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Whose bidding is the KDF doing in Somalia now?

On Wednesday the US announced it was sending about 80 troops to Chad to help in the hunt for about 300 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. This adds to the surveillance assistance the Nigerian government has been getting from the US government. The US involvement, right on the heels of the Paris conference on Boko Haram last week, is yet another reminder of the international dimension of the security threats to ...

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Somalia: African solutions for African problems?

One of the most potent intoxicants in Africa today is the canned phrase "African solutions for African problems". While "ASAP" is an acronym that connotes a timely and efficient result, most if not all, operations that are veiled with the romantic motto, have proven that they are not indigenously conceived, funded or driven. Since this phrase entered the African lexicon in 2007, it has proved to be of no su ...

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Dadaab: The world’s biggest refugee camp

By Hamza Mohamed  Sunday, May 4, 2014 Dadaab, Kenya - A young, panic-stricken woman sits under a tree, telling anyone who will listen about her plight. "They forced me to leave my children behind," said Ifrah Hassan, a 29-year-old mother of three. A crowd of dozens, mostly men, has gathered around her to listen. This is Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp, located in an arid portion of eastern Kenya ne ...

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ETHIOPIA: HOLDING THE ENTIRE OGADEN COLLECTIVELY GUILTY

 By  Ismail Mohamed Ismai'l  I Introduction The illegal occupation of the Ogaden by Ethiopia is now in its most critical phase. The occupation has been marred by a litany of human rights violations and in recent times – war crimes. While these infractions are well-known to Somalis, a complete media blockade on all foreign and independent media outlets has concealed their plight from international observers. ...

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FROM BANDITS TO “TERRORISTS”, THE FATE OF KENYAN-SOMALIS

After a spate of grenade attacks in Nairobi, the coastal region and the Somali-inhabited North Eastern province, the Kenyan government has launched a massive crackdown on ethnic Somalis. More than 4,000 people, mostly Somali refugees, have been arrested since Kenya launched Operation Usalama Watch on April 2, ostensibly in response to the deteriorating domestic security situation. The security sweep in Nair ...

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Losing Hearts and Minds in Kenya

The round-up and mass detention of Somalis in Nairobi, which began in earnest on 31 March, deliberately conflated immigration issues with counter-terrorism and has widened dangerous communal divides. Al-Shabaab and its extremist allies in Kenya will be very satisfied. What the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall last September failed to do – sow division among Kenyans – might well be achieved by these detenti ...

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Kenyan Somalis are Guilty Until Proven Innoncent

Hundreds of ethnic Somalis living in Nairobi's Eastliegh neighborhood have been arrested following Monday attacks that killed six people in the Somali populated neighborhood. The explosion targeted a food kiosk and a bus stop during rush hour as people made their way home in the evening. In response to the bombings, Kenya security forces launched a robust crack down knocking through the doors of the residen ...

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Good meals, fancy phones, clean uniforms…The new face of UPDF serving under AMISOM

It is seven years since Uganda sent 7,000 troops to Somalia under the African Union Peacekeeping mission (AMISOM). And for many soldiers, their lives will never be the same again. Meals After two days in Somalia, my worry for our soldiers was not about the possibility that they would lose their lives to the Al Shabaab terrorists. Rather, the possibility that our soldiers would return home too obese. Our sol ...

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It’s unfair to blame Kenyan Somalis collectively for every act of terrorism

Collective responsibility of a whole community for the actions of a few is a fallacy. Normally, some are criminals, a few are outstanding heroes or patriots, while the rest are just like the bewildered herd with no idea about anything. Somalis are no different. The bulk are poor, illiterate and basically concerned about the daily rut they find themselves in. They have suffered from the same ineptitude of th ...

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Wide gulf between Somalia’s leader and UNSOM’s Head

The post transitional Somali leaders elected in 2012 were entrusted with the special duty to lead a full-fledged state of Somalia with its sovereignty, unity, economic recovery, security, and institutional capacity restored and to conduct a free and fair national political election in 2016.  Despite the ongoing armed conflict and social and political fragmentation in the country, many Somalis wanted to beli ...

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