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Al-Shabab: Guardians of Somali identity?

(Aljazeera)-British Channel 4 journalist Jamal Osman had an exclusive on al-Shabab that included a training and graduation ceremony. The picture that emerged was that al-Shabab is a sophisticated group which, more than others, grasped the duality of the state; one of brutal efficiency in employing force and in the second order, the ability to undertake state's benign "soft" function: collecting garbage and ...

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Sending the U.S. Military to Somalia Will Accomplish Little

That the Pentagon admitted, this month, to sending its military back into Somalia after a 20 year absence of explicit involvement (never mind the extensive covert operations in the country), should trouble anyone who cares about security on the Horn of Africa. This move will secure little. It's an easy announcement for the Defense Department to make and will likely ruffle few feathers in Washington. When pu ...

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Ethiopia – Relatives Fear for Missing Political Prisoners in “Jail Ogaden” near Harar

The notorious prison locally known as "Jail Ogaden", about 80 kilometers east of the city of Harar, has been the scene of repeated atrocities carried out by the Ethiopian prison guards. The prison where about several thousand political inmates are jailed live in unbearable living conditions, are systemically starved and beaten. The jail with its unhygienic cells are overcrowded with prisoners that experienc ...

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John Kerry is right: US troops in Iraq wouldn’t have stopped al-Qaida

On Sunday, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsay Grahamblasted the Obama administration for the return of al-Qaida to Iraq, arguing that the withdrawal of US troops in 2011 created a power vacuum that would be "filled with America's enemies". They claim that if the US had maintained even a small military presence in Iraq, al-Qaida would never have gained a foothold in the western regions of Iraq and r ...

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Somalia: foreign intervention is ‘root cause of civil strife’, says analyst

Dubai: An analyst on Somali affairs has said foreign intervention in Somalia — left without a central government since the 1991 ousting of its then military ruler — is “the root cause of civil strife”. Shams Hussain, an academic who holds dual Somali and British nationality, said: “One would argue that 90 per cent of the problems in Somalia are based on foreign intervention. They include regional and intern ...

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Al Qaeda’s Big Year in 2013

By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross Any way you measure it, 2013 was a good year for Al Qaeda. It wasn’t supposed to be. Shortly after the United States killed the group’s charismatic leader, Osama bin Laden, a couple of years ago, Obama administration officials openly proclaimed that his death, coupled with targeted strikes that eliminated other senior jihadist leaders, had just about put al Qaeda out of business. ...

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Guest Article: Can Somalia Pick Up The Pieces ?

By: Mohamed Africa Somalia’s Federal Parliament approved overwhelmingly the new Prime Minister on Saturday, marking the beginning of the latest attempt to pick up the pieces. Somalia has come a long way setting its own political crises through constitutional manner without external input or pressure. This political momentum, which the country seized at the right place and right time, is among the rare succe ...

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Somalia: Somali Federal Government Loses Credibility with International Community

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is facing the greatest challenge to his leadership and credibility since his election as the president of Somalia almost fifteen months ago, according to multiple sources in Washington, London, Brussels, Nairobi and Mogadishu. Our contacts report that diplomats and regional governments are alarmed by the president’s recent actions and are regularly describing the president and his seni ...

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Why Al-Shabaab will strike again, and isn’t about to die any day soon

By CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO Could Al-Shabaab carry out another Westgate-type terrorist attack in Nairobi, or stage a similar outrage in Kampala? This was one of the questions at the back of the mind of a couple of folks at a meeting of Somali intellectuals and civil society activists held by the African Union’s Somalia mission, Amisom, in Kigali this week. One of the reasons Kigali was chosen for the meeting wa ...

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Al-Shabab in long-running battle with Twitter

(Aljazeera.com)-More than two months after their last account on Twitter was suspended, al-Shabab the Somali rebel group fighting the UN-backed government in Mogadishu - opened a new account on Monday, their seventh since September. But their latest handle was shut down just six hours later. It appears Twitter and al-Shabab have resumed their virtual fight. The group's last account was suspended after it cl ...

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