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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid