2 dead, nearly 30 wounded in bomb blast at Philippine mall -AP

international News, Terrorism

COTABATO, Philippines (AP) — Suspected Muslim militants remotely detonated a bomb near the entrance of a mall in the southern Philippines on Monday as people did last-minute shopping ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations, killing at least two and wounding nearly 30, officials said.

The bomb went off near the baggage counter at the entrance of the South Seas mall in Cotabato city, wounding shoppers, vendors and commuters. Authorities recovered another unexploded bomb nearby as government forces imposed a security lockdown in the city, military and police officials said.

Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said by phone that an initial investigation showed the design of the bomb was similar to those used in the past by local Muslim militants who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Government forces launched an offensive against the militants belonging to a group called Daulah Islamiyah last week and at least seven of the militants died in the fighting, Sobejana said.

“This is a part of the retaliation, but the problem is they’re victimizing innocent civilians,” he told reporters.

Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., the deputy police director of Cotabato, said witnesses saw a man leave a box in a crowded area near the mall’s entrance where vendors and shoppers were milling. The explosion shattered glass panels and scattered debris to the street fronting the mall.

Two of the roughly 30 people hit by the blast died while being brought to a hospital, Sobejana said.

Cotabato Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi condemned the bombing and called on residents to help fight terrorism.

“This is not just another terroristic act but an act against humanity. I cannot fathom how such evil exists in this time of merry making,” she said.

“It is unimaginable how some people can start the new year with an act of cruelty but no matter how you threaten us, the people of Cotabato are resilient. … We will stand up against terrorism,” she told reporters.

The bombing, the latest in a number of attacks blamed on militants in the volatile region, occurred despite on-and-off military assaults against pockets of militant groups operating in the marshlands and hinterlands not far from Cotabato and outlying provinces.

Hundreds of militants aligned with the Islamic State group laid siege in the southern Islamic city of Marawi in May last year, sparking five months of intense fighting and military airstrikes that left more than 1,100 mostly militants dead and displaced hundreds of thousands of villagers.


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Gunmen storm foreign ministry in Tripoli

Africa, Terrorism

By Nada Bashir, CNN

A picture taken on December 25, 2018 shows a firetruck and security officers at the scene of an attack outside the Libyan foreign ministry headquarters in the capital Tripoli. – At least one person was killed on December 25 as attackers stormed Libya’s foreign ministry after a car bomb exploded in front of the building and a suicide bomber then struck inside, a security source at the scene told AFP. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) Gunmen armed with machine guns stormed the foreign ministry of Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli on Tuesday, killing three people who worked there, a spokesperson for the UN-backed Government of National Accord told CNN.One of the victims was a high-ranking official, the spokesperson added. 10 others were injured, according to the Health Ministry.Three gunmen died in the attack that happened at around 10 a.m. local time. One of the gunmen is believed to have been killed after an explosion was heard in the top floor of the building, politician Guma El-Gamaty who was in the area said.

“The top floor was totally engulfed in fire; you can still see smoke coming from the building,” he said.Gamaty added that emergency services and security forces were on the ground dealing with the situation, which he believed was under control.Related: Week of chaos a reminder that Libya is still broken .

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya condemned attack.”Terrorism will not triumph over the Libyans’ decision to move forward towards building their state and renouncing violence. We will not accept any attack on a state institution, especially one committed by a terrorist group,” said Ghassan Salamé, the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Libya.”We will work with the Libyan people to prevent terrorist groups from turning Libya into a haven or an arena for their crimes.”

Nigeria: And the herdsmen killings contines

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Herdsmen, PMB, SEcurity, Terrorism

Central Nigeria have witnessed persistent attacks and killing from marauding herdsmen without any hope of restraints from the state security on the restless herdsmen.

Plateau Reportedly witnessed a major attack during the weekend with over aa hundred mortality. Its condemnable and cannot be allowed to countinue. The whole country should u it talking about it, its time we all stand nad take action on stopping these massacre. If the state is powerless, then the people needed to stand and look for a way to stop the evil acts.

ORGANISING NGOS AND FAITH-BASED ORGANISATION FOR DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES

Boko Haram, Herdsmen, Islam, law enforcement, SEcurity, Terrorism, War

Counterterrorism has to be woven into the everyday workings of every department. It should be included on the agenda of every meeting, and this new role must be imparted to officers on the street so that terrorism prevention becomes part of their everyday thinking.” Kelling, G L. & William K. B, (2006) Policing Terrorism, Civic Bulletin 43, New York: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, September 2006.

Terrorism has become a political tool in the 20th century and its spread has become so dynamic that it has now become on of the “new wars” that nations today fights. Emergency response and preventive measures have to become more flexible and adapt to the dynamism of attacks. Terrorist related incidence must be documented, researched and evaluated in line with local needs. The current randomness of terror attacks in Nigeria put all at risks and we must have a structure plans in place to restrict and mitigate these strikes.

Basic understanding of terrorism, its goals and operational method would have sufficed in allowing for designing proper response. It is a waste of resources fighting a reactive battle against terrorists. The Nigerian response to terrorism has been flawed by the lack of institutional understanding of what terrorism is all about. Proactive resources can only be deployed when we are all able to deduce the fact that terrorism is not fought using heavy machinery and standing armies but through employment of psychological warfare that is designed based on proper analysis of the terror groups operational methods, recruitment operations and goals.

Terrorism is a form of rebellion against the state. Modern terrorists have better equipment and global media as its mouthpiece. The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism, (START) Department of Homeland Security Think-Thank based in the University of Maryland, United State is one of the center set up by the US government to analyse and design engagement protocol for counter-terrorism in US. One of the conclusion of this center that changed the US counter-terrorism engagement was the fact that in over 1000 years of review of terrorism engagement by states globally, the use of military force eliminated the threat in only 4% of such engagements, while the use of proper local security, policing and development programmes was able to achieve end of these groups in more than 40%.

Development NGOs are committed to working towards economic, social or political development in developing countries. The Norwegian bilateral aid agency, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) defines development-oriented NGOs as organisations that “attempt to improve social, economic and productive conditions and are found both as small community-based organisations at village and district levels, and as large professional development agencies at state or national level”

Northern Nigeria economic environment has been described as backward and has continued to regress in the period after the 1970s. The average Disposable Income, access to education and basic infrastructure has equally fallen in the past decades. Lack of access to proper education has created a huge mass of unemployable youth in an environment experiencing a burgeoning youth population. Available data point at a growing youth population in an environment without corresponding growth in infrastructure and industry has led to high pressure on resources leading to perennial class conflict in the region.

Failure of government institutions to deliver on appropriate economic and infrastructural reforms has led to conflicts between state officials and citizens. Increased distrust of officials has led to several clashes and self-help actions. Uncoordinated rebellions in the past decades had eventually matured into current terror operations by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The war on terror have been severely stunted by the growing supply of radical youths from the stock of unemployable youth that littered the streets of northern Nigeria in need of sense of spiritual emancipation from years of poverty and lack. Many literatures had maintained the fact that poverty is not an impetus for rebellion acts yet it has been proven through direct observation that rebellion thrives where the state failure and poverty is evident. As a matter of fact, the basis for international humanitarian efforts in Africa has been based on prevention of high criminality that may result from unchecked growth in poverty and hunger in several failing states in the continent.

One major challenge to the provision of public infrastructure development has been in the slow bureaucratic processes and the attendant high corruption of government officials in most African countries. NGOs and Community Based Organisations has been a bridge between the people and the government in actualizing people oriented development projects.

As development actors, NGOs have become the main service providers in countries where the government is unable to fulfill its traditional role. In the education sector, many NGOs have moved beyond ‘gap- filling’ initiatives into capacity building activities. This paper seeks to address the role of NGOs in development through the lens of capacity building. Through academic articles and NGO working papers, we can determine the effect of NGOs on capacity development and their role in building capacity on all levels, using a framework based on positive hypotheses:

NGOs are increasingly involved in capacity development. As the development discourse leans towards developing skills and tools for strengthening society, NGOs have reacted accordingly. They wish first and foremost to remain important stakeholders in development and to impart their extensive knowledge in the education sector. This involvement changes the ways in which NGOs operate. Capacity-building activities complement traditional service provision, though this does not mean that all NGOs have good relations with government.

In any case, NGO activities are increasingly diverse. They have an impact on the interpretation of capacity development. NGOs are influenced by the ideology of capacity development as defined by the hegemonic development discourse, but they also influence its meaning from the outside. This modified interpretation of capacity development can weaken central government but strengthen it in the long term. NGOs have the capacity to innovate and adapt more quickly than national governments; therefore, their actions can undermine government initiatives. But if they scale up their activities and impart their knowledge and techniques at the government level, the country as a whole can benefit.

NGOs have a significant impact on the whole process but are also plagued by severe obstacles. NGOs continue to suffer from a lack of resources and from their general estrangement from the state. Unless they become partners with government, and not competitors, capacity-building initiatives will continue to be stunted.

The environment in Northeastern Nigeria remains inundated by high-level insecurity that makes development programme seem essentially impossible. While most stakeholders abstained from the area due to high risk factor and the ongoing sate of emergency has further negated the infrastructural capacity of these three states under the military onslaught on the insurgents. The apparent lack of trust for state institutions in these areas will make the use of conventional government MDA approach to development clearly unwelcome. Locally based NGOs, CBOs and FBOs can easily breach this gap and stand in as the only way to reach out and provide succor to non-combatants and civilians in these areas. Government should provide funds for locally established and managed Community Based and Faith Based Organisations to drive development agendas in the tri-violent states of Yobe, Bauchi and Borno to kick start development in these areas.

The advantage of using locally based organisations in handling the development programmes in these areas are two pronged:

1. Train employable locally Based service delivery experts: One of the problems with the region remains in the increasing number of unemployable youth, given low economic activities in the areas. Inflow of fresh funds may increase economic activities and create expansion of local industry to support the increase in demand for resources in the area. The use of locally based personnel should avail the growth of necessary local experts needed for the entrenchment and maintenance of programme. The failure of most INGOs has been traced to the lack of proper local supports for their programme.
2. Increase trust in the process: Most locals may become part of the process since it is being handled through local personnel known to them. Trust in the process may enhance collaboration and could boost the programme at all level.

Recommendations:

Civil societies or NGOs in Nigeria has had a cheered history, from a vibrant, uncompromising and result focus pre-independence era, through a government hampered and corrupt operation before mid-1990s to a strong indivisible front during the democratic struggles of the late eighties and this era of political activism, corrupt leadership and weaken structure.

Regrettably, there cannot be a sustainable reform without the supports and inputs of the civil societies. Civil societies are needed to act as middlemen between the policy makers and their communities. Hence the role of these groups in reforms may includes:

• Raising public awareness on issues and reasons for reforms: There is a need for proper information, direct and people oriented to educate the public. These should not be media driven but generated and managed by the people. The CS could be empowered through seminars and workshops to educate the public on the needs for direct engagement in programmes and their roles in reforms in Nigeria.
• Promoting debates and talks on issues, practices, challenges and reforms required:
Policies can only succeed when the public opinion form its bedrock. The NGO programme should be directed to organize formal public debates and hearings on important policy and inform the state of their reports.
• Spreading Reform Information:
Organizing and maintaining civil societies in areas where there is no awareness and education level is low. Thereby reaching out to lower cadres of the society with proper information on reforms.
• Monitoring and Evaluating the Reform Processes: Exposing and reporting to appropriate authorities’ misconducts, demanding transparency and accountability from all security organization through a nationwide monitoring system. Reporting and writing articles on reform issues to educate the public and the police officers alike.
Creating framework and opportunities for future reforms through the setting-up of bodies to monitor and collate data on PSC operatives and organizations and the police operations in all areas of the country.
• Partnering:
Organizing local and international workshops, talks and town hall meetings to share, discuss, teach and compare feedbacks on policing issues from different unit of the society and publishing their memorandum in national press.
• Act as links between the public and police:
Encouraging and involving community groups in policing, creating neighborhoods watch and vigilante groups -under proper legislations- to guard and secure their environment.

Don Michael Adeniji, MA, pnm
Director, Security Policy Analysis.
African Initiative for Peace and Human Development

Al-Shabab Kills 3 Kenyan Quarry Workers In Mandera Town- Shabelle News

News

el.jpgThree miners were killed and one injured by al-Shabab militants at a quarry in Mandera county in northeast Kenya on Thursday, an official confirmed on Friday.

Northeastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh said the militants stormed the Shimbir Fatuma Quarry, about 65 kilometers from the Kenya-Somalia border, where the miners were living, on Thursday evening.

“Reports from the scene of an incident is that three were confirmed dead and one injured person is currently at Shimpir Fatuma health center while some are yet to be established where they are,” Saleh said.

He said two of the workers escaped with gunshot wounds. The quarry workers seemed to have defied government orders to vacate the area following increased cases of al-Shabab attacks in the restive region that borders Somalia

Two miners were killed by the militia in a similar incident a year go after they apparently sneaked back to the quarry in Mandera sub-county following a security operation.

The authorities in 2015 ordered all quarries in Mandera County near the Somali border be closed and all workers to vacate the places due to terror threats. The directive came after the murder of 14 quarry workers.

The workers, however, faulted the government’s move saying that they were not given reasons for the closure of the mines but only told to vacate their working places. They argued that the quarries near the Kenya-Somalia border were secure.

According to Kenyan authorities, more than 500 workers mine in the same quarry, something they said terrorists will capitalize on as they gain fame in killing a large number of innocent Kenyans.

Nigerian Army rescues 1000 Boko Haram captives

Boko Haram, News, Nigeria, Nigerian Army, Terrorism

Troops of 22 Brigade deployed in operation LAFIYA DOLE on Monday rescued over 1000 hostages from the Boko Haram Terrorists enclave. The operation which was conducted in conjunction with allies of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), rescued the hostages from Malamkari, Amchaka, Walasa and Gora villages of Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.

Troops of 22 Brigade deployed in operation LAFIYA DOLE on Monday rescued over 1000 hostages from the Boko Haram Terrorists enclave. The operation which was conducted in conjunction with allies of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), …

Read more at:  Nigerian Army rescues 1000 Boko Haram captives — Hitvibz

Nigeria: Boko Haram Has Massacred over 2,000 Teachers, Destroyed 1,000 Schools

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Islam, law enforcement, News

booUtomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

by Edwin Mora3 May 20189
The Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram, a name that translates to “Western education is a sin,” has killed 100,000 people since it began waging its insurgency in 2009, including 2,295 teachers and hundreds of students in the northeastern part of the country alone, officials from the African nation revealed this week.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari believes Boko Haram is fading in northeastern Nigeria and the quality of life in the region is “improving.”

 

Nigeria’s Minister of Education Adamu Adamu released the grim data on the teacher fatalities on Wednesday.
On Monday, Buhari spoke to Voice of America (VOA), indicating that “life in the country’s northeast is improving, as the threat of Boko Haram militants recedes and people return to their homes and farms.”
In addition to the 2,295 teachers killed in attacks linked to Boko Haram in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa State, the terrorist group has displaced another 19,000 teachers since 2009, Adamu declared, the African nation’s Premium Times newspaper reports.
Adamu, “who expressed concern over the systematic destruction targeted at education, said 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States in the last nine years.”
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Premium Times notes that Adamu indicated that “without access to quality learning, the Nigerian child is not only being deprived of education but also robbed of future opportunities which will affect the entire society.”
Nigerian President Buhari has accused young people in his country of being “lazy.”
Minister Adamu also noted that the jihadists had destroyed about 1,500 schools resulting in more the 1,280 casualties “among teachers and students” since 2014 alone.
Borno state is considered Boko Haram’s birthplace.
Northeastern Nigeria’s vast Sambisa Forest – which covers parts of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kano states – is identified as Boko Haram’s last stronghold in the country.
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The Nigerian figures echo data from the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) data released in April, which also revealed Boko Haram has indeed killed at least 2,295 teachers, adding that it has destroyed over 1,400 schools.
“Boko Haram has abducted more than 1,000 children in northeast Nigeria since 2013, the United Nations’ children’s agency announced Friday [April 13],” ABC News reported.
Citing UNICEF, ABC News added, “Most of these schools haven’t been able to reopen due to extensive damage or ongoing insecurity in the area.”
As of early April, Boko Haram jihadists had killed at least 120 civilians this year and injured 210 others, Breitbart News learned from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has falsely claimed on several occasions to have defeated Boko Haram, but the terrorist group is known to continue wreaking havoc.
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On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump hosted his counterpart Buhari at the White House.
Trump vowed to work with Nigeria to combat the Boko Haram threat and to deal with attacks on Christians who are targeted by the jihadist groups and Muslim Fulani herdsmen with whom the Nigerian leader shares his ethnicity.
Critics have accused Buhari of being lenient towards the Fulani militants.

US Confirmed the Receipt of Payment for Fighter Planes from Nigeria Government.

Military, News, Nigeria, Nigerian Army, PMB, Politics
The United States Government officials have confirmed the receipt from Nigeria payment for the Tucano planes. It said the 12 Super Tucano fighter jets and other weapons it agreed to sell to the Nigerian to combat Boko Haram insurgents and other extremist groups would be delivered in 2020.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report at the weekend said a senior U.S. Department of State official made the disclosure during a background briefing with ‘selected reporters’ at the U.S. Consul-General’s Residence on Sunday in Ikoyi, Lagos. The official, who confirmed that the Federal Government had paid for the war planes, said sale of the aircraft with weapons and services worth over $400 million included bombs and rockets.

The NAN report said that the propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance, surveillance and attack capabilities is made by Brazil’s Embraer.

Embraer’s second production line is in Florida in a partnership between Embraer and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp of Sparks, Nevada

The Super Tucano is said to cost more than $10 million each and the price could go much higher depending on the configuration. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT 6 engine

.

 

Sweden arrests 3 suspected of preparing “an act of terror” — INKLING LEAGUE

Islam, Terrorism

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Swedish officials say three people have been arrested on suspicion of preparing “an act of terror.”
Sweden’s domestic intelligence agency SAPO says the three were arrested Monday for terror-related activities in several locations in greater Stockholm. SAPO said they had been on the agency’s radar for a while.
The agency says several other people have been brought in for questioning.
It added that the terror threat in Sweden remains “unchanged” at a rating of three on a five-degree scale, which is “an increased threat.”
In April 2017, an Uzbek man rammed a stolen truck into a shopping crowd in Stockholm, killing five people and injuring 14 others. He said he did it to punish Sweden for joining a coalition against the Islamic State group in the Mideast.

via Sweden arrests 3 suspected of preparing “an act of terror” — INKLING LEAGUE

Herdsmen Has The Right To Kill – Prof. Ango Abdullahi — The Marble

News, Terrorism

A former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, and spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi has vehemently defended the incessant killings by Fulani herdsmen across the country.
Abdullahi also said that the herdsmen menace is politically motivated by the South to disrupt the politically united North ahead of the 2019 general elections, adding that this was how Boko Haram was introduced during Goodluck Jonathan’s government which led to his failure in the 2015 polls.
Justifying the killings, the Professor said that the herdsmen are killing members of their host communities in order to defend themselves, adding that the herders were free to take the cattle to any part of the country the same way an Igbo man does his business.
In a strong worded interview with Vanguard, Abdullahi said, “I have been involved in debates against some respected people from the southern part of this country who believe that this country is not balanced because the North is too big; because the North is too politically united, so there must be a way of disrupting this unity, and this is what we are seeing on ground today, and the elements that are being used are the Fulani herdsmen.
“This matter would be looked at properly; political alliances and so on are welcome. You don’t need to lose blood, or property to engage in political alliance or whatever you want, or still, you don’t need to introduce excuses that will lead to loss of lives. We saw this when the Boko Haram was on ground; they said northerners created the sect to disrupt former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, which led to his failure in the last election, and so on.
“Now that Boko Haram is out of the way, the new excuse is the Fulani herdsmen. This is what is happening in other places except in areas that you are talking.
“We have seen what they called a new handshake across the Niger; it is political, and we have seen the mourning that has taken place in Benue and other places to show that the monolithic North is not in tandem with the Middle Belt; it is all politics. Our Middle Belters don’t need to take the agenda that appears to be a thing of distrust. We are not going to force anybody into a relationship politically or otherwise. We see this as a political agenda.
Asked if herdsmen are not the ones committing the murders, he added, “The truth is, if you want to kill me and I have a chance first, I will kill you, or you do want people to be killed and not defend themselves? By your reporting, you have denied them justice and government also has denied them justice by not going to arrest those that are killing them. So, they defend themselves.
On the herdsmen that kidnapped, raided and Chief Olu Falae’s farm ablaze, he said, “My uncle was kidnapped last week in Kaduna, my cousin’s children were also kidnapped and they had to go and find N2.5 million to pay. Why is Olu Falae case different?
“Because he was Secretary to the Federal Government? He is a Nigerian just like my uncle and my cousin whose children were kidnapped. The right of every citizen is important under the law. Why is he so special?
“What about the impunity of the people killing herdsmen? The herdsmen in Nigeria are reacting to the injustice meted out daily to them?
“You people, you Nigerians, including you who are biased, who are not prepared to protect the rights and interests of herdsmen. They are killed but not reported, that is not acceptable.
“Herdsmen operate in these places you mentioned because the country has denied them the traditional routes which the British created for them IN 1914 when they occupied this country because they realised that, like cars require tracks, herdsmen also require tracks they can use to graze and drink water.
“The British provided it for them and gazetted it but people have denied them these routes. So, where do you expect the animals to follow? They have to follow somewhere and the easy road is the one other people are using. We are all living in Nigeria.
Asked if he was trying to justify the menace of herdsmen, he maintained, “I am justifying it very strongly because herdsmen are being unjustly treated in this country.
“They are businessmen just like the farmers whose crops are being destroyed. They should invest in their business; buy ranches like the farmers bought their parcels of land.
They are businessmen. If an Igbo man could go to my state and set up a shop, why shouldn’t herdsmen operate elsewhere? Or are you the one who planted the grass the animals are feeding on? Are you the one who created the water they drink?
“The land belongs to Nigerians and herdsmen are Nigerians. If an Igbo man can go to the North and set up a business, why won’t herdsmen go to the South, including your village, to graze their cattle?
“Where we come from, you don’t pay for land, you only ask for permission to use it. That is why I said you people are biased against other people and that is why the peace of this country will be very difficult.”

via Herdsmen Has The Right To Kill – Prof. Ango Abdullahi — The Marble

Trinidad & Tabago Peace Conference: ‘Violent jihadists not true Muslims’ — The Muslim Times

Islam, News, Terrorism

Kevon Felmine Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 Attendees at the Peace Conference yesterday at National Centre in Preysal. Inset: Maulana Ibrahim Bin Yaqub. PICTURES RISHI RAGOONATH Terror groups who commit violence in the name of Islam are not true Muslims, Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Maulana Ibrahim Bin Yaqub, said yesterday as he explained […]

 

Terror groups who commit violence in the name of Islam are not true Muslims, Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Maulana Ibrahim Bin Yaqub, said yesterday as he explained the name Islam means peace.

Speaking at their annual Peace Conference in Preysal, Couva, Bin Yaqub said a true Muslim is a person people can feel safe around. He said while the Islamic faith locally has been under scrutiny since several followers left to join the Islamic State, this was a small amount compared to the population of Muslims living in T&T.

“A true Muslim is that person from whose tongue and whose hands people are safe in and secure. So if you would not allow people to become safe and secure, then you are not a true Muslim because you are not practising the teachings of Islam,” Bin Yaqub said.

“The majority of Muslims in the world are very peaceful. Why is it that we go after those individuals who are creating problems and then try to tell the world that it is Islam? That is not Islam.

“The true Islam are those people who are very peaceful. How many Muslims are there in Trinidad and Tobago? More than 100,000 persons and you are talking about how many people went to join ISIS. How many of them?”

Asked if there was a wrong perception of Islam by non-disciples, Bin Yaqub said in every religion you would have people with various views and who would create upheavals, just like what has happened in Islam.

“Therefore, if there is a Muslim who is misbehaving, we believe that that person or persons are far away from the true teachings of Islam.”

Bin Yaqub said local Muslims are free to travel the world and that even after 9/11 he went to the United States.

“We have a solid relationship with the US government.”

The conference is an annual event that is also held in other countries by Muslims.

Its purpose is to educate people so they can understand peace has become an expensive commodity. Bin Yaqub said with so many upheavals in the world, the Ahmadiyya Muslims believe that unless they try to know themselves entirely, they will not be able to arrive at peace.

“It is also our firm belief that various religions in the world can bring peace, because if you study the scriptures of all major religions of the world, they all speak with one tongue and that is about peace. Unless the world comes to realise its maker, that is the Creator, we will never be able to see peace.”

SOURCE:

http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2018-04-22/%E2%80%98violent-jihadists-not-true-muslims%E2%80%99

 

via Trinidad & Tabago Peace Conference: ‘Violent jihadists not true Muslims’ — The Muslim Times

US urges Nigeria to change tactics against Boko Haram – AFP

Boko Haram, News, Nigeria, Nigerian Army, Terrorism
afp.jpgNigerian forces battling Boko Haram jihadists need a change of mindset to overcome an evolving guerrilla threat, US military officials said this week on the sidelines of an African security summit.

Boko Haram’s tactics – from improvised explosive devices to hiding within the local population – necessitate a shift away from conventional strategies, said Lieutenant-Colonel Sean McClure, the US defence attache in Abuja.

“We haven’t necessarily seen that kind of adaptation cycle,” he told AFP. “They’re trying to figure out how to do this.

“How they think in terms of combat, in my opinion, is still thinking of things as conventional warfare.”

 As the United States steps up its military presence in Africa, it hopes to share lessons learned in the Middle East with Nigeria and other countries in the Sahel fighting extremist groups.

The Sahel region is host to a string of Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali and Boko Haram in Nigeria and the wider Lake Chad area.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with more than 180 million people, has been fighting Boko Haram since 2009 and has repeatedly claimed to have defeated the group.

Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, declared on Tuesday there was “no doubt Boko Haram terrorists have been defeated, they don’t have the capacity”.

But persistent attacks against soldiers and civilians, including a brazen new kidnapping of over 100 schoolgirls from the northeastern town of Dapchi on February 19, suggest otherwise.

Meanwhile, the emergence of an ISIS-allied faction of Boko Haram, whose strategy is to provide an alternative government for people living in the impoverished region, poses a new threat.

“It starts to become a very wicked problem,” McClure said.

 ‘Acrimony’ 

At a military demonstration in Gwagwalada, a town on the outskirts of Abuja, Nigerian special forces performed a battle drill in front of Africa’s senior commanders.

Soldiers rappelled from helicopters as the midday sun blazed over the savannah, then the infantry moved in to liberate mock hostages from a compound.

But with Borno state, the centre of the Boko Haram conflict nearly twice the size of Belgium, Nigeria cannot rely on soldiers alone.

It also needs the support of the local population.

Buratai told the summit that winning the hearts and minds of people in the northeast has been a “big challenge”. Human intelligence has long been seen as vital to winning the war.

But rights groups have accused Nigeria’s military of killing, torturing and arbitrarily arresting thousands of civilians on suspicion of being Boko Haram members or sympathisers.

That has stoked tensions in a region already wary of the government and made people in hard-to-reach rural areas particularly reluctant to cooperate with the authorities.

“People thought the military action was aggressive to them, so this brought acrimony,” admitted Buratai but he added: “We have done a lot since then and the perception has changed.”

 Human rights concerns

Similar tensions have been seen elsewhere in Nigeria in relation to separate threats, including over the military handling of protests by pro-Biafran separatists in the southeast.

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Protests calling for the release of an imprisoned pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim cleric hung over the Abuja summit, again turning the attention to tactics and possible rights abuses.

Two days of protests on Monday and Tuesday saw at least 115 supporters of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky arrested after running battles with police, who fired tear gas and water cannon.

Zakzaky, the head of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, has been in custody since December 2015 after troops attacked his supporters in the northern city of Zaria.

More than 300 were killed and buried in a mass grave, according to Amnesty International.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has launched a judicial panel to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in the military.

But experts warn any reform will take time – if it happens at all.

“It’s very difficult for the Nigerian army to overturn 50-plus years of a bad reputation,” said Yan St-Pierre, a counter-terrorism specialist at the Modern Security Consulting Group in Berlin.

“People are squeezed between a rock and a hard place. Some don’t feel comfortable with the army or Boko Haram,” he said, warning that “if the military doesn’t have popular support basically the insurgents will have it”.

Read more on:    al qaeda  |  isis  |  boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Suspected herdsmen kill village head on farmland

Africa, Boko Haram, Herdsmen, local news, Nigeria, Terrorism

Report said Victim was shot in the back while working on his farmland.

HerdsmenSuspected herdsmen killed a village head, Iyongovihi Ninge, during an attack on the Chembe settlement in Ukemberagya/Tswarev Ward of Gaambe-Tiev, in Logo local government area of Benue state on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

According to a report by Channels Television, a member of the community, Joseph Anaway, said the victim was shot in the back while working on his farmland.

He said, “The attackers came with hordes of cattle, plundering yam seeds that have been planted, opening fire on Mister Ninge who was clearing his field in readiness for cultivation. The village head was shot in the back and he died on the spot.”

A statement by the Benue State Police Command remarked that the attackers are yet to be identified.

“The command had at about 1100hours of today, received report of a man later identified as a village head killed by yet to be identified bandits on his farm in Logo LGA,” the statement read.

National Dialogue and Peace in Africa

Africa, Politics, Power, Terrorism, War

africa.png

We Feel safe If we trust our institutions, and we trust our institutions if we see them acting effectively in crises’ (Mary Kaldor Old War, New Wars: organized Violence in a Globalized Era” 1998).

Generally, we all feel safe when threats are alleviated from our cherished values, which if left unmanaged threaten our survival or that of a referent object in the near future. Security is important and forms the basis of our existence and expression in society. Imagine what life will be without any form of threat, where security is normal, passive and not priorities and politically demanding issues? Absence of threat to a certain level is a prerequisite for growth and development of any society. Increase threats level drive down local production and inflow of foreign investments.

Security matters and absence of threats in our society remained a major illusion in our highly politicized society. Globalization and advent of technological development has continued to expose our societies to different forms of threats. Politics has continued to be instrumental to endangering security. While positive political environment allows for integration and development of peaceful co-existence, several political actors privy to command resources for eliminating threats have resolved to make politics a major issue in threat escalation.

Political nature of security has made the definition of the term security an object of argument based on the perspective of analysts and writers on the topic. Traditional understanding of security emphasizes the physical accumulation of military power to defend the state from external and internal aggression. African states at independence were incorporated into the geopolitical East – West polarization. The need for expression of influence by super powers was reflected in the strength of allied states armies.  Big armies were used to prop up and maintain loyal stooges as powerful rulers in states without proper understanding of principle and operation of statehood.

The period between 1956 and 1989 when the Cold War ended, dictators like Idi Ami in Uganda (1971 -79), Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt (1954-1970), Ahmed Sekou Toure in Guinea (1958-84) and Mengitsu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia (1974-1991) ruled with iron fists in defense of their countries territorial integrity and redefined state security as security for the few ruling elites at the expense of the masses. The states employed the “Kill and go” mentality in elite securitization to defend their territory and unleash terror on dissenting public. The armies and the police in African states now become instrument of public oppressions, as there were no external aggressions to address.

The end of the Cold War brought new realities in international relations understanding of security. Emergence of “new wars” –intra-state wars– in Africa and Eastern Europe led to new thinking about the effects of globalization on security planning. Buzan Barry in 1983 introduced the theory of a shift from physical or critical security thinking towards a focus on human security. Mary Kaldor also emphasized the need for new directions for security in her work “Old War, New Wars: organized Violence in a Globalized Era” (1998). They both postulated the need for newer roles for states armies as numbers of inter-states wars have continued to reduce in the world while organized violence from non-state actors emerged as new threats to developing states in Africa and Europe at the turn of the century.

Emergence of organized insurgent groups and terrorists that targets civilians and non-combatants has been blamed on the lack of a shift in the roles of states security operations from elite centered towards public supports. The need to defend states sovereignty with the security forces at the expense of securing the people while crime and threats to lives grow due to lack of resources to achieve basic human development have ennobled the need for the shift of focus of citizens security to Private Security Companies (PSC) and ethnic militias in most areas of Africa.   Initial goals of the public supports for these militias; remain in achieving security towards protection of cherished values in most states.

Regrettably, lack of states’ control and management of the growth and development of militia groups, expanding influence of militias has resulted in abuse of power and such influences. Most militia has turned from their roles as defenders of the people to direct anti-state organisation. Thereby increasing people’s exposure to more threats.

Security is a relative and controversial term which relevance can only be surmised by the presence of object for security. People was traditionally ascribed the object of security in developing world however within international relation, the UN and other developed nations states empanelled the state as reverent object of all security discourse before the turn of the millennium.

The United Nations through the UNDP at the end of the Cold War, introduced in 1993 “Human Security” as the main focus of state security. The UN maintained that states duties to their citizens should include the assurance of their survival and securing their access to humane living conditions. States have to provide all basic amenities to secure citizens needs and aspirations. Human Security Index was introduced as the measure of legitimacy of states.

herdsmenAfrican states that have hitherto experienced patronage from international superpowers to maintain strong armed forces and equipment based on mere east/west alignments at the end of the cold war were unceremoniously left to dry. Low revenue for most states led to high inflation, unemployment, poverty and low capital formation. With huge and unmanageable security bills to supports and growing hunger, many states fell under the gun to coups and counter coups by the same armies that had helped in wasting the national fund.

The harsh military rules of the late eighties and nineties in Africa helped in building a new form of public resistance and anti-state movements. The growing need for re-organisation of condition for statehood in most states was blocked under the need to defend states’ territorial integrity. This challenge continued to form basis for ethnic strengthening instead of nation building. Challenging the traditional roles of states as sole controller of violence became more rampant as ethic armies demands emancipation and control of their territories in several states like Somalia, Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Niger and Sudan from the late eighties.

Lack of trust in weakening states institutions due to years of oppressions and high level of official corruption continued to contribute to stress of the political landscape. The failure of states to empanel proper conflict management and internal law enforcement mechanism to ensure justice, accountability and equity, finally sounded the knell on the popularity of the states in Africa. Public supports for the institutions of states waned and growth of radical thought escalated unbridled.

The growth of terror organisation in Africa becomes inevitable as poverty expanded. Lack of proper planning and finance for states’ internal security and inequalities in the sharing of resources of state has made radicals out of the youth with low life expectancy. Growth of illicit economies with huge rewards for participants in an environment with high incidence of poverty, have resulted in the development of a new class of African youth; ready to make it by every means necessary.

The Al-Shabab, Boko Haram, MEND, OPC, Bakassi Boys, MAJOC, AQIM, and others are the products of a system of elite security that have complete answer to all issues. The apparent lack of dialogue in African state is so appalling.  The states are being run by an elites who are used to decrees and pronouncement without consultations. The elites have shown the public that security can only be achieved through the use of violence. State policies in most African states have always favoured ex-militants and violent individuals. The youth in Nigeria look at ex-Niger Delta militants that have become leaders in political discussions and businesses and choses their heroes and Kenyan youths’ hero is President Kenyatta himself, the President with cases of human rights abuse in the ICC.

There is urgent need for complete reformation of the African state focus of security; the people should be the focus of national security while the people in turn through their trust in national institutions, support and uphold the sovereignty of the state. How we lose our African heritage of love, peace, equity and justice to these common criminals remain an issue. If we don’t address the issues of leadership and equity in Africa, there will always be another violent struggle to further endanger the peace of the people.

Real concerns Archbishop Welby raised before Buhari

2019 Elections, Africa, Celebrity Gists, PMB, Terrorism
• President Disappears From Abuja House
• Presidency Silent On Meeting With May

Contrary to official statement from the Presidency concerning the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Justin Portal Welby, it has emerged that the Anglican cleric raised concerns about the security situation in Nigeria, particularly attacks on Christian communities.

This is coming just as The Guardian gathered that President Buhari kept away from Abuja House, where he experienced some heckling from protesters last August.

A transcript of the discussion between the two leaders, which The Guardian obtained, showed that the Archbishop was very worried about the herders farmers’ conflicts and excruciating poverty in the country.

According to the transcript, the Archbishop told the President that no “country or society can flourish without excellent education,” impressing it upon him “how education helps tackle poverty.”

The English host informed his visitor of the vital role churches in England play, not just in educating a million children, but in providing them with values, identity and purpose.

Archbishop Welby, therefore, expressed deep concern about the suffering resulting from raids on Christian communities and villages, particularly as far as Delta State and urged the President to put in place measures to restore confidence in neutrality of the federal authorities.

While regretting the very many deaths and possible escalation of violence in the country, the Archbishop said the poor are suffering most for those tragedies, and urged Buhari to do everything in his power to secure the release of 14 year-old Christian girl, Leah Sharibu, who refused to convert to Islam.

The Archbishop told Buhari how he paid a pastoral visit to Nigeria in 2014 after the abduction of the Chibok girls, assuring of his continued prayers for the release of Sharibu and other Chibok girls still in Boko Haram captivity.

On the President’s disappearance from the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, otherwise known as Abuja House, and the proposed meeting with the British Premier, Theresa May, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Public Affairs, Femi Adesina, kept mum.

When our reporter called at Abuja House on Wednesday and Friday, there were no signs of the usual movement of vehicles and personnel that characterised the President’s two prolonged medical vacations of last year.

A security officer, who answered the bell on Wednesday evening responded with hostility and directed the reporter to the Northumberland Avenue, office of the Nigerian High Commission.

On Friday evening, when The Guardian visited, the residence was still quiet and the only member of staff seen closing around 6pm, told the reporter, “l don’t work there. Leave me alone, this Sahara Reporters people.”

Perhaps, out of fear of a recurrence of the heckling by protesters, which forced him to cut short his second medical vacation last August, after several weeks of treatment and recuperating at the Abuja House, President Muhammadu Buhari, seemed to have abandoned the West London property to a secretive hotel, since arriving in London a few days ago, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Conference beginning on Monday.

Also, the president’s proposed meeting with the British Prime Minister is being kept secretive, even as it is unlikely the two leaders may meet ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM).

Attempts to speak to the President’s Special Adviser on Media on Friday evening, to ascertain if the President had met with Mrs. May, met with a resounding: “no comment.”

When asked why the President didn’t officially transmit power, as alleged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adesina also responded “no comment.”

On whether the President was using this visit to attend to his private affairs, as the PDP National Publicity Secretary claimed, Adesina defended the President’s right to mix business and pleasure, saying:”It’s a free world.”

ISS Spotlight: building a new corps of dedicated African counter-terrorism experts

Africa, Boko Haram, Terrorism
With its skilled staff, professional networks and wealth of original research, ISS helps Africa tackle an evolving threat.

2018-04-11-training-spotlight-banner.jpgThe Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is helping African police to understand and combat terrorism on the continent, and to investigate and prosecute terrorism cases. Willem Els, a senior training coordinator at the ISS, is building a corps of well-trained African counter-terrorism experts while adapting international best practice to local conditions.

Threats include Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin, al-Shabaab in Kenya and Somalia, and al-Qaida affiliates across the Sahel and North Africa. Three African countries – Nigeria, Somalia and Egypt – are in the global top ten countries most affected by terrorism, according to the 2016 Global Terrorism Index. Terrorism on the continent is particularly lethal, with six African states (Nigeria, Tunisia, Chad, Niger, Kenya and Cameroon) in the top ten countries with the highest average deaths per attack.

Police and prosecution services need specific skills to detect, combat, investigate and prosecute terrorism. The ISS helps to build these capacities through its expert staff and professional networks.

Els has an abundance of skills and experience. He served 28 years as a police officer in South Africa, with leadership positions in the national bomb squad, and time as an undercover sky marshal in the aviation anti-hijacking unit. He is a member of the International Association for Bomb Technicians and Investigators, with experience preparing disposal experts to work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now Els is sharing his knowledge with African police and prosecutors, working in partnership with policing organisations in East and West Africa, as well as Interpol, the United Nations, African Union and the EU.

‘It is rewarding to see my skills and experience embraced and integrated into the daily operations of people who deal with terrorism in Africa,’ he says. ‘We are investing in and empowering the next generation of passionate and competent counter-terrorism experts.’

Effective counter-terrorism requires an integrated training approach. The ISS has helped to create the official counter-terrorism manual for police agencies in East, West and southern Africa. Essentially an African counter-terrorism training handbook, it covers intelligence, explosives and bomb disposal, crime scene handling, weapons of mass destruction, causes of radicalisation and the evolution of terror.

ISS training spans national, regional and international legal instruments, extradition, state-sponsored terror, counter-intelligence, border control, biological weapons, dirty bombs and collection of evidence. ISS trainers are supported by African experts with world-class experience in subjects ranging from hostage negotiations, incident management andprosecution of terrorists.

Discussions are underway with a top South African university to accredit the training to diploma or post-graduate level and then offer it as a distance learning module.

The recognised value and impact of ISS training is based on its comprehensive and integrated counter-terrorism curriculum, and the deep working relationships with African police services and Interpol offices across the continent.

‘We go well beyond professional relationships based on technical expertise,’ says Els. ‘We bond as friends and comrades who face a common threat.’

‘The ISS is welcomed and respected as an African organisation which cares deeply about the continent’s security. We are embraced as true African partners who find local solutions to African challenges.’

Working with east African police, Els and other experts have produced standard operating procedures which serve as an investigators’ field guide following an incident. Terrorism is a threat that keeps evolving, so Els runs refresher courses for investigators, and specialised training when required. This includes bringing together frontline bomb technicians and intelligence experts from different terror hotspots to share their experience.

Annual field training supported by the ISS sees hundreds of police from across Africa participate in simulated hijackings, hostage negotiations, tactical interventions, defusing explosives, working with dogs and investigating a terror scene.

The ISS also hosts annual workshops where African heads of counter-terrorism and crime investigation discuss and agree regional priorities and identify new focus areas, such as the role of women in extremism. These discussions are informed by the wealth of original ISS research on violent extremism in Africa.

Working as a counter-terrorism trainer is not without its emotional challenges. Els tells a harrowing story of a late-night call from Somalia where three policemen had been blown up after following on-site instructions to approach a suspect vehicle. The caller survived the incident because he followed protocols learned in his ISS training.

For more information contact:

Willem Els, ISS: +27 82 554 7695, wels@issafrica.org

Picture: Jacqueline Cochrane/ISS

UAE condemns Somalia over seizing cash ‘sent to army’

Africa, Boko Haram, Corruption, international News, Military, Terrorism, War

Somali soldiers

Somalia said on Sunday it had seized almost $10m from a Royal Jet aeroplane that arrived at Mogadishu airport.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has denounced the seizure of what it described as a civilian aircraft carrying nearly $10m by Somali authorities at Mogadishu airport.

The government of Somalia said on Sunday it had seized several bags of money containing $9.6m in cash from a plane arriving from the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

According to a statement carried on Tuesday by WAM, the UAE state news agency, the sum was intended to support the Somali military and trainees.

“Money allocated to support the Somali army and trainees was seized at gunpoint by Somali security personnel, who disrespected some members of the UAE forces,” it said.

The money was found in three unmarked bags on a Royal Jet plane, according to the Somali interior ministry, and its seizure resulted in an hours-long standoff between airport officials and UAE embassy staff in Mogadishu.

Royal Jet is an airline based in Abu Dhabi, servicing the luxury market between the UAE and Europe.

“The seized money is worth $9.6m. Security agencies are currently investigating where the money came from, where it was going, the individuals involved and the reason for bringing money worth this amount into the country,” Somalia’s interior ministry said in a statement late on Sunday.

Relations between Somalia and the UAE have been frosty since June last year.

Mogadishu resisted Emirati and Saudi pressure to cut ties with Qatar following a dispute between the Gulf neighbours. Somalia said it was neutral in the Gulf diplomatic rift.

Last month, Abu Dhabi agreed to train security forces in Somaliland – a region in northern Somalia seeking to secede from the country. The UAE has also signed with Somaliland a 30-year concession to manage Berbera Port in the semi-autonomous region. It has also started building a military base in the port city.

Somalia dismissed the agreement between Abu Dhabi and the northern Somali region as “non-existent, null and void” and called on the United Nations to take action.

Speaking at the UN Security Council last month, Abukar Osman, Somalia’s ambassador to the UN, said the agreement between Somaliland and the UAE to establish the base in Berbera is a “clear violation of international law”.

Osman called on the Security Council to “take the necessary steps” to “put an end to these actions”.

“The Federal Government of Somalia strongly condemns these blatant violations, and reaffirms that it will take the necessary measures deriving from its primary responsibility to defend the inviolability of the sovereignty and the unity of Somalia,” he said.

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Somalia disbands UAE programme to pay and train soldiers

Africa, Boko Haram, Military, War

Somalia said it seized several bags of money containing $9.6m in cash from a plane arriving from the UAE.

Somalia has disbanded a United Arab Emirates programme to train some of its troops in a new sign of rising tensions in bilateral relations.

The Somali government announced on Wednesday that it will take over paying and training the soldiers in the programme, Defence Minister Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman told Somalia’s state news agency Sonna.

“Somalia will fully take over [its troops] trained by the UAE… Those forces will be added to the various battalions of the Somalia National Army,” Abdirahman said, adding the soldiers would be integrated into other units on Thursday.

The UAE has trained hundreds of troops since 2014 as part of an effort boosted by an African Union military mission to defeat an al-Shabab uprising and secure the country for the government, which is backed by Western nations, Turkey and the United Nations.

There was no immediate comment from the UAE government.

Rising tensions

The move came after the government of Somalia said on Sunday it had seized several bags of money containing $9.6m in cash from a plane arriving from the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.

On Tuesday, the UAE denounced the seizure of the money, which it said was destined to pay the soldiers.

“Money allocated to support the Somali army and trainees was seized at gunpoint by Somali security personnel, who disrespected some members of the UAE forces,” it said.

The money was found in three unmarked bags on a Royal Jet plane, according to the Somali interior ministry, and its seizure resulted in an hours-long standoff between airport officials and UAE embassy staff in Mogadishu.

Royal Jet is an airline based in Abu Dhabi, servicing the luxury market between the UAE and Europe.

“The seized money is worth $9.6m. Security agencies are currently investigating where the money came from, where it was going, the individuals involved and the reason for bringing money worth this amount into the country,” Somalia’s interior ministry said in a statement late on Sunday.

Relations between Somalia and the UAE have been frosty since June last year.

Mogadishu resisted Emirati and Saudi pressure to cut ties with Qatar following a dispute between the Gulf neighbours. Somalia said it was neutral in the Gulf diplomatic rift.

Last month, Abu Dhabi agreed to train security forces in Somaliland – a region in northern Somalia seeking to secede from the country. The UAE has also signed with Somaliland a 30-year concession to manage Berbera Port in the semi-autonomous region. It has also started building a military base in the port city.

Somalia dismissed the agreement between Abu Dhabi and the northern Somali region as “non-existent, null and void” and called on the UN to take action.

Speaking at the UN Security Council last month, Abukar Osman, Somalia’s ambassador to the UN, said the agreement between Somaliland and the UAE to establish the base in Berbera is a “clear violation of international law”.

Osman called on the Security Council to “take the necessary steps” to “put an end to these actions”.

“The federal government of Somalia strongly condemns these blatant violations, and reaffirms that it will take the necessary measures deriving from its primary responsibility to defend the inviolability of the sovereignty and the unity of Somalia,” he said.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Bomb kills five football-watching spectators

Africa, Terrorism, War

Agency Report

Somalia – A bomb killed five spectators at a football match in southern Somalia, police and a lawmaker said on Friday, the first time an explosion has targeted a stadium.

The blast went off in the port town of Barawe, in the Lower Shabelle region, when residents were watching a football match on Thursday afternoon, police said, adding that al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab could be behind the attack.

Police said it appeared to have been detonated by remote control.

“The bomb killed five people and injured a dozen others in the football field.

“All the casualties were from the onlookers,” Mahad Dhoore, a lawmaker for South West state told Reuters.

Police officer Mohamed Aden said al Shabaab group was suspected of being behind the attack and put the number of dead at four and wounded at 12.

“We believe al Shabaab was behind (it) and that the target was officials who were not seated there at the
time of the match.

“The bomb looked like a remotely controlled one that was planted there,” Mr Aden told Reuters from Barawe.

Al Shabaab are fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government and establish their own rule based on their strict interpretation of Islamic law.

The group frequently carries out bombings and gun attacks in the capital Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia.

“Al Shabaab carried out an explosion that killed teenagers who were just playing football in Barawe town.

“Al Shabaab is the only enemy we have,” President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said during a farewell party for Somalia’s outgoing parliament speaker.

(Reuters/NAN)

US army trains Nigerian troops on fighting Boko Haram

Boko Haram, Nigerian Army, Politics, Terrorism, War

boko-haram

Boko Haram: Terrorists flee back to Nigeria after hitting military base in Diffa – Daily Post Nigeria

US soldiers, not less than 12, have trained Nigerian troops on a six-week advice-and-assist mission in Jaji, Kaduna State, Pentagon has said.

The US department of defence said Nigerian army’s 26th infantry battalion might be the next to deploy to north-east to confront Boko Haram.

The department, while documenting some accounts of the US soldiers during the training, said it was important to prepare the Nigerian troops for the threats they faced from the terrorists.

Nigerian-Army-TrainingSaul Rodriguez, the most experienced of the 12 US soldiers, said: “Even in triple-digit heat and with AK-47 automatic rifles in hand, it’s easy to forget these soldiers are likely headed into imminent danger.

“My job is to train you as much as I can. Your job is to fight the bad guys out of your country.”

According to NAN, Kevin Martin of the 10th mountain division Fort Drum, New York, said the troops needed the skills as they faced real threats.

He said: “Yes. We are hard on them. We have to be. Their life depends on it. They might need these skills one day.

“They face a very real and lethal threat. We aren’t going to slow down; we are going to pack as much training in as possible.”

Stephen Gouthro said the life-altering responsibility to prepare Nigerian soldiers was not lost on him, adding one of the best parts of the mission was the lack of micromanagement.

Gouthro said: “What better way to demonstrate mission command. This mission isn’t only about the tactical.

“Everything our team does could have diplomatic effects. Out here, the team has to be professional, mature and disciplined. And we are.”

Source: The cableNg