’s Al Shabaab says “obtained radar equipments to detect enemy aircraft”

MOGADISHU, Nov.10 (Xinhua) — The rebel militants of Al Shabaab in Somalia said they have obtained radar equipments and other military hardware to fight against Kenyan and Somali troops battling the group in the south of the war-torn country, a pro-Al Shabaab website reported on Thursday.

The claim by the radical group comes as row over alleged shipment of arms for Al Shabaab have been growing between Kenya and Eritrea. Eritrea is accused of sending weapons to the group, but the country has strongly denied the accusation.

“Radar equipments have been brought to some of the Somalia Wilaayaats (provinces) to detect enemy aircraft breaching Somalia’ s airspace, “said Somalimemo, a website used by Al Shabaab.

The site quoting an unnamed official added ” other ‘modern equipments ‘were found to counter the aging Kenyan aircraft fleet”. The Al Shabaab official did not give further details about where the group got the new military equipment or where they were installed.

Kenyan have lately been carrying out air raids against Al Shabaab targets in southern Somalia where the group controls. Allied Kenyan and Somali government troops have since early October been carrying out a military action aimed at ousting the militant fighters from the south of the war-ravaged Horn of Africa nation.

The group also asserted they have enlisted the retired senior military officials of former Somali government of Mohamed Siyad Barre to advise on and take part in the fight against Kenyan and Somali government troops.

The radical rebel group of Al Shabaab this week displayed several speedboats and dozens of newly trained fighters carrying AK-47s as well as local traditional fighters armed with spears, bows and arrows in the southern port town of Marka.

Al Shabaab reiterated threats of attacks against Kenyan for sending its troops across the border to Somalia as well as against Burundi and Uganda, two countries who are currently contributing troops to the 9,000-strong African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) based in Mogadishu.



Kenyan troops change strategy to focus on pacification


By Daniel Ooko, Chrispinus Omar and Peter Mutai

NAIROBI, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s military intensified its operations to subdue Al-Shabaab militia in southern Somalia and are now focusing on patrols and pacification in liberated areas in a move aimed at eliminating sympathizers in the lawless nation.

Military spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir said the Kenya Navy has also been conducting patrols in the Indian Ocean to keep out the militants and have so far sunk two enemy boats, killing over 10 members of the Al-Shabaab members in the process.

“The Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) forces at the battlefront were involved in patrols and pacification in the liberated areas and Al- Shabaab pockets,” said Major Chirchir late Tuesday.

“This pacification patrols reinforce the operation objectives and facilitate access by international aid organizations in the liberated areas,” he added.

Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi (Kiswahili for “Protect the Nation”) on Oct. 16 and has since deployed ground troops and air assets between its common border and the Somali port town of Kismayo.

Government officials have said its forces were targeting militants who threaten Kenya’s heavily tourism-dependent economy and its national security.

In recent weeks, there have been kidnappings of tourists and aid workers in Kenya, which officials blamed on Al-Shabaab, a charge the group has denied.

One tourist was shot dead on the Kenyan coast, another died in captivity in the Horn of Africa nation, where her abductors had been negotiating for a ransom.

Chirchir said the new strategy involves soldiers moving from house to house to speak to residents as part of their strategy of winning their support in the fight against the Al-Shabaab militants blamed for a series of kidnappings on the Kenyan soil.

The Kenyan troops are on the fourth week of Operation Linda Nchi in Somalia aimed against the extremist militia blamed for insecurity across the Horn of Africa region.

The military said the ultimate plan is to capture the two Al- Shabaab strongholds of Afmadow and Kismayu and allow the TFG to take control.

But the troops appear to have slowed down their aggressive war with Al-Shabaab militants for the past week, due to what Chirchir is blaming on heavy rains in the southern parts of the lawless country so far taken over by the Kenyan troops.

“We are being delayed by heavy rains. Our aim was to be in Afmadow by now but the rains have made that impossible. We will push until we chase Al-Shabaab from Kismayo,” the commander of Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces in the border area, General Yusuf Hussein Dhumal reportedly said.

Chirchir said the slowdown was also due to humanitarian reasons as it was meant to allow civilians to receive relief assistance in areas which have been liberated.

“We need the support of the locals so any action we take must be in the best interest of them as we require their total cooperation,” he added.

Six regions in Somalia are now classified as being in a state of famine, volatile security in many of these areas, mostly under the control of Al-Shabaab. The situation greatly reduces aid agencies’ ability to reach the needy.

The food crisis has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have crossed into Kenya to seek refuge in the world’s largest refugee complex.

The Kenyan troops have been strategizing on how to launch attacks on key targets including the port of Kismayu which is largely controlled by the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group.

The military has said for weeks that its troops have been poised to advance on Afmadow and Kismayo. But heavy rains have made southern Somalia’s dirt and sand roads nearly impassible, and have slowed Kenya’s military advance on the ground.

Kismayo is another important economic asset for Al-Shabaab, and a city where the United Nations says the group gets much of its financial and material support.

Kenya has still not disclosed how many soldiers are involved in operations in the Horn of Africa nation which has had no effective central government for many years.

The military is also relying heavily on its air strikes to hit Al-Shabaab positions with those near the port-town of Kismayo being successful.

Chirchir however, did not say whether the troops had captured any Al-Shabaab fighters in the door-to-door operation. Chirchir however said the exercise would be extended to surrounding villages.

Some civilians have been fleeing the city out of concern over Kenya’s aerial campaign or an impending showdown with Al-Shabaab. There are also reports that many others have been trapped by the rainy weather, unable to escape.

“Many people have been leaving in the last three days. No-one wants to get caught up in the fighting, I have sent my family to the villages,” said a resident of Afmadow, a town 140 km north of Kenya’s border.

The latest move came as security forces intensified patrols in the capital city and across the country at the border points to guard against reprisal attacks by the Al-Shabaab militants who have vowed to attack “Kenya in all fronts.”

At least 37 Ethiopians immigrants were arrested by the police on Tuesday in Taita Taveta in the coastal region. The Ethiopians who were arrested at Tsavo West National Park by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers were attempted to cross into Tanzania.

“We have intensified security surveillance in the Park after the Al-Shabaab issued threats to Kenya a few weeks ago. The immigrants can do anything and that is why we cannot take any risk with the issue of security,” Senior Warden in charge of the park, Samuel Rukaria said on Wednesday.

Rukaria said the Ethiopians did not have any identification documents and are a threat to tourism in the region.

Another 21 Ethiopian immigrants were arrested in Nairobi’s Eastleigh residential estate on Tuesday in the ongoing police swoop. Police said the suspects were arrested in a security operation targeting foreigners living in the country illegally.

The raid was conducted by Administration Police officers who raided two houses following a tip off that foreigners of Ethiopian origin were staying there and had no valid documents.

Police believe recent grenade attacks in Nairobi, Mandera and Sunday’s bomb attack in a Pentecostal church in Garissa where two people were killed and scores wounded is part of the revenge attacks by Al-Shabaab and their sympathizers.

The incident occurred a few hours after an explosive device believed to be anti-personnel mine (landmine) failed to explode when a police vehicle stumbled on it in Hagadera, near the Kenya- Somali border, in another terrorist attempt.

Al-Shabaab operatives, disguised as local civilians, target Kenyan security agents, mostly the paramilitary wing of the police, during movements to and from their operations around the border region.

Analysts believe the military operation launched by Kenya after a spate of cross-border hijackings, the seizure of ship from within its territorial waters and the targeting of tourist havens, may actually revive the dormant terrorist cells.

The U.S. launched the “Operation Enduring Freedom” in the Horn of Africa in 2002, targeting Al Qaeda-linked terror cells within Somalia and Ethiopia.

The last major operation around the Ras Kamboni, a town 10 km from the Kenyan side of the border, was in 2007 following the launch of the Ethiopian military offensive against the Union of Islamic Courts, an offshoot of the Al-Shabaab.



Shabaab parade in stronghold – Nation

By ABDULKADIR KHALIF, NATION Correspondent in Mogadishu

Wednesday, November 9  2011


The show of force in Marka town, 500 kilometres north of Kismayu, involved a display of speed boats mounted with machine guns with which they hope to face the Kenya Navy.


Also on display were the four-wheel pick-ups mounted with machine guns, known as technicals.


Residents of the town said they were asked to come out on the streets and beach to witness the parade.


Marka is about 100 kilometres south of the capital, Mogadishu, from where the rebels have been largely routed by African Union forces.


Kenyan and Somali government troops are approaching Kismayu from the south after taking a string of towns on the coastline.


The Tuesday display came as Kenya’s military incursion inside Somalia was debated in the UK parliament.


Using loud speakers on minibuses, the militants drove around calling on the inhabitants of Marka, the capital of Lower Shabelle region, to come out and watch a big military display.


Along the coastline, speedboats mounted with automatic machine guns, according to witnesses, cut across the water in formation.


Defend territory


An Al-Shabaab officials who addressed the crowd vowed to defend their territory if attacked from the sea, witnesses said.


The militants appeared to be reacting to indications that the Kenya Navy, that already controls the Indian Ocean waters in territory the land forces have taken, was preparing to launch offensives against them in their strongholds including the main port town of Kismayu.


The militiamen zoomed around the streets of Marka in technicals bearing masked fighters wielding assault rifles and escorted by others on motorbikes.


“Our forces are ready to defeat any aggressor,” an Al-Shabaab official whose name was not given was quoted as telling the crowd.


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