Wednesday, December 07, 2011

African Union Force Makes Strides Inside Somalia as US intensifies its proxy fight against al-Shabab

Rebels in Somalia briefly take over key central town: The rebel fighters from Al-Shabaab launched their attacks on the town of Dhusamareb in central Somalia province of Galgaduud, which is controlled by pro-government militia group of Ahlu SunnahWaljama (ASWJ). 

You may remember that Somalia has a new militia faction that is about the only group in the country to go against the al-Shabab and win. The Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama - followers of Sufism or mystical Islam - are mostly volunteering students who say they have no political ambitions beyond expelling al-Shabab from the capital, one district at a time.

I hope you watched the video. The leader of this group of young religious fighters is a Minister for the transitional Government. I am really impressed that there is a group of fighters dedicated to defeating Al Shabab and they are. That is the main reason why Al Shabab has admitted defeat and largely left. The young leader is their religious leader and very religious always taking time out to pray. He vows to disband when Al Shabab is defeated.

The radical group of Al-Shabaab took over the town following fierce battles with local militia fighters who were forced out of the town, but the ASWJ fighters regrouped and launched a counter- attack on the militants in the strategic town of Dhusamareb on the key road linking a number of other towns in the region.

Encircling Somalia

US intensifies its proxy fight against al-Shabab in Somalia: The Obama administration is intensifying its campaign against an al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia by boosting the number of proxy forces in the war-torn country, expanding drone operations and strengthening military partnerships throughout the region.

In many ways, the American role in the long-running conflict in Somalia is shaping up as the opposite of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: relatively inexpensive, with limited or hidden U.S. footprints.

Analysis - Ethiopia dragged reluctantly back into Somalia

African Union Force Makes Strides Inside Somalia: Their surprising success has put the African Union in the driver’s seat of an intensifying international effort to wipe out Somalia’s Shabab militants, once and for all. Kenya, Ethiopia, the United States, France, Djibouti, Burundi and Uganda have all jumped in to some degree against the Shabab, a brutal and wily insurgent group that is considered both a regional menace and an international threat, with possible sleeper cells embedded in Somali communities in the United States and Europe.

The Shabab have been terrorizing Somalia for years, imposing a harsh and alien form of Islam, chopping off heads and unleashing suicide bombers, including Somali-Americans recruited from Minnesota. But the African Union has dealt the Shabab a crippling blow in Mogadishu, which is what may have encouraged Kenyan and Ethiopian forces to recently invade separate parts of Somalia in an unusual regional effort to spread the Shabab thin on several fronts and methodically eliminate them.

James Joiner
Gardner, Ma

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