Thursday, December 12, 2013

Al-Shabaab rookies attack government bases in Baidoa.

“Whoever sent these young brainwashed boys should know that he will not achieve anything because the Somali public is tired of war and they simply want to build their life and country. We want to tell those behind the attack that they will not dampen our spirits,” Eden added.

Suspected Al-Shabaab rookie fighters carried out ambush attacks on several government installations in Baidoa firing rocket propelled grenades and using both heavy and light machine guns in a night ride that was anticipated by officials following intelligence reports of the same.
The attack was followed by a heavy exchange of fire between Somalia security officials and the attackers that lasted for almost an hour from midnight Wednesday to early hours of Thursday.
One official said the attackers were young men who seemed to have undergone a simple training on how to fire a rifle because they could not even properly aim their guns at their targets.
“The Al-Shabaab trainees attacked four of our bases in Baidoa. Our forces contained them because we had prior intelligence reports of the attack and so they found us prepared. Three government forces were wounded in the heavy attack and our boys killed at least 10 of the attackers with many others fleeing with bullet wounds,” a senior security source who did not wish to be named as he not allowed to speak to media.
The source said the militants are planning more attacks later tonight and that government forces and their African Union backers are more than prepared to respond to any hostile fire.
Baidoa, an agricultural rich city located 240 km west of the capital Mogadishu, has in the past one year experienced a peaceful spell since the Al-Shabaab militants were ousted by a combined Ethiopian and Somalia military force in February 2012.
Residents accuse Al-Shabaab of disturbing peace and denying locals the opportunity to rebuild their shuttered life marred by a bloody conflict blindly spearheaded by the Al-qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab militants.
“What was really the purpose of this cowardly attack?” quipped one angry resident, Madey Eden.
“Whoever sent these young brainwashed boys should know that he will not achieve anything because the Somali public is tired of war and they simply want to build their life and country. We want to tell those behind the attack that they will not dampen our spirits,” Eden added.
Friday, December 6, 2013

Madiba, rest in peace: Tribute to a true African hero.

I never had the opportunity to meet him in his lifetime but I must confess he is one of the greatest people I would have loved to met anytime! Rest in peace Magical Madiba.

Mandela, madiba, Tata, the first Black South African president - You could give him whatever name or title but he is still that simple, down to earth, respected, magical, easily loved world icon, father or simply the Most Appreciated National Don Icon Bold African...MANDELA!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Somalis to choose what support they want – British Envoy

BAIDOA, Somalia December 3 - The United Kingdom ambassador to Somalia Neil Wigan made his maiden visit to Baidoa on Tuesday to assess projects funded by the British tax payers as well as to meet with local leaders in a bid to improve bilateral relations between the two nations.
Speaking to the media in the agriculture-rich central town of Baidoa, ambassador Wigan said his government has set aside money for a special program dubbed “the stability fund” that is specifically designed to help Somalia recover from years of conflict and to help them address their key needs.
Unlike previous interventions this time round the Somali people will have the right to choose what projects or programs they need funded by British tax payers money. Such a bold move is expected to jumpstart the economy, create employments and more importantly end years of foreign aid policy interventions that has seen billions of foreign cash pumped into Somalia with little or no effect simply because the locals had no say in the design of the programs for maximum benefit.
“We are setting up something called the Stability Fund which allows local communities to decide for themselves what projects they would like to apply for,” Ambassador Neil told reporters in Baidoa adding that it is up to the locals to decide what they want most.
“We will certainly encourage those applications,” he added, reiterating their desire to directly support specific needs of the people of Somalia who have had to endure the agony of one of Africa’s longest civil wars that displaced millions of people with many more others killed or maimed in the unceasing violence.
However, these days Somalia is slowly recovering and locals are hopeful of the future following the expansion of the Somalia government to the hinterland with the support of African Union peacekeepers who continue to battle the Al-Qaeda linked militants, Al-Shabaab, which is against development and peace in Somalia.
The world and in particular strong Western countries like Britain and the US seems to have had enough of the melodrama in Somalia and have shown a desire to support the Somalis by not only recognizing their government but also restoring full diplomatic ties with Somalia.
Ambassador Neil Wigan replaced Matt Baugh as London’s man in Mogadishu in June this year following the re-opening of the British embassy in the seaside Somalia capital in April after being closed for 22 years.
Asked about his views on the recent vote of no confidence against Somalia Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, ambassador Neil said the issue was a Somali affair but that it was pleasing to see the adherence of the constitution in resolving the political stalemate in the Horn of African country.
In his short visit to Baidoa, Ambassador Neil was impressed by the town’s potential.
“Baidoa is very green and peaceful and cool. So it’s a real pleasure to be here but I have seen that there is the damage that was done to Baidoa during the war and so there is need for international support,” Ambassador Neil observed.
The locals are already excited about the British support.
“The British government is aware of our needs because they have a very good understanding of Somalia,” said Clan Chief Mohamed Yakub Sheikh who spoke on behalf of all clans living in and around Baidoa.