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Somalia Report Weekly Newsletter-Volume 23

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Friday October 28, 2011 - 22:06:39 in Reports by Super Admin
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    Somalia Report Weekly Newsletter-Volume 23

    Issue 1, Volume 23 Dear Readers,

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Issue 1, Volume 23 Dear Readers,

Mogadishu (Sunatimes) This week marks a major shift in Somalia's future. After what would appear to be much planning, training and coordination with the United States and other regional partners, the Kenyan military launcheda three pronged land, air and sea attack into Jubaland with the ultimate goal being control of Kismayo and creation of a buffer zone.

Somalia Reportwill continue to unwind the behind the scenes story but there is no confusion that there is nowa new southern front inside Somalia. America and France have pretended to be publicly san souciant about the whole invasion thing while quietly running intel, coordination, de-confliction and hammering away with surgical air, drone and naval strikes. No piker,Kenya is keeping up the heat with its aging junkers to add cover. Kenya'smish mash of an air force is designed more for transport than attackbut has successfully put their troops into the first phase of the conflict. American's drone and carrier fleet is specifically set up to support anti terrorism and will most likely be brought into play once fighting inside Kismayo begins.

The other, and potentially deadlier, front that has opened up is inside Kenya. It began with a series of kidnaps that al-Shabaab insists were not theirs. Then the reprisal attacks inside Nairobi that once again al-Shabaab denied responsibility. They did agree thatanRPG attack just inside the borderwas their work.

There were three attacks this week that have been quasi-linked to al-Shabaab:two grenade attacksinNairobi that claimed one life, and anRPG attack in Manderathat killed four.One man has been jailed for the grenade attacks in Nairobi after "confessing" to being a member of al-Shabaab, while little-known al-Shabaab officials claimedresponsibility for all three. Al-Shabaab's high command were not impressed and seniorofficials called on the "Kenyan Mujahideen" to stop wasting their time with such piddling efforts and think bigger. Nonetheless the small attacks have created a climate of fear.

Despite this impressive advance coordination TFG's confused statements on Kenyan involvement this week, with President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed first speaking out againstKenya,thus riling several pro-government militias, then the TFG getting its knickers in a twist before finally backing the Kenyans.

Kenya's primary goal is not to save Somalia, but to safeguard its own territorial integrity and tourism industry, and the irony is that it's big December to Marchtourism seasonwill be seriously damaged by the incursion and resultant terror threat.

Our other big story wasour granular, minute by minute coverage of yet another kidnapping of foreigners,this one in Galkayo. Two western aid workers, one American woman and one Danish man, were kidnapped by their own security guards and delivered up to pirates in Amara. Amara was where theBritish hostages, the Chandlers,were held, and whereJudith Tebbutt was spottedand is quickly becoming hostage central, prompting the President of Puntland torequest AMISOM peacekeepers. Puntland continued to have a number of aggressive moves againstal Shabaaband pirates resulting in an impressivehaul of booty.

What was missed in all this was that the rains have returned to Somalia - a long awaiting blessing which of coursecan only presented as bad news. And oh yes, what would a week in Somalia be with outpirate news. The latest ICOPAS conference in Sweden brought home thehuman impact of piracy. As we predicted things are not going well for the nascent industry, with the latest knee slapper being apotential wrong ransom drop in the case of the long held MV Iceberg.

Regards,

Somalia Report




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