Somali leader Dahir Aweys was falsely reported wounded or killed in fighting in the capital of Mogadishu some years back. Hisbul Islam and al-Shabab merged and vowed to topple the Transitional Federal Government that is backed by the US and AMISOM., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Garowe Online (Garowe)
Somalia - Al Shabaab Wants a New Name
7 December 2011
Baidoa — A meeting was held in Baidoa city of southern Somalia where many prominent Al Shabaab members including Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys met with other members to discuss changing the group's name, Radio Garowe reports.
Discussions at the meeting which went on for a full week included much more than a name change for the organization, they also discussed the banning of any alcohol, cigarettes and drugs in the provinces controlled by Al Shabaab.
It was reported that members also discussed increasing the fight against Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops, AMISOM peacekeepers, Kenyan troops, and even forces of Puntland State of Somalia.
When asked why the name change, Al Shabaab leader Muktar Robow Abu-Mansur said: "The name Al Shabaab means 'youth' in Arabic, and this organization has many older people like Sheik Hasan Dahir so I feel we need to change the name."
Sheikh Aweys, a senior Al Shabaab leader who also spoke at the meeting in Baidoa, stated that everybody needs to join the fight against the foreign troops in Somalia.
Government officials and Islamic leaders in Puntland have linked the Baidoa meeting to the death of a prominent scholar in Bossaso, Dr. Ahmed Haji Abdirahman, who was killed as he was leaving a mosque.
Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)
Somalia: Soldier Kills Two IDPs During Food Aid Handout in Mogadishu
7 December 2011
Mogadishu — A soldier loyal to the interim Federal government of Somalia on Wednesday has shot and killed at least two people and wounded many others- all civilians at food aid distribution centre in the capital Mogadishu, witnesses said.
Witnesses said the incident occurred at Tiribunka area in Hodon district, where a government soldier opened fire at hundreds of drought hit Somali families, who were waiting at the food distribution point in Mogadishu
The soldier was reportedly opened fire as he tried to loot the aid food intended for the hungry people lined to receive it and shot dead two of the internally displaced families at the area of food distribution center in Mogadishu's Hodon district.
Residents confirmed Shabelle Media that hundreds of Somali government security forces with armed vehicles have reached at the scene hours later of the shooting, who arrested the soldier and taken to custody.
Tens of thousands of internally displaced people are currently in the Somali capital in search of food and other assistance after fleeing from the severe famine and droughts in the southern Somalia.
Last Updated: Dec 7, 2011 - 1:41:10 PM
SOMALIA: Abu Mansur asks Islamic scholars to correct Al Shabaab
7 Dec 7, 2011 - 1:36:55 PM
BAIDOA Somalia Dec, 8 2011 (Garowe Online)- Sheikh Mukhtar Ali (Abu Mansur), a senior Al-Shabaab leader is urging Islamic scholars in Somalia, to correct Al Shabaab whenever they committed errors. He said this would be vital in ending problems in Southern Somalia.
Abu Mansur said that the role of Islamic scholars is to guide the society to correctness, adding that the Al Shabaab always stands to be corrected whenever at fault.
“We are all humans we make mistakes” Abu Mansur said. “We are requesting the Islamic scholars to correct us when we go wrong and support us when we are right”.
In the same statement made at Baidoa (Bay and Bakol region) , the former Al Shabaab Spokesman asked the scholars not to be afraid of the Al Shabaab. He beseeched Al Shabaab members to heed the advice from the religious scholars, saying that the duty of the scholars was to advise society and speak out on any wrongs inflicted upon their societies.
The statement comes at a time when Islamic scholars are increasingly becoming targets of what most people and analysts believe to be “terrorist related assassination”. Last Sunday Dr. Ahmed Hajji Abdirahman - a prominent Islamic scholar- was killed as he left a mosque in Bossaso, the commercial capital of Puntland.
Similarly, the statement from Abu Mansur coincides with a seven day meeting held in Baidoa, resulting in the renaming of Al Shabaab.
Eritrea scoffs at fresh UN sanctions
Posted by BERNARD MOMANY
December 6, 2011 3
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – Eritrea has scoffed at fresh sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security council on Monday night for allegedly supporting terrorism and Somali Islamist rebels to destabilise the region.
A statement from the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in Asmara said the sanctions passed in New York were “illegal and unjust.”
“Eritrea categorically rejects the illegal and unjust sanctions resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council on Monday,” the terse statement sent from the Nairobi embassy said.
“The resolution is yet another injustice perpetrated on the Eritrean people and it will heighten tensions and stoke an already explosive situation in the Horn of Africa,” it added.
In the statement, Eritrea strongly blamed the United States for its woes and saw it as a cover up of what it termed as “failed policies in the region.”
“As it became evident to everyone at the Security Council, the sanctions were a result of undisguised United States hostility towards Eritrea. It was an attempt by the US administration to scapegoat Eritrea for its faulty and failed policies in the Horn of Africa,” the Asmara statement said.
Referring to a WikiLeaks document, Eritrea claims there is evidence “that this is part of a concerted US campaign to muzzle Eritrea and bring it under heel by intimidating the Eritrean people and imposing economic hardships on them.”
The sanctions are “also aimed at protecting and covering the crimes of the aggressive minority regime in Addis Ababa.”
UN Security Council dominated by US
“The sanctions resolution on Eritrea reveals that despite the massive transformation taking place in the world, the United Nations and the Security Council are still dominated by the United States and underscore the need for radical UN reform,” the statement said.
Eritrea further said it does not have confidence with the process that led to the final resolution to issue sanctions.
“The process that led to the resolution, during which the United States single-handedly prevented Eritrea’s meaningful participation and then turned the Security Council into a kangaroo court has further discredited the UN body,” the statement said.
Eritrea wonders why the UN Security Council has not imposed sanctions against Ethiopia which it accuses of continuing to occupy its territory.
Monday’s sanctions came exactly a week before the 12th anniversary of the Algiers Agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
“The Security Council, at the instigation of the United States has imposed sanctions on Eritrea twice, while at the same time refusing to take any measures against Ethiopia, which continues to occupy sovereign Eritrean territory in violation of international law and Security Council resolutions,” the statement said and termed the UN resolution as a “dereliction of duty and a cause of exacerbated conflict and instability in the Horn of Africa.”
On Monday night, the UN Security Council toughened sanctions against Eritrea which neighbouring governments accuse of plotting terrorist attacks and supporting Somali Islamist rebels.
A resolution, passed with 13 votes in favour, while Russia and China abstained, allows the council to increase the number of individuals and entities that can be hit with a travel ban and assets freeze.
Eritrea has been accused of supporting Al Shabaab Islamist militants in Somalia with finance and weapons. A UN sanctions monitoring group has linked the Asmara government to a bomb plot against an African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in January.
The Security Council demanded that Eritrea”cease all direct or indirect efforts to destabilise states, including through financial, military, intelligence and non-military assistance.”
It also condemned the alleged plot on the African summit.
However, demands made by Gabon and Nigeria, which drew up the resolution, to ban investment in Eritrea’s key mining industry and stop a government tax on remittances sent back by Eritrean workers abroad were dropped.
Several western governments felt the measures would harm Eritrea’s population. The Horn of Africa country is one of the world’s poorest.
Eritrea has strongly denied the claims made about its activities. But no Eritrean officials spoke at the meeting.
Before the vote, several East African leaders called on the Security Council to clamp down on Eritrea, which was first hit by UN sanctions in 2009.
“It is a problem of attitude of a certain clique in Asmara that has never grown up from a rebel group,” said Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. “It is a problem of lawlessness and reckless disregard for international law.”
“The regime in Eritrea insists on terrorising my people,” said Somalia’s President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
After the vote, the US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said: “We have sent a clear message to the government of Eritrea that it must cease all illegal actions threatening international peace and stability.”
“Our goal is to show Eritrea that it will pay an ever higher price for its actions,” the US envoy added.
Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993 and fought a war with its neighbour from 1998-2000. Eritrea also has territorial disputes with Yemen and Djibouti which have led to clashes.
Eritrean forces “shot first then started talking,” Zenawi said.
Somali president Ahmed told the council how he had even asked late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to convince Eritrea’s hardline president Isaias Afeworki to stop backing the Al Shabaab.
Gaddafi “informed me that that had been rejected. He also informed me that the (Eritrean) president clearly stated that reconciliation with my country would be impossible,” Ahmed said.
The Al Shabaab have been accused of carrying out bomb attacks in Kenya and other neighbouring countries and Kenya’s Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said: “Eritrea has been supplying arms and ammunitions and other logistics to Shabaab.
“This is truly a hostile and an enemy act by a country that ought to be an active member” of the East African community, Wetangula said.
Afeworki had asked to personally address the Security Council but Eritrean diplomats said he did not have time to get to New York for Monday’s meeting.
The meeting’s date was fixed last Wednesday and US envoy Rice said Afeworki’s visa had been issued in “close to record” time.
Russia and China said they abstained on the resolution because of their traditional opposition to sanctions on individual countries.