Tag Archives: Somali attacks in kenya

Kenya – Mombasa police seize two men and car carrying bombs

BBC

Kenya arrests two after bombs ‘found in car’

Kenyan police monitor terror suspects brought to court in Mombasa (3 Feb 2014) Kenya has made scores of arrests following a spate of attacks by militants

 

Police in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa say they have arrested two people who were driving a car with two improvised bombs hidden inside it.

The suspects, one Kenyan and the other of Somali origin, were planning to attack an unspecified target, they say.

The arrests followed a tip off, a police official added.

Kenya is on a heightened state of alert after militants from Somalia’s al-Shabab Islamist group attacked a shopping centre in Nairobi last year.

Security was increased further following Monday’s incident.

“We have not established where the target was, but we have detained two terror suspects who were in the vehicle,” said Henry Ondiek of the Mombasa Criminal Investigation Department.

“We were tipped off that the two were headed for an attack on an unspecified place and we laid an ambush,” he said.

Two homemade bombs were found in the car along with a mobile phone, which could have been used as a detonator, according to police.

In last September’s attack, at least 67 people died when al-Shabab stormed the Westgate shopping centre.

In February more than 100 people appeared in court in Mombasa accused of being members of al-Shabab, after a raid on a mosque.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab has carried out a series of attacks in Kenya in what it says is retaliation for Nairobi’s decision to deploy troops to Somalia. BBC

Kenya – Westgate Mall attack round up

Capital FM (Kenya)

NAIROBI, Sep 22 – At least 43 people have been killed and more than 200 others wounded in an attack by Somali Islamist militants on a Nairobi shopping mall, the Kenyan Red Cross said on Sunday.

“So far 43 have been confirmed dead and over 200 wounded,” Red Cross chief Abbas Gullet said.

BBC

Nairobi attack: Hostages remain inside shopping centre

Eyewitnesses saw armed men in black, their heads covered in scarves, entering the Westgate shopping centre on Saturday afternoon

An unknown number of hostages are being held in a shopping centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, after a deadly assault by suspected al-Shabab militants.

At least 39 people died and more than 150 were injured when members of the Somali Islamist group stormed the Westgate centre on Saturday.

There is now a heavy military presence in and around the centre, and intermittent gunfire can be heard.

There are reports that the gunmen are now holed up in a supermarket.

At the scene

image of Anne Soy Anne Soy BBC News


There is increasing activity here. We’ve heard gunfire ring out about twice in the past hour, and we’ve seen many ambulances coming in and out.

At the moment police say the situation is under control, they say know where the gunmen are, and they have them contained.

They’ve also asked the public to volunteer information about people still in the building. You get the feeling the police don’t know how many are in there.

This is an upmarket shopping mall – it’s one of the more exclusive ones in Nariobi. It often attracts foreigners and wealthy Kenyans, many of them of Indian descent. This is a situation which is cutting across race, tribes and nationalities.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier vowed to “hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to”.

Al-Shabab told the BBC it carried out the attack on the upmarket shopping centre in response to Kenyan military operations in Somalia.

There are about 4,000 Kenyan troops in the south of Somalia, where they have been fighting the militants since 2011.

‘Watching and monitoring’

Kenyan officials said “major operations” were under way with police and soldiers preparing an apparent bid to bring an end to the stand-off.

They said the security forces had finally “pinned down” the surviving gunmen.

“The work is continuing, but you cannot rush these things,” an army officer posted on the perimeter cordon set up around the mall told the AFP news agency.

“Our teams are there, we are watching and monitoring, we will finish this as soon as we can.”

Al-Shabab has claimed there are at least 36 hostages, but this cannot be independently confirmed and there are also likely to be people hiding away from the attackers.

The authorities have asked journalists to exercise caution when reporting military developments because the gunmen might be monitoring the media.

“Hostiles suspected to have access to the internet,” the Disaster Operation Centre in Nairobi posted on Twitter.

“Reports on personnel movement and progress will not be posted for fear of compromising strategy.”

“The gunmen have been contained in one location, but there are hostages elsewhere in the vicinity who cannot access the exit”.

President Uhuru Kenyatta: “We shall hunt down the perpetrators”

Upper levels of the mall had been secured, it said.

The authorities are also appealing for Kenyans to donate blood for the injured – and big queues are forming at a donation centre in central Nairobi. read more

The Standard (Kenya)

Ethiopia and Kenya help dismember Somalia

A new deal has recognised Jubaland, a strip of land in southern Somalia and bordering on Kenya and Ethiopia, as yet another quasi-independent entity in the region.

By Martin Plaut Published 03 September 2013 10:42

Ahmed Mohamed Islam during a meeting in Kismaayo earlier this year. Photo: Getty
                    Ahmed Mohamed Islam during a meeting in Kismaayo earlier this year. Photo: Getty

After nine days of late night meetings and plenty of arm-twisting, the fragile government of Somalia was finally forced to accept that a further slice of its territory had slipped beyond its control. The deal, signed in Addis Ababa, recognised Jubaland as yet another quasi-independent entity. This strip of land in southern Somalia and bordering on Kenya and Ethiopia, it is the illegitimate heir of both of these countries.

Jubaland is of critical importance to the whole of southern Somalia. Trade through the port and airport of Kismaayo is a lifeline for the region. In theory Jubaland will be the ‘Interim Juba Administration’ and last for just two years, while Somalia re-forms itself into a Federation. In reality it is now outside Mogadishu’s control – just like those other fragments of Somalia, including Puntland, Galmadug and the self-declared independent state of Somaliland.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was only sworn in as Somali president a year ago, was unable to resist the intense pressure of his neighbours and agreed to the deal. The entire sorry saga was witnessed by Nicholas Kay, the UN’s Special Representative in Somalia; welcomed by Catherine Ashton for the European Union and supported by the African Union. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the South African chair of African Union described the agreement as “historic”, declaring that it was “a further illustration of the capacity of the Somalis to triumph over their differences.”

It is hard to see what there was to welcome.

The deal officially recognises Ahmed Mohamed Islam (known, like all Somalis by a nickname – ‘Madobe’) as the ‘leader’ of Jubaland. Yet only a month earlier Sheikh Madobe was described in a major UN report as a “spoiler” and one of the chief threats to Somali stability.

The Sheikh was said to be “subverting the efforts of the Federal Government leadership and its partners to extend the reach of Government authority and stabilise the country, particularly in Kismaayo.”

What the Baroness Ashton and her colleagues have done is anoint a man who has been roundly denounced by the Monitoring Group, established by the UN Security Council. Its July report pointed out that the Sheikh had been a member of the short-lived Union of Islamic Courts, which was ousted by Ethiopia during its 2006 invasion of Somalia. What happened next is interesting. As the report puts it: “Madobe’s forces returned to Kismayo in August 2008, when Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam recaptured the city following the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia.” At this time the Sheikh Madobe was a key player in the al-Qaeda linked network.  But, as is ever the case in Somalia, clan and inter-clan rivalry came into play and the Sheikh fell out with his former allies. He threw in his lot with the African peacekeepers and the Federal Government.  But Sheikh Madobe did not cut his ties with al-Sabaab altogether and the UN report accuses him of continuing the export of charcoal from territory controlled by the Islamists – a trade long since outlawed by the UN because of its catastrophic impact on the Somali environment.

Under the new arrangement the Sheikh retains the port and the airport, although he is required to hand control to the Federal Government within six months. Since this would cut his income and hence his power, there seems little chance of the handover ever taking place.

The outcome has been a triumph for Somalia’s neighbours, even though Kenya and Ethiopia will continue to vie for influence in this critical part of the country.

The Kenyan foreign ministry has long seen the establishment of a buffer state along its northern border as vital to its security interests. Thanks to Wikileaks, we know that Kenya’s Foreign Minister, Moses Wetangula, practically begged the United States for its support when he saw Johnnie Carsons, President Obama’s most senior US Africa official, in January 2010.  The Kenyans were requesting backing for an invasion of Somalia to create Jubaland, but the Americans were far from keen.

As the confidential embassy telex puts it: “Carson tactfully, but categorically refused the Kenyan delegation’s attempts to enlist US Government support for their effort.” It was, said the telex, the third time Wetangula had made the appeal, but Carsons resisted, pointing out – rightly – that “the initiative could backfire.” Critically, Carsons warned that: “if successful, a Lower Juba entity could emerge as a rival to the TFG” (Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government). This is exactly what has now come about.

Brushing these concerns aside, Kenya sent its troops into Somalia in October 2011. As predicted, they found it very heavy going and it was to take almost a year before al-Shabaab were driven from Kismaayo.

For the Ethiopians, the establishment of Jubaland is a further fragmentation of Somalia, its sworn enemy since the Somalis invaded their country in 1977. It was an attack that is imprinted on Ethiopian memories, fuelling a determination to see the end of a powerful, centralised Somali state.

As if the situation was not complicated enough, newly created Jubaland could be sitting on reserves of oil. Several fields have been detected in the waters along the Kenya-Somali border, but, like many African frontiers, the location of the border is a matter of dispute.  The Somali government refuses to recognise oil licenses granted to multinational companies by Kenya, and has persuaded several oil-majors, including Total and the Norwegian state owned Statoil, to withdraw their claims. But, said the UN in July, the Italian firm, ENI, was still pressing ahead with its claims.

As Jonnie Carsons remarked in 2010, Jubaland “raises more questions than it answers.”  Standard

 

Kenya – Garissa death toll up to ten

Nation

The death toll from a terror attack in Garissa on Thursday night rose to 10 Friday.

                

Witnesses and survivors said the attackers wore red jackets and shot into the popular eatery in the centre of the town using AK47 rifles.

                

The dead were identified as Antony Gitau, Jagerland  Mulu, Samuel Kaheu, Daudi Mwaniki, John Maniu while the rest were only identified as Kingori, Moses, Fredrick and Michael. The 10th victim, who succumbed to injuries last night, was not identified at the time of going to press.

                

The attack took place at 8 pm and the victims were all men and non-Somalis.

                

The attackers also hurled grenades into the place as two others with pistols stood guard outside the building.

                

Friday tension was high in the town as businesses remain closed while residents were in a state of terror.

Mr Thomas Ambale, who suffered two bullet wounds on his arm, said he was paying the cashier when gunshots ensued and he felt a sharp pain in the arm. “I then saw bodies lying in pools of blood.”

                

Garissa Hospital superintendent Dr Musa Mohamed said the survivors were in a stable condition.

                

Garissa police chief George Losku could not be reached for comment.

                

Sources within the Garissa police said a massive operation was underway and several arrests made.

                

Thursday night’s attack at “Kwa Chege Holiday Inn” was the second on the eatery since a spate of terror attacks in Garissa began. Last year, six people were killed and dozens injured after a grenade attack by masked gunmen.

                

The attacks have been blamed on youth who were recruited into the forces of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

                

The attacks started after the Kenya Defence Forces began pursuing terror group Al-Shabaab in Somalia in October 2011.

                

Friday MPs from Garissa told the Press at Parliament Buildings the government needs to act now with Fafi MP Bare Shill saying: “The government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this deterioration of security. We need the security chiefs moved.”

                

Lagdera MP Mohammed Shidiye said Garissa town was now more insecure than Mogadishu.  “We have sent our troops to Somalia but our own people get killed each day in Garissa.  The county is so insecure that we (MPs) fear for our lives when we go there,” Mr Shidiye                

Present were Mr Abdikadir Omar (Balambala), Mr Mohammed Dahir (Dadaab), Mr Abdulaziz Farah (Mandera East) and the county women’s representative Shukra Hussein.  nation