News / Africa

    Somali Forces Seek Out Terrorists Hiding in Shadows

    Somali Forces Seek Out Terrorists Hiding in Shadowsi
    X
    Gabe Joselow
    May 05, 2014 6:52 PM
    Somalia's special forces may be one of the few success stories in the country's feeble armed services, working overtime to nab suspected terrorists. But as VOA's Gabe Joselow reports, the national military still has a lot of work to do to ensure the future security of the country.
    Gabe Joselow
    Somalia's special forces may be one of the few success stories in the country's feeble armed services, working overtime to nab suspected terrorists. But the national military still has a lot of work to do to ensure the future security of the country.

    It's time for morning prayers in Mogadishu and security forces are just wrapping up a night-time raid.

    Somali special forces have rounded up 10 suspected members of the al-Qaida linked militant group al-Shabab. The group is accused of assassinating government officials in the city.

    Colonel Farah Ali said the suspects were targeted based on inside information.

    “We are not looking for just anyone, we are looking for al-Shabab. We have intelligence from people on the ground about them. We are not harassing any other people except al-Shabab and al-Qaida,” he said.

    Soldiers from the AMISOM peacekeeping mission work hand-in-hand with Somali military and police to bring security to violence-wracked Mogadishu.

    Former militants also help, by locating and confirming the identities of the suspects, according to an AMISOM officer who declined to be named.

    “Screening is going to take place later on, then using the very guys, the defectors and those guys we captured, those are the ones to come and assist us in identifying this is so-and-so and this is so-and-so,” he said.

    Somali military officials say they have carried out about 50 of these raids in the past three months. Intelligence being one of the most effective tools against an elusive enemy.

    But elsewhere, Somali forces are struggling.

    Al-Shabab has been on the losing end of AMISOM's military operations during the past few years, but Somali forces have struggled to maintain control over territory reclaimed from the militants.

    A lack of equipment and resources as well as reports of corruption and the diversion of weapons have all added to the military's woes.

    The head of Somali Armed Forces, Brigadier General Dahir Adan Elmi, said the military still hoped to take full control of security from AMISOM in the next two years.

    “We are planning to take over in 2016. We will have at least 30,000 [soldiers] in an official and built army that can take over the security of this country and we are working so hard, so hard actually to reach that goal,” he said.

    One of the challenges is trying to restructure the army in the midst of ongoing operations.

    After serving on the front-lines, these Somali soldiers are only now receiving basic weapons training. Here, under the watch of European Union trainers, they are learning to assemble PKM machine guns.

    But building a unified force was still difficult in such a troubled nation, said the head of the EU training mission, Colonel Jesus Gonzalez

    "This generation grew up during the war, so it's not easy for them and the challenges are there. They have a background of working for a clan, for a militia, but don't have this spirit of unity, of country, yet," he said.

    The biggest challenge yet for these soldiers may be in overcoming old clan divisions and learning to fight for one Somalia.

    The very future of the country depends on it.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora