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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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Al-Shabaab: training to be with God in paradise

By Jamal Osman ( Channel4 Reporter) They chant: "We are al-Shabaab! We are al-Qaeda! We are terrorists!" In a secret location, deep in the Somali bush, I met al-Shabaab, one of the most feared al-Qaeda-affiliated organisations in the world. Around 300 newly trained fighters, who have completed a six-month course, parade in the training camp. Al-Shabaab is the jihadist group behind the attack at the Westgate ...

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Ethiopia: The Statue of Sayid Mohamed in Jigjiga and the Silence Occupation

The Ethiopian ruling party,Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front or TPLF favors the old-aged policy based on divide-and-rule that so often dominates not only the politics of Ethiopian highlanders but the Somalia politics as well. But Since Ethiopian dictator Ato Meles Zenawi passed away the TPLF found in itself an uncomfortable position when it comes to shifting a new direction to the regional politics -and mod ...

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Where is our sense of shame?

Following the recent tragic events at Westgate mall, many of us were momentarily relieved to see the Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya Police Service, General Service Unit and other security agents arrive at the scene. I say ‘momentarily’ because, while the show of might was reassuring, many people still had loved ones trapped in the building and, therefore, could not relax until the hostages were freed and safe. ...

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The Corruption Tango

Any unchecked authority or power—especially when involving monies—ultimately leads to corruption. That is why it is necessary to put in place mechanisms to monitor, audit, reward, and, when necessary, punish. All laws stemming from a moral or a legal code are based on a system of rewards and punishments. By corruption I mean: Abuse of authority or position of trust in order to benefit self, family, friends, ...

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Somalia’s Failure: A Broken System Or Lousy Leaders?

In most of the world’s parliamentary democracies, it’s rare to see presidents and prime ministers bickering, since their roles and responsibilities are more or less distinct and rarely overlap. However, in many African governments, power struggles between presidents and prime ministers are quite common, even when the offices have clearly defined constitutional roles. In Somalia, the president is the head of ...

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