Showing posts with label SOMALIA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SOMALIA. Show all posts

22 Apr 2009

Captured Somali pirates,like Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse (pictured above,smiling as he arrives on the U.S soil) are most likely to seek for asylum in the U.S. upon completion of their jail terms.Compared to the current situation in Somalia,life in a U.S. prison could most probably be perceived as a once-in-lifetime-luxury many Somalis could only imagine.Couldn't this encourage even more pirate attacks in the future?

May be that's why the captured pirate is all smiles....

12 Apr 2009

US cargo ship captain Richard Phillips has been rescued from pirates after a dramatic shootout. Mr Phillips was freed unharmed but the US military killed three Somali kidnappers who were holding him hostage on a lifeboat, according to reports. A fourth pirate is in custody.

Initial reports said the sailor jumped overboard before a gunfight broke out between his captors and US Navy Seals. US President Barack Obama gave authority to kill the pirates, and a commander acted when he concluded the pirates were about to kill the hostage, a US Navy official said.

Mr Phillips has now contacted his family, received a medical evaluation, and is resting aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer. His ship the Maersk Alabama, a container carrying food aid for Somalians, was attacked far out in the Indian Ocean on Wednesday, but its 20 American crew apparently fought off the pirates and regained control.

Crew members said Mr Phillips volunteered to go with the pirates in a lifeboat in exchange for safe passage for his crew. Maersk Line chief executive John Reinhart said in a statement: "We are all absolutely thrilled to learn that Richard is safe and will be reunited with his family." The crew of the Maersk Alabama let off flares and hoisted an American flag at the news of their captain's rescue.

One crew member shouted: "We are very happy. He's a hero" at journalists amid raucous celebrations. Mr Phillips, 53, was the first American taken captive by Somali pirate gangs who have marauded in the busy Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean shipping lanes for years.


13 Dec 2008

The crisis in Somalia is getting worse as a force of Islamic militants, led by a hardline wing known as al-Shabab, seizes more territory, threatening the fragile transitional government. The Ethiopian troops that are backing the government are likely to leave the country soon, and experts warn this may lead to the government's collapse and the potential of Somalia becoming a safe haven for terrorists.

"They're expanding their reach,"said Jeniffer  Cooke,head of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "They've seized a number of key port towns - Merka, Kismayo - and are really driving the chaos that is engulfing Mogadishu at this point."

There has been no real central Somali government since 1991. Only U.S. aid and the presence of Ethiopian troops who invaded in 2006 have kept the current transitional government in Mogadishu from collapse.

Although Ethiopia has announced it would pull out of Somalia by the end of the year, the government has hinted it could delay the move. Still, a withdrawal could prompt African Union peacekeepers to follow suit. 

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says Washington is trying to avert a collapse in Somalia. "We're trying to work through the international system, that is trying to find a way that you can have a responsible international force in Somalia to help provide some security and therefore some stability," McCormack said. "And allow some of these weaker institutions to start to take hold in a positive way."

The concern in Washington is that if the militant al-Shabab takes control of Somalia the country could become a launching ground for terrorists.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen spoke about the danger at a news conference Wednesday."I am concerned about the potential for a safe haven in Somalia as I am in Yemen. I try to pay a lot of attention to the evolution of potential safe havens, these two in particular and specifically to the one in Somalia," Mullen said. "So, I'm extremely concerned about that."

The United States considers the multi-clan al-Shabab a terrorist group. 

It practices a harsh form of Islamic law as seen in this recent video of a beheading released by the militants. Its propaganda videos, and its terror tactics have led some to believe the group may have ties to al-Qaida. 

"Whether or not the links are direct, we don't know," Cooke stated. "There have been former al-Qaida operatives within Mogadishu responsible for the bombings in Dar Es Salaam and in Kenya in 1998, but certainly there's a potential there, a very strong potential for increasing support and linkage with al-Qaida."

Cooke and other experts say the prospect of further violence and a deepening humanitarian crisis in Somalia could become a major problem for the incoming Obama administration. 


3 Nov 2008

Mogadishu, Somalia - A 13-year-old girl who said she had been raped was stoned to death in Somalia after being accused of adultery by Islamic militants, a human-rights group said.
Dozens of men stoned Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow to death Oct. 27 in a stadium packed with 1,000 spectators in the southern port city of Kismayo, Amnesty International and Somali media reported, citing witnesses. The Islamic militia in charge of Kismayo had accused her of adultery after she reported that three men had raped her, the rights group said.

Initial local media reports said Duhulow was 23, but her father told Amnesty International she was 13. Some of the Somali journalists who first reported the killing later told Amnesty International that they had reported she was 23 based upon her physical appearance.

Calls to Somali government officials and the local administration in Kismayo rang unanswered Saturday.

"This child suffered a horrendous death at the behest of the armed opposition groups who currently control Kismayo," David Copeman, Amnesty International's Somalia campaigner, said in a statement Friday.

Somalia is among the world's most violent and impoverished countries. The nation of some 8 million people has not had a functioning government since warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991 then turned on each other.

A quarter of Somali children die before age 5; nearly every public institution has collapsed. Fighting is a daily occurrence, with violent deaths reported nearly every day.



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