This video says about itself:
AMISOM charges three soldiers for killing seven civilians in Somalia
22 August 2015
The African Union mission in Somalia has charged three of its soldiers with killing civilians. The troops reportedly opened fire at a wedding party. Seven people were killed. AMISOM’s chief has apologized and ordered a full-blown independent investigation. CCTV’s Robert Nagila reports.
From The Monitor in Kampala, Uganda:
Uganda: FDC Wants Govt to Withdraw Soldiers From War-Torn Somalia
22 May 2007
Opposition Forum for Democratic Change has called on the government to withdraw UPDF troops from Somalia.
FDC Secretary for Electoral Affairs Rubaramira Ruranga asked Parliament to annul its decision of sending UPDF soldiers to the war-torn horn of Africa country.
He was speaking during a press briefing at their offices in Najjanankumbi yesterday.
“The opposition MPs should lead the call for the return of our children,” Maj. Ruranga said.
“Why should our soldiers die in Somalia? We should have trained the Somalis to defend their country.”
He added that there was a tendency to think that the army should be at the centre of solving political problems. This he said should not be the case.
Parliament in February voted overwhelmingly on the government proposal to deploy the army in the war-stricken Somalia.
In March, 1,500 soldiers left for the war-torn country. Since then, five soldiers have been killed in bomb attacks, leaving several others injured.
Maj. Rubaramira alleged that Ugandan troops were in Somalia under the influence of America.
Army Spokesman Felix Kulaigye, however, said the presence of UPDF in Somalia is a noble cause. …
He said the death of the five soldiers could not have scared the rest. “When a soldier goes for a mission, you expect such things,” he said.
FDC Spokesperson Wafula Oguttu said $50,000 (about Shs82.5 million) paid to the families of the five dead UPDF soldiers is little.
“Can $50,000 buy your child?”
As US and Ethiopian soldiers (against the will of many Ethiopians) are waging aggressive war in Somalia, tragically but inevitably many Somalis will tend to see Ugandan soldiers, officially “peacekeepers”, as part of a violent occupation.
- Analysis: Uganda holds Somalia hostage in high-stakes diplomacy (dailymaverick.co.za)
- Uganda To Withdraw Troops from Somalia (muyama.wordpress.com)
- Uganda vows to withdraw peacekeepers over UN’s Congo claims (guardian.co.uk)
Uganda: Mazrui Advises On Somalia Environment
New Vision (Kampala)
25 May 2007
Posted to the web 26 May 2007
UGANDA should not have deployed in Somalia, renowned African scholar, Prof. Ali Mazrui, has said.
“Ethiopia made a mistake to interfere with the affairs in Somalia. It complicated the situation,” Mazrui told over 1,000 Rotarians during a conference at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala last week.
“It is important to understand that having been colonised on one part by Italy and the other by the British, Somalia’s situation can only be resolved with the help of troops the locals can identify with.”
He believed that Arab troops would have been more acceptable to the local population because of their culture.
He, however, said the UPDF and other foreign troops in Somalia should now focus on sensitising the masses on peace other than trying to bring peace forcefully.
The director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies also advised Uganda and other African countries to strike a balance between economic development and environmental preservation.
Uganda: Somalia – Did Uganda Deter Other Africans?
The Monitor (Kampala)
26 May 2007
Posted to the web 27 May 2007
The Nobel prize-winning writer, Harold Pinter, once irreverently described British Premier Tony Blair as a “deluded idiot”. On the other side of the Atlantic, where Mr Blair is sometimes thought to be an honorary poodle, Mr George W. Bush has his harsh detractors.
But the critics have not stopped the two men from forming an axis around which a good deal of action has been (sometimes wildly) rotating. After the chaos in Iraq, much of that enterprise is now in tatters, leaving the two men in rather chilly circumstances.
Although I was actually not opposed to the invasion of Iraq per se (weapons or no weapons, Saddam Hussein had a temperament of mass destruction), the naiveté of the vision of the post-war Middle East that came out of the Bush-Blair quick fix notebook was puzzling.
I remember scribbling in this column, that the task of transforming the Middle East would last many decades, and perhaps involve the infiltration of educational institutions – down to kindergarten – by Western intelligence agencies! Oil, semantics and spin aside, Mr Bush and Mr Blair’s rhetoric and personal spiritual lives encouraged the perception that the war was not just a confrontation with Mr Saddam, but part of a bigger project to limit the influence of Islam and to spread institutional features closely associated with Western Christian civilisation. This can work up many Muslims.
Mr Bush and Mr Blair had the classic fault of so many doctrinaire idealists; the belief that the value of their formulations was self-evident; that once the old Iraqi order was brought down, Middle Eastern citizens would simply waltz along.
The dance was short-lived, and far from universal. Some of the reverberations from that conflict are now felt far down in the Horn of Africa. Somalia has its old savage clan rivalries, but it is also part of that wider theatre in which the cause of Islam sometimes plays out its meanest instincts.
When the so-called Islamic Courts took control of huge swathes of Somalia, perhaps with a nod from Eritrea, Ethiopia would not stand by. The crudeness of American diplomacy under the Bush administration reared its head. Without sufficient tact or guile from Washington, Ethiopia’s assault on the Islamic Courts quickly looked like a job in the service of American and British interests.
Having learned nothing from the Iraq experience, and assured of the efficacy of Ethiopia’s massive fire power, USA officials, including Dr Condoleezza Rice, were reportedly calling Kampala (again tactlessly), offering money and equipment (no need to mention continued friendship) to encourage Uganda to lead an African Union force that would replace the bitterly resented Ethiopian army.
To the Somalis, who had enjoyed a spell of relative peace under the Islamic Courts, the USA projection (that the Courts would eventually become intolerant and espouse terrorism) sounded academic and insulting. Although Ethiopia was first in the line of fire, it was a matter of time before Uganda attracted the wrath of anti-American Islamic elements in the region.
But why are the troops promised by Nigeria, Malawi, Ghana and Burundi not in Somalia? There could be several reasons. But Uganda’s one-upmanship might be another. When an affection-hungry USA flaunted Uganda’s “cooperation”, the Ugandans did not see this blunder for what it was. A clear American connection would put the AU force at greater risk.
But instead of pausing and plotting to blend with her fellow Africans as equals, to reduce the danger, Uganda acted with immodest haste and assurance, as if racing for leadership and foreign approval — and in the process, hurting the egos of her peers. In their shoes, you, too, would find it intriguing to watch Uganda’s desperation in trying to find allies on the continent.
From this perspective, the other AU mission contingents would be more inclined to assemble, and, paradoxically, Uganda’s own security concerns would be better addressed, if the UPDF were to withdraw from the Horn of Africa.
Media briefing: Somalia and the “war on terror”
With DAHABO ISSE
Somali Civil Liberties and Human Rights Organisation
Thursday June 7, 6.30pm
NUJ head office, Headland House, 308 Gray’s Inn Road,
King’s Cross tube station, 17, 45, 46 busses
All welcome! Organised by Media Workers Against War
(MWAW) , tel 07801 789 297
MWAW’s monthly briefings present authoritative,
informed speakers on aspects of the “War on terror”
that are inadequately covered by the media.
Somalia: Ministers Refuse 100 Somali Women To Travel to Italy
Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)
31 May 2007
Posted to the web 31 May 2007
Aweys Osman Yusuf
Somalia’s interim cabinet ministers issued statements Thursday preventing a group of Somali women who were supposed to fly to Italy after they were invited by the Italian government, according to Somalia ministers.
Hassan Abshir Afrah, the minister of marine resources, who chaired the cabinet meeting in Mogadishu on Thursday, said the government was not notified that 100 Somali women have been invited by the Italian government.
“The Somali ministers unanimously agreed to intercept these women from traveling to Italy because we have not been informed,” he said.
The minister alleged that the Somali transitional government should have been consulted with over the trip.
The ministers have, on the other hand, discussed the government budget for the next month. Afrah said the government would need to spend around 85 Billion Somalia Shillings worth $5 million USD.
The Somali government might postpone the reconciliation conference which is supposed to take place in the capital on 16 June due to lack of sufficient funding, according to Somalia interior minister, Gamo Dheere.
The ministers finally focused on the media and how it would operate freely in the country.
The transitional government has been famous for pressing the local media. Several prominent FM stations have been closed down in the past. Most of them have been permitted to go on air again.
Media briefing: Somalia and the “war on terror”: US bombs Somalia
With DAHABO ISSE
Somali Civil Liberties and Human Rights Organisation
Thursday June 7, 6.30pm
NUJ (National Union of Journalists) head office, Headland House, 308
Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1
King’s Cross tube station, 17, 45, 46 busses
All welcome! Organised by Media Workers Against
War (MWAW) , tel 07801 789 297
MWAW’s monthly briefings present authoritative, informed speakers on
aspects of the “War on terror” that are inadequately covered by the
US warship bombs Somalia
Almost totally ignored by the British media, on Friday a US warship
shelled north-east Somalia for about three hours. “This is a global
war on terror and the US remains committed to reducing terrorist
capabilities when and where we find them,” a spokesperson told the
Sunday Telegraph — the only British newspaper to cover the attack.
Since US-backed troops invade the country in January, over 1,300
people have perished in the fighting, there are over 4,000 wounded,
and a staggering 400,000 have fled their homes.
For excellent background on Somalia, and on media coverage of this
hidden aspect of the “war on terror”, go to:
Somalia: Media Shutdown Silences Community Voices
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
7 June 2007
Posted to the web 7 June 2007
The closure of several leading radio stations by the Somali government has silenced important community voices in the war-ravaged country, a media watchdog has said.
The stations, HornAfrik radio and television, Shabelle Media Network and Radio Voice of Holy Koran, were shut down on 6 June, for alleged support of anti-government elements.
“We condemn the closure of these three radio stations,” said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “The authorities have silenced independent voices on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations. We call on the Somali transitional government to allow these broadcasters back on the air immediately.”
HornAfrik managing partner, Ali Iman Sharmarke, said his station was shut down after a visit at 1pm (11am GMT) by senior government officials accompanied by armed men. The visitors presented a letter signed by the minister of information, Madobe Nuunow Mohamed, ordering the station to shut down and cease operations.
“We have been off the air ever since, and we don’t know how long we will remain so,” he said.
Mohamed Amin Sheikh Adow, the deputy chairman of the Shabelle Media Network, told IRIN he received a similar letter at the same time.
The two media houses are the biggest in the Somali capital of Mogadishu and have the largest audiences.
According to Sharmarke, the media groups were accused of supporting “extremist and terror groups”.
He added: “The bottom line is they [the government] accused us of being anti-government.”
”The authorities have silenced independent voices on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations”
A government spokesman, Abdi Haji Gobdon, confirmed the closures, saying the media groups were shut down on orders of the National Security Council. He accused the media houses of engaging in activities detrimental to national security and of “carrying programmes supporting extremist elements”.
Sharmarke denied the accusations, saying the closures were “the usual harassment of the free media and a denial of free expression of the Somali people”.
Journalists’ groups and civil society in Mogadishu condemned the action, while Sheikh Adow of Shabelle radio said the accusations against the media were baseless. “We have always maintained international media standards.”
Blow to talks
Meanwhile, a prominent Hawiye elder, Haji Abdi Iman, the chairman of the Hawiye Council of Elders, was arrested on 6 June by the government and is still in custody, according to Ugas Abdi Dahir Ugas Nur, a member of the council.
Civil society members in Mogadishu condemned the arrest and said it was a setback for the reconciliation process. There has been hope that the ongoing talks between the Hawiye clan elders and the government would lead to an improvement in the security situation in capital, which would in turn lead to a return of the displaced, said the source.
Gobdon said Iman was detained because he was deemed a threat to security. Ugas Nur, however, said that Iman was leading the dialogue between the Hawiye and the government.
Fighting in the city, which started in February between Ethiopian-backed Somali government troops and insurgents comprised of the remnants of the Islamic courts and Hawiye militia, claimed more than 1,000 lives and displaced another 400,000 people.
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Somalia: CPJ Slams Somalia Media Shutdown
Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa)
8 June 2007
Posted to the web 8 June 2007
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a press freedom watchdog on Thursday condemned the Somali government’s closure of three independent broadcasters accused of supporting terrorism, saying the authorities’ allegations were unproven.
The Somali government on Wednesday shut down three Mogadishu broadcasters, accusing them of supporting terrorism amid a virulent insurgency.
“We condemn the closure of these three radio stations,” said Joel Simon, CPJ Executive Director in a statement sent to The Daily Monitor on Thursday.
“The authorities have silenced important, independent voices on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations.” The Committee called on the Somali transitional government to allow the broadcasters back on the air immediately.
The broadcasters were temporarily closed when similar accusations were made in January, just weeks after the Somali government and its Ethiopian military allies seized the capital Mogadishu from a rival Islamist movement.
In January, the government closed the three broadcasters and the local office of Al Jazeera TV, just a few weeks after it took the city with Ethiopian military help from militant Islamists who wanted to rule Somalia by Islamic law.
The latest shutdown came amid a virulent rebellion blamed on remnants of the Islamist group who have vowed to wage an “Iraq-style” insurgency against the government and Ethiopian troops trying to help the transitional government install peace and security to the cheaotic African nation.
It was not immediately clear whether the closures were the result of particular broadcasts reports coming out from Somalia indicated.
The reports said the move was rebuked by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, in her comments about the incidence after a meeting of the International Contact Group on Somalia in London.
Press and Media
Frazer also criticised the arrest as being against the spirit of reconciliation, the report said.
“The U.S. government feels that these actions are unacceptable and risk undermining national reconciliation,” she told reporters.
The Contact Group, which includes mostly European nations, the United States and Tanzania, urged the government in a communique to go ahead with a planned national reconciliation conference June 14.
Uganda: Local Soldiers Wounded in Somalia
New Vision (Kampala)
23 October 2007
Posted to the web 24 October 2007
THREE Ugandan peacekeepers were injured by mortar shells in Mogadishu yesterday evening as they guarded the Somali capital’s seaport, the spokesman for the African Union (AU) force said.
“Our position at the seaport was attacked by several mortars at 6:00pm,” Capt. Paddy Ankunda told The New Vision last night.
“Three of our soldiers and a Somali policeman were wounded and are receiving treatment at our hospital.
“One is reportedly seriously injured. “We are waiting for a final report from the doctors to decide whether they will be evacuated,” Ankunda said.
The Ugandans did not return fire when they came under attack, and the Ugandan contingent at the seaport will not be withdrawn, Ankunda stressed.
“We have always maintained at least 200 soldiers at the port. They will stay there.”
Asked who was responsible for the attack, Ankunda said: “We have no idea yet. We are trying to investigate.”
But according to the French press agency AFP, Islamist militias claimed responsibility for the attack on their web- site. “The incident is unfortunate.
It means we have to be more vigilant,” the UPDF spokesman, Maj. Felix Kulayigye, commented.
Asked if Uganda would pull out of Somalia, he said: “We have a mission and the mission has not yet been completed. The Burundian contingent is also going to be deployed soon. The force commander is currently in Bujumbura over the issue.”
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, confirmed that Uganda would maintain its force in Mogadishu.
“We will stay the course. We will wait for either the AU to complete its deployment or the UN to take over in six months.”
Aronda also pointed at the ineffectiveness of the transitional government. “By now, they should have built their military force and patrol the city to deny a hide-out for the negative forces. But since they are not there, we will take extra precautions.”
Two more policemen and four civilians died yesterday in two roadside bombs, one in the southern Mogadishu suburb of Kuliyada and another one near the presidential palace, according to AFP.
Some 1,600 Ugandan troops are deployed in Mogadishu as the vanguard of a planned 8,000-strong African Union force to support the fragile Somali interim government.
Five of them have been killed by Iraq-style roadside bombs and mortar blasts since they began duty in March, but direct attacks on their positions had been relatively rare.
Somalia: Uganda Has Declared War On Us, Says Al-Shabaab Militant
Garowe Online (Garowe)
25 December 2007
Posted to the web 26 December 2007
A member of Somalia’s al-Shabaab militant group says the Ugandan government has declared war on Somalis by supporting historical enemy Ethiopia in “colonizing Somalia.”
Yusuf “Indha Ade” Mohamed Siad, a former warlord who joined the Islamic Courts, told the BBC Somali Service on Tuesday that there is “no government in Somalia” except for the Ethiopian army.
“There is no government here…the leader here is Gen. Gabre,” Indha Ade said, referring to the commanding Ethiopian general in Mogadishu.
Indha Ade appealed to the government of Burundi not to send more soldiers to Somalia.
“I call upon the president of Burundi to not darken the history of Burundi and Somalia. I call on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to withdraw his troops,” said Indha Ade.
The African Union has long pledged to replace Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu with a 8,000-strong peacekeeping force. But so far, only 1,800 peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi have deployed in Mogadishu.
But Indha Ade indicated during the interview that there is no difference between invaders and those who support them.
“Uganda has declared war on us starting this hour,” he said. “They are fighting us and we will show them and every other group that invades our country.”
The al-Shabaab guerrillas have been blamed for most insurgent attacks in Mogadishu, but splinter resistance groups are also on the rise.
The Ethiopian-backed interim government has struggled to overpower Islamist guerrillas led by the al-Shabaab fighters, who routinely attack government and Ethiopian positions in Mogadishu using machineguns and rockets.
Somalia’s Islamist fighters have vowed to continue their war until foreign troops leave the country.
Somalia: U.S. Trains UPDF Marines in Country
The Monitor (Kampala)
7 January 2008
Posted to the web 7 January 2008
US Forces have been training UPDF marine corps deployed in the war-torn Somalia to enhance their peace-keeping capacity, the army has said.
The forces, from the US Central Command’s Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa based in Djibouti, have in addition to the Uganda peace keepers in Somalia, trained UPDF troops at Kasenyi near Entebbe.
The former Army and Defence spokesman, Maj. Felix Kulayigye, said last week that the training puts emphasis on civil-military relations.
“The US Joint Task Force Command carried out training of our Marine component in Somalia, it is basically civil affairs,” Maj. Kulayigye said.
He said the US forces have also sunk boreholes and protected wells in northern Uganda as part of their contribution to Uganda.
The Bush administration and Algerian government, according to the UPDF, have been facilitating the airlifting of Ugandan troops into Somalia. The two governments have reportedly provided planes and covered the cost of the air travel for the peace keepers.
Uganda has contributed 1,700 troops to train the Somali army and help in stabilisation of the country. Burundi last week sent 100 troops as an advance team to Mogadishu to beef up the UPDF.
Some 8,000 AU peacekeepers are to be sent to Somalia to replace Ethiopian troops, who ousted Islamists last year. But some of the countries that pledgued to send forces have not met their promises largely due to fear of being embroiled in a cycle of violence in Somalia or out of logistical problems.
Meanwhile, the US Central Command’s Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa Commander, Gen. Richard Hunt, was last week in Uganda for a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni.
Maj. Kulayigye said Gen. Hunt was in Kampala to bid farewell to President Museveni after completing his duty in the Horn of Africa where he has been commander in the last two years.
Neither Maj. Kulayigye nor State house could give details of the meeting. But sources privy to the meeting said President Museveni and Gen. Hunt discussed the insurgency in Somalia where the US has interests in fighting the Islamic extremists.
The duo also discussed continued cooperation between the US and Africa.
Last year alone, the US conducted a military exercise to help Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda improve crisis response ability.
The US troops partnered with their East African allies to deliver medical assistance and humanitarian aid as part of “Natural Fire 2006,” a 10-day multilateral military exercise.
The mid-August exercise, the first to be conducted between the United States and EAC since 2000, focused on military-to-military coordination, crisis response training and humanitarian aid delivery.
Kenyan army Brigadier General Leonard Ngondi commanded the forces participating in the exercise, supported by a joint military staff comprised of Kenyan, Tanzanian, Ugandan and US officers.
Somalia: Uganda to Review Somalia Deployment
Steven Candia and Agencies
4 January 2009
Kampala — UGANDA is reconsidering the continued presence of her forces in Somalia following the pull-out of Ethiopian forces from the volatile country.
Foreign affairs state minister Okello Oryem yesterday said consultations were ongoing to assess the magnitude of the risk facing the UPDF soldiers serving on an African Union peace keeping mission.
“Our commanders and those of Burundi are in consultation with the AU to determine the amount of risk and if it is established that the level of risk is high, then a pull out is the most prudent thing,” Oryem said without specifying where the consultations were taking place.
There was no point, Oryem said, for the UPDF to remain on the peace keeping mission in light of the Ethiopian pull-out when other countries that had pledged to contribute soldiers towards the mission were not honouring their pledges.
Only Uganda and Burundi have sent forces to Somalia, accounting for the 3,000 forces presently serving on the mission there.
Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa had pledged to contribute forces towards that mission but have not met their pledges.
Okello said under the earlier arrangement, the UPDF was in-charge of the ports, Mogadishu Airport, the Presidential Palace, train and to provide the Somali forces with Intelligence.
“The Ethiopians were in-charge of Mogadishu town and the surrounding areas of the city. They would provide a buffer. If their (Ethiopians) pullout means the warlords are going to begin taking on our troops, we will just pull out,” he said.
Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia in late 2006 to help kick-out the hard-line regime of the Islamic Courts Union.
After two years of battling a bloody insurgency and watching the government it backed fall apart, Ethiopia decided to withdraw.
Trucks loaded with Ethiopian soldiers and their belongings began filing out of the capital Mogadishu on Friday.
Only ramshackle government forces and an undermanned African Union force of around 3,000 troops from Uganda and Burundi will stand between insurgent groups and complete control of Somalia once Ethiopia leaves.
The Ethiopian government, in a statement issued on Saturday, pledged not to leave a power vacuum when it completes its troop withdrawal from neighbouring Somalia in the coming days.
The statement said the heads of the African Union mission to Somalia (AMISOM), the military of the Transitional Federal Government and the Ethiopian Defence Forces in Mogadishu had already met in Addis Ababa to analyse the situation and work out plans to be carried out subsequently.
Analysts fear that the Ethiopian departure could worsen the conflict.
The insurgents are far from united and some are warning the insurgent groups could splinter and begin fighting, sending Somalia spiralling further into chaos.
As the Ethiopians pullout, clashes have intensified between a relatively new Islamist group, Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca, which has clashed with the strongest group, al-Shabaab, in recent days. Dozens died in the fighting.
There is, nonetheless, some optimism that the resignation of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed last Monday and the departure of the Ethiopians could give fresh impetus to an ongoing UN-backed peace process and help create a government of national unity.
Copyright © 2009 New Vision.
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