Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kenyan Military Provide False Information to Justify Somalia War

Kenyan Military Proves False Information


Posted Saturday,
January 21 2012 at 17:10

Kenyans were last week treated to a rare spectacle. Military spokesman Emanuel Chirchir posted pictures allegedly showing the stoning of a Kenyan by Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia in the streets of Kismayo.

Major Chirchir and the Al-Shabaab have been engaged in a war of words in the social media, twitter being their largest and bloodiest ring. In a few seconds, the pictures had elicited a huge outcry on the social media.

Later on, a Somali-American Mukhtar Ibrahim discovered that the pictures had been taken in 2009, and thus began a tirade by the Al-Shabaab through their twitter page resulting into an apology from Major Chirchir.

The pictures had originally been published in the Daily Mail Online on 15th December 2009, and had been taken by the Associated Press. The group responsible was Hizbul Islam and not even Al-Shabaab had been alleged and the location was not Kismayo but another town known as Afgoye.

The Al-Shabab tweeted, “They seem unsophisticated, even in their propaganda campaign. A simple Google search would have saved them such an embarrassment.”


In one of his apologies, one of Maj Chirchir tweets read, ‘Out of over 300 postings ... you can't write me off over one error. I take responsibility,” and added that the incident had given the military an opportunity to improve on public information dissemination mechanism.

However, that did not spare him the barrage of attacks even from Kenyans who had already been moved by the images. One catchy tweet read, ‘Has Major Chirchir committed twicide?’

While the war is being fought in Somalia and in North Eastern Kenya, the war in twitter has taken unprecedented levels with both the Al-Shabab and military trying to outdo each other and disparaging each other’s efforts in the war.

Kenya: Operation in Somalia at midpoint

Published: Jan. 21, 2012 at 8:32 PM

KISMAYU, Somalia, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The Kenyan military said Saturday it is about halfway through its mission of ridding southern Somalia of the militant group al-Shabaab.

"As we are speaking now, al-Shabaab is halfway in the pit," Col. Cyrus Oguna said.

The Kenyan operation in Somalia, Operation Linda Nchi, enters its 15th week Sunday, The (Nairobi, Kenya) Nation reported.

"The target has been on logistics bases and command centers, and [these] are critical in any operation, and if you cripple a logistics base and a command center, the war is halfway won," Oguna said.

On Saturday, Kenyan fighter jets bombed a southern Somali town that had been overrun by al-Shabaab fighters, killing at least 10 militants, Shabelle News Network reported.

Officials said the jets also bombed at least seven pickup trucks that were armed with anti-aircraft weapons.

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Somalia: Somaliland forces kill 2, wound 12 protestors in Las Anod

Jan 21, 2012 - 7:11:33 AM

LAS ANOD, Somalia Jan 21 , 2012 (Garowe Online) - Security forces in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland opened fire on protestors Saturday in Las Anod, capital of Sool region, Radio Garowe reports.

According to witnesses, Somaliland forces opened fire on protestors who had blocked the tarmac road with stones and tires. The protest began after Las Anod locals were informed about to truckloads of persons from Burao town, who were transported to Las Anod to stage pro-Somaliland protests.

"Locals were opposed to Burao persons pretending to be Las Anod residents in order to stage pro-Somaliland protests," said a journalist in Las Anod. At least 2 persons were killed and 12 others wounded when Somaliland forces opened fire on the protestors, the journalist added.

It is not the first time that Somaliland forces opened fire on anti-Somaliland protestors in Las Anod.

Somaliland forces have militarily occupied Las Anod town since October 2007, when Puntland security forces withdrew from Las Anod. The Somaliland administration remains deeply unpopular in Sool and Sanaag regions, as Somaliland forces frequently use force to impose Somaliland's separatist policies on communities in Sool and Sanaag regions.

Gunmen Kidnap Westerner in Somalia

Jan 22, 2012
By Samuel Okocha

Gunmen whom local officials say might be linked to a pirate gang have kidnapped a western foreigner in central Somalia's Galmudug region.

"Gunmen kidnapped the foreigner and we understand they took him to Hobyo," interior minister of the semi-autonomous region Abshir Dini told Reuters.

A local military official Colonel Mohamed Hussein said the hostage was one of two men in the region under the pretext of being journalists, but that their exact mission remained unclear, reports Aljazeera.

"He was kidnapped by his own guard, said Hussen, according to Aljazeera. "We understand the clan militia have a link with a pirate leader in Haradheere."

The Associated Press in its report identified he kidnapped man as an American engineer who came to Somalia for an evaluation to build a deep water port in the town of Hobyo.

The foreigner's Somali companion was severely beaten when he begged the kidnappers not to take the man, a minister from the Galmudug administration told the Associated Press.

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