Posts by Abdiqani Deeq

Shabaab Suspected of Killing Refugees in North-East Kenya
Garissa Town
Somalia Report
Garissa Town
Three people were killed and one is in critical condition at Garissa General Hospital following a shooting on Friday night attack at the Jubba hotel in Garissa, north-east Kenya. The incident has been blamed on al-Shabaab operatives. A witness at the hotel, who declined to give his name out of fear for his safety, said two men armed with pistols walked up to the group and shot them.

"We don't know why they were killed and I can't imagine who is responsible for the murder, " said Mohamud Ibrahim, brother to one of the deceased.

The police have said that they are investigating, but have offered no indications of those responsible or the motive for the attack. “The police have taken the matter very seriously, there is an operation going on and we shall get those murderers," said a senior police officer in Garissa.

Relatives of the slain men say they believe al-Shabaab was responsible for the attack as a statement by one of their spokesmen, Sheikh Ahmed, had claimed two of the victims were wanted by the militants. A relative who gave his name only as Omar said that al-Shabaab are behind this attack. "It goes without saying that these are alShabaab victims, because they had fled from Somalia out of fear of attack," said Omar.

Elders from Garissa also strongly criticised the incident, and called for security operations since the attack has caused widespread panic in the town. "Nobody is safe in this town if attackers can walk freely through downtown, kill and just walk away," said Hamud Sheikh Mohamed, a local elder. He also urged the police to increase their patrols.

Somalia Report Interviews Former al-Shabaab Detainee
Al-Shabaab fighters
© Somalia Report, all rights reserved
Al-Shabaab fighters

Abdullahi Kadiye was released after spending one year in al-Shabaab custody in Afgoye without trial. During this time, he was subjected to harsh treatment, including beatings. Kadiye, who is now living in the Dagahaley refugee camp in northern Kenya, narrated his experience to Somalia Report.

Can you tell us briefly tell us about yourself?

My name is Abdullahi Kadiye. I am 29 years old and my occupation was being a driver—I used to drive commercial trucks before I was arrested. I have one wife and two children, and they are currently in Afgoye with my mother.

When and how were you arrested?

I was arrested exactly one year ago as I was driving one of my typical routes between Mogadishu and Baidoa. I just thought I was going to be cross-examined and released, but things turned tragic and the unexpected happened.

Why were you arrested?

Although I had not been brought before a court of law. I was accused of being a drug dealer and trafficker, as well as "causing havoc among the youth." Therefore they decided that I would remain in custody until my case was cleared up.

What happened after your arrest, and how did your relatives come to know about it?

I was first put in custody in Baidoa before I was transferred to Afgoye. I spent three months in a cell at Baidoa. Life was not easy inside there. My relatives came to know my fate through my assistant, who was present during my arrest, and they managed to secure my release after a long struggle.

What forms of mistreatment were you subjected to?

In fact, punishment was the order of the day. I was beaten thoroughly in the morning and evening along with other prisoners. This punishment normally took place when we were head-counted. There the youths will punish you for the most simple things, besides which the food we were given was very meagre and of low quality. But I managed to persevere.

How were you released?

My relatives, including my father, pleaded for mercy from a senior al-Shabaab official who he knew well, and explained my condition to him and he agreed to help me.

Why did you come to Dagahaley?

After my release, I realized that my life was at risk, and my father warned me that these people can seize me once more at any time, so I arranged my affairs and came here, which I knew was secure and peaceful.

How is life in Dagahaley compare to that of Somalia?

In fact, life in Somalia was easy before the Islamists emerged, and when they came things became worse. So life in Dagahaley is quite wonderful to a person like me, who had suffered in Somalia.

Insurgent Leader's Predictions And Intentions At Odds With Past Retreats
Al-Shabaab fighters training near Kismayo (File Photo)
Al-Shabaab fighters training near Kismayo (File Photo)

The Al-Qaeda linked group, al-Shabaab continues to lose ground to the allied forces of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF), Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and local pro-government militias, and Somali National Army. Al Shabaab fighters have re-grouped in and around their last remaining stronghold, the port city of Kismayo in Lower Juba, vowing to defend it at all costs.

Somalia Report wanted to know if and when Al Shabaab was prepared to make a stand. There have been numerous reports of Al Shabaab fighters fleeing north along the coast, division amongst leadership, arrests of key AS officials trying to cross the border and a general transition of al Shabaab from a controlling governance into a hit and run terrorist group. It would be premature to predict the islamic groups downfall or ouster but their control over port revenue from Kismayo and ability to move in the south still continues. There are no clear estimates of how many fighters al Shabaab can field but AMISOM forces continue to grow. Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti, Burundi and even Sierra Leone contribute troops, western nations continue to provide training and funding evidenced in the recent arrival of heavy truck mounted weapons recently delivered from the United States via contractors.

The recently bolstered foreign and domestic forces have seized key towns and villages from the militants including Busar, Inda El, Damase, El Afe and Faafahdhun in the northern sector and Dhobley, Qoqani, Tabta, Hayo, and Dabilo in the central sector. The allied forces have also captured the coastline side of the southern sector that is Raskamboni, Burgavo, Kulbio and Badhaadhe, inching towards the key port town of Kismayo.

Somalia Report sources indicate that today 70-80% of al-Shabaab's army remains in and around Kismayo. The tactic of running away in the face of superior forces began in Mogadishu but the space, movement and support of al Shabaab is being rapidly reduced. AMISOM forces are cleaning up the Afgoye corridor removing a large number of population from al Shabaab control and predation. There have been no mass surrenders but when AMISOM and the TFG moves towards Kismayo, a political move must be made to prevent a bloodbath. The relatively untrained and uncoordinated fighters of al Shabaab are adept at hit and run attacks but cannot hold fixed positions.

As the group loses each city, their income from taxation and checkpoint bribes dwindles. To maintain the economic revenue from the commercial center, port taxes and control over the strategic location the insurgent group will need to keep military control over the port city. Control of Kismayo will also severely impede movement of supplies and fighters.

Despite the history of strategic withdrawal, al-Shabaab claims they are capable of defending the port city, according to two al-Shabaab officials interviewed by Somalia Report.

"We are capable of defending Kismayo and we will also protect our entire country. So long as there are foreign troops in Somalia, we shall not stop fighting," Sheikh Daud Omar in Kismayo told Somalia Report.

©Somalia Report

A Somali political analyst based in Nairobi, Kenya, Geddi Ismail, told Somalia Report that al-Shabaab's declining power in Somalia was necessitated by a number of factors.

"Al-Shabaab's strict and cruel treatment of innocent locals and the imposition of unreasonably heavy and unnecessary levies, in which low income Somalis can't afford to pay what they earn per day, among other things, are why the people are turning on the group. I don't think there is Somali who is appreciating the existence of al-Shabaab anymore," said Mr. Geddi.

"I really don't think they can defend Kismayo because of their weakening power and their military tactics explains their incapability to go against TFG and their allies,” added Mr. Geddi.

Meanwhile al-Shabaab are accused of forcibly recruiting young children to fight, but Sheikh Omar called the accusation baseless.

"It is true we carried out a mobilization effort for people to participate in the jihad and a good number of them responded to our call, but such false accusations will not make us withdraw our mission,” concluded Sheikh Omar.

Interview with Sheikh Idiris Abu Manzul

Somalia Report recently conducted an interview with Sheikh Idiris Abu Manzul, an al-Shabaab official in Somalia's Lower Jubba, region to discuss their operations and plans for defending Kismayo.

Thank you for giving this exclusive interview to Somalia Report. Can you please briefly tell us about al-Shabaab's recent operations?

Our operation is going on as required and for the last three weeks our operations have intensified and we expect our target is near. Our forces are ready to battle anytime and soon will launch attacks on the KDF and TFG in Lower and Middle Jubba regions.

How senior are you, Sheikh Manzul?

I am in charge of suicides and explosions and have been serving this position for the last three years and have achieved several tangible activities. I give training to the young people who join al-Shabaab and want to be equipped with skills and know how to carry out operations as per required by our policy.

How do you give training to young people?

Our training programs are carried out in many different ways depending on the operation. We are preparing for our Mujahidin to carry out the operation whether it is one based on an explosion in which the person carrying out has to loose his or her life for the sake of the religion of Islam or whether it involves killing the infidels and their pro-infidel militias. These trainings are passed down to the young people in a manner only known to us that I cannot share with you now because it is one of our top secrets.

Who is in charge of al-Shabaab currently?

Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr is our top senior officer who is in charge of the entire authority of how we operate. He is a leader who makes decisions in terms of religion.

How many al-Shabaab soldiers currently operate in Lower and Middle Jubba regions of southern Somalia?

It is secret information which I cannot give you because we don’t want our enemy to believe that we are weak, but our Mujahidin are better equipped to face the infidels who invaded our country and religion. We will attack their bases and face them soon, insha Allah.

Why does al-Shabaab recruit women, elders and even young children?

It is incumbent upon every Muslim to participate in the holy war and we don’t force people to go to the frontlines. They came and requested to be trained as Mujahidin. People should defend the religion of Allah.

If KDF and TFG forces capture Kismayo, what will al-Shabaab do?

We believe that they will not even reach Jilib let alone to capture Kismayo and the benevolent almighty Allah is with us and will destroy the enemy. In case the allied group seizes the port city, then we will change our tactics of war and will begin hit and run attacks and suicide attacks, which will wreak havoc on their operations.

Why is Kismayo important to al-Shabaab?

First of all, it is a port city which is located in a strategic region. It is one of our main sources of income since the tax we collect from the port allows us to carry out our activities. We also export charcoal from the port and that gives us huge capital. Our Muslim brothers in Afghanistan and many other Muslim counties are also able to reach us using the sea route and can easily help us with military equipment and also foreign Mujahidins. We will not lose Kismayo since it is our last resort and we will defend it against whatever circumstances we face.

What are the major plans of al-Shabaab?

Our main objectives and plans are many including:

1. To fight tooth and nail in order to defend the religion of Allah and liberate KDF and TFG from both Middle and Lower Jubba regions in southern Somalia

2. After we eliminate the KDF and TFG from southern Somalia, we plan to impose Islamic sheria (sharia) law across the country

3. Retaliatory attacks to regain the regions we lost and will be conducted by brave Mujahiddins who fight for the sake of Allah and will be rewarded in paradise

4. Our plans are to double our efforts to send more intelligent agents and suicider bombers inside Kenya in revenge for their aggression

Can we say al-Shabaab militants are facing stiff challenges as the KDF, TFG, ASWJ and AMISOM vowed to capture Kismayo and flush out al-Shabaab?

No, we cannot say that we are either facing any difficulties nor weakened our power because we even have our brothers who carry out explosions and attacks inside Kenya and our operations will escalate and Kenyans will test the bitterness of the casualties that they will met.

Currently the political deadlock of Somalia is deteriorating and people are waiting for a stable government. What is your comment on that?

First, I would like to tell the traitors and the mercenary politicians that they will suffer irretrievable losses and the puppet government will be overthrown soon by our Mujahidin. Secondly I would encourage the Somali people to continue working with the Mujahidiin and we promise that we will be capture the whole country and will establish an Islamic government.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Galmudug's Flag

The Galmudug administration in central Somalia has issued a warning to aid agencies operating in the region, particularly those working in Galkayo, the capital of Galmudug.

The chairman of the Galmudug administration Mr. Max'ud Nuur Gulled, along with other officials, warned aid agencies against holding unauthorized meetings with locals, and indicated that they have gone beyond their mandate. The officials further added that such actions would not be accepted or tolerated.

"We strongly condemn the activities of the aid agencies in our territory. We cannot accept these groups interfering with our internal affairs," the chairman said in a press conference in Galkayo.

The chairman said that any agency that does not meet the required condition of registration, which will authorize and legalize their activities, will be banned and suspended.

The agencies that were were warned include two United Nations agencies, the World Food Programme (UNWFP) and UNICEF, as well as two other nongovernmental aid agencies, namely SOFPA and Relief International.

Abdullahi Mohamed Hassan, the assistant health minister of Galmudug, accused the agencies of corruption and said the humanitarian aid did not reach those most in need.

Galmudug Map
Wiki Map
Galmudug Map

"By asking them to register, this does not mean we are oppressing them. We only want to emphasize and improve their service delivery. Our regulations are not exempted from any agency; rather it applies to all agencies in the region and those that will come in the future," he asserted.

Relief International, which operates in Galmudug, told Somalia Report they had not been notified of any such statement or law.

"We have not received any official notices about this. We operate in the region through express written permission and meet regularly with officials," a Relief International representative told Somalia Report.

Officials have accused aid agencies of enticing and fuelling insecurity in the region. To avert tension, Galmudug came up with measures to regulate the activities of various agencies and ensure that they are in line with mandate and that they don't interfere in the internal affairs of Galmudug and continue with their operation, provided that they are registered.

Residents welcomed the decision and urged the administration to ensure the effectiveness and implementation of the new rules.

"We see the new laws set up by Galmudug as ways to improve coordination between all parties concerned and we welcome it and it will enhance the mode of distribution of aids well," Ali Mohamed told Somalia Report.

Recently, the United Nations Development programme (UNDP) promised to set up exclusive feeding centres, which will be established in drought afflicted regions of Somalia including Galmudug state. This project will see thousands of malnourished children fed and cared for, across all Somali regions. Mark Bowden, UN humanitarian coordinator, visited Galakayo twice and discussed with officials how to ensure and stabilize aid distribution in the region effectively.