Somali insurgents target AU force – BBC

November 15th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

Somali insurgent leader Sheikh Aden Hashi Ayrow has ordered fighters to attack African Union troops based in the capital, Mogadishu. (more…)

Somali insurgent leader Sheikh Aden Hashi Ayrow has ordered fighters to attack African Union troops based in the capital, Mogadishu.

He also asked foreign fighters to join his al-Shabab group’s war against the foreign forces in an audio clip posted on Somali websites.

President Abdullahi Yusuf blames the militant group for the recent violence.

Uganda has some 1,700 soldiers in Somalia as part of the planned 8,000-strong AU peacekeeping mission.

About 80 people have died this week.

The Ugandan military have dismissed the threat.

Their spokesman, Major Felix Kulaigye, said the peacekeepers will not withdraw and will defend themselves if necessary.

al-Shabab is the militant wing of the Union of Islamic Courts, which controlled Mogadishu for six months last year before being ousted by advancing Ethiopian troops.

In Mogadishu, Ethiopian and government troops have been conducting a door-to-door search for the insurgents in the capital over the past week sparking deadly clashes.

Worst defeat

The United Nations says some 170,000 people have fled the violence this week and hundreds others have been injured in the crossfire.

Al-Shabab’s Sheikh Ayrow said it was an obligation of all Muslims in Somalia to wage war against Ethiopian and Ugandan forces.

“To us the Ugandans, Ethiopians and Americans are all the same, they have invaded us and I am telling the Mujahidin [fighters], Ugandans must be one of our priorities,” a tough talking Sheikh Ayrow said in the audio on Dayniile website.

He said Ethiopians had failed in their mission and were now facing their worst defeat.

Last week, masked armed men in Mogadishu dragged bodies believed to be those of Ethiopian soldiers killed during clashes with the insurgent groups.

On Tuesday, President Yusuf called on Mogadishu residents to join Somali and Ethiopian troops in the fight against the al-Shabab insurgents who are living among them.

The insurgents have been targeting government and Ethiopian troops but are yet to launch attacks on the Ugandan soldiers.

The al-Shabab militant group claims to have links with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.

Last week UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, ruled out plans to deploy peacekeepers to Somalia saying it was not a viable option.

  1. Tigist
    | #1

    Is Elias kifle a friend or a foe to Kinijit?

    There is no question about Elias Kifle and his ER as being controversial in the Diaspora politics. Most of the Ethiopian medias in Diaspora have been instrumental in-terms of providing up-to-date information and mobilizing the general public. Again most of the Medias show responsibility in their reporting and are consistent with the Ethiopians Physiological make up that we know very well. However, some of the Medias such as Aigformu, Benspage and ER are doing more of the activists’ job rather than reporting the news. Aigaformu and Benspage are very clear about their objections and agendas, and we know them very well not to trust them. What we don’t know clearly is Elias Kfile’s agenda. In most cases Elias Kifle try to appear as a friend of Kinijit, but his record proves something else.

    We all know that there is no media in any form or shape that is as vicious as ER in-terms of attacking individuals in and around Kinijit. Even though Elias has every right to express his disagreement with the any Kinijit member, his spiteful personal attacks make it look like he is in a campaign of eliminating individuals from kinijit arena. Debate, dialog and expressing disagreement in a civil manner would lead us to a clear and better vision. And obviously, there is nothing wrong with that. However, individual attacks only breaks the bridges that we need to connect to each other and reconcile. Elias trying to tell us that he is attacking certain individuals just because he cares so much about Kinijit, but his pattern over the years shows that he is more interested in Kinijit’s instability more than anything else. The fact that Dr. Brahanue Nega, Ato Brhane Mewa, and Dr. Seyeme Selomon were on Elias Kifle’s first personality assassination list confirms that Elias Kifle is neither interested nor support any group in Kinijit. His objectives seems that if it is possible to destroy Kinijit, if that doesn’t work out influence the Kinijit leaders to a certain political agenda that he believes in.

    On one interview that Elias Kifle had with Addis dimts’s Abebe Belew he admitted the reality that he is more of an activist than a journalist. Elias has every right to be a political activist, but the general public also has every right to know what Elias’s objections are since he tries to involve in politics and influence the public thinking. If we know for what Elias Kifle stands for, we would know from what prospective he looks things. Then, it is up to us to agree with him and support his cause or not. However, we should not allow him to appear as if he cares about Kinijit and let him weakening the popular struggle that Kinijit and the majority Ethiopians stand for.

    For a very long time I suspect that Elias Kifle is working with Shabia. The articles that have been posting on his web site lately such as “The defect of Woyanne means victory for Ethiopia”, “Soldiers defect to Asmara”, and “Meles Zenawi’s Somalia debacle” take my suspicion to the next level. Pretty much all the Ethiopian people know what Shabia is up to. We all know that Shabia and Woyanne would use anything to destroy each other. There is no surprise that if Shabia would want to use kinijit just to get ride of Woyanne, but it is our job to protect our Kinijit from both Shabia and Woyanne. Kinijit is the majority of Ethiopians aspiration to see democratic and united Ethiopia. That is why Kinijit is called Sprite. Kinijit is a very popular political movement in Ethiopia with genuine and inclusive visions that serves all Ethiopians regardless ethnicity, gender and economical status. Neither Shabia nor Woyanne are happy about Kinijit’s vision for Ethiopia. Actually, they fought together vigorously against the hope and vision that Kinijit stand for. We should not let either of them sneaking up on us once again.

    To conclude, I would like to acknowledge once again the fact that Elias Kifle has every right to support any political ideology that he chooses to, but it is also the rest of us right to know better and not to be confused by double agents. I also would like to ask all the Kinijit web sites and other Medias to distance themselves from Elias Kifle and his ER. Kinijit has its own problems to deal with and come out to be even stronger with out bringing additional turmoil to itself. I also would like to ask all concern scholars to comment on how the Diaspora media is doing in terms of providing balanced information to the general public. Even if we believe in free expression and free media, it doesn’t mean that we sell ourselves for some cheap shoots out there. Our inputs and comments help the responsible media to know what the general public thinks of them and help them to grow. I also would like to ask Elias Kifle to state clearly what he stands for and be consistent and truthful the cause that he believes in whatever that might be. After all someone that is not in liberty to express his real feelings can’t be trusted to liberate others.

  2. Mimi
    | #2

    Way to go Tigist! Tell this son of a bitch what we think of him. He thinks he can destroy Kinijit and Ethiopia with one tiny website he runs. He should know that not his screw up web site, Weyanne itself could not do that with all the force it has.

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