Published On: Thu, May 24th, 2012

SOMALIA: Thousands flee as troops build up in Afgoye corridor

Photo: Somalis flee military build up in Afgoye (AF/photo)

MOGADISHU — Thousands of people in speeding trucks or pulling carts piled high with clothes and furniture fled a region north of Mogadishu on Thursday amid the sounds of gunfire and explosions as government troops and their allies tried to take more ground from Islamist insurgents.

The Afgoye corridor has been a shelter for hundreds of thousands of people seeking relief from violence that has plagued Mogadishu the last several years.

African Union and Somali forces pushed al-Shabab militants out of Mogadishu last August and are now trying to seize areas outside of Mogadishu. This week, they moved into the Afgoye corridor to pursue al-Shabab.

“It was a scary situation. Fighting has been going on since yesterday, so this is a chance to escape,” said Hakimo Ahmed, who fled from Afgoye town, 30 kilometers (20 miles) outside Mogadishu, with her five children. “Everyone has fled. Only animals and armed men are on the streets.”

She spoke with a reporter at a checkpoint where police searched people and their household goods.

Another Somali fleeing the fightingsaid anti-aircraft missiles were slamming into homes. Heavily armed soldiers and tanks massed on scrubland on the edge of Afgoye town. Military officials predict they will soon control it.

“Al-Shabab is on the backfoot,” claimed Paddy Ankunda, the spokesman of the African Union force in Somalia. “The idea is to set free the displaced people in Afgoye so that they can access humanitarian aid.”

An estimated 400,000 refugees had been in the agricultural town.

The top U.N. humanitarian official for Somalia, Mark Bowden, on Wednesday called on African Union and Somali troops to minimize the impact of the fighting on civilians. He said he is concerned prolonged fighting could lead to displacement of settlements where victims of last year’s famine now live.

Mogadishu is already teeming with thousands of displaced people, including squatters recently evicted from government-owned buildings. Rental prices have recently shot up as Somalia’s capital undergoes normalization after two decades of anarchy.

“I don’t know where I shall stay with my children, because there are no homes,” Mahad Tifow, a refugee, said in Mogadishu. “We can’t rent homes because they are overpriced.”

By The Associated Press (AP)

May 24, 2012

  • kaboon

    lets hope they dont flee to hargaisa as there is thousands of them

    • Abraham

      You are an idiot.

  • Gobaad

    What happened to "Somalia Set to End Failed State Status" and if so, why thousands of people are fleeing the country? I guess, it is only propaganda tactics to mislead the world on the reality on the ground. Somaliland should close its borders for both refugees and Al-shabaab

    • khaatumo sitizen

      what borders are u talking about,?? they are welcome anywhere in north somalia. especially in khaatumo state, boocame, taleex, boohuudle, xudun lascanod, ceergabo, and so on ,, there are countless people from the sourth right now..

      • Kayse

        She is talking about the gates of Morgan's former house, in the Council that is called "borders". The Somalis from South are all over north and its their country.

        • HMObsiye

          Sorry, I can't resist this.You need to seek a psychiatric evaluation to check your mental well-being. If you don not have one already.

          • Kayse

            Is that your best rebut?

            Close the gates of Morgan's house before Silanyo has high blood pressure after he learns al shabab are on the run and Somalia is going to end transition…

            Once Somalia liberates the south it will come to Hargeisa and free all those mentally sick people that are chained up.

            I find it funny that you talk about psychiatric evaluation but the Council doesn't have a single one that's why everyone is on chains.

            You got owned again.

          • ahmed

            @kayse.
            don’t argue some of These people for one reason most of Them Their mentall stutas not up to scrach,cuz They are living totaly different orbit.

        • khaatumo sitizen

          i agree i mean how they be so cruel these people gone through enough already..

          • Gobaad

            khaatumo sitize, yarey inaad kan u nacamayso mooyaane, don't you have anything of your own to say? Cajiib!

          • khaatumo citizen

            what? now cant i agree with him on something lool

    • ahmed

      are you talking about two sub clans plus 500 ill-equipped militia council police could close unknown border, This showes how your mentall wellbeing is.These somali citizen They don’t have to go near cannibal councel militia put can live any part of nothern somalia as They wish THIS IS THEIR COUNTRY TOO.

      • ahmed

        @Gobaad.

      • Gobaad

        ahmed, don't just cut and past what this low life caled Kayse says, come up with something that makes sense. About those you are talking about, we have tens of hundreds and we don't want anymore. They are running from their country, but this is our country and we don't need them anymore because we have more than enough of them in our country.

        • ahmed

          Gobaat,no one is doing cut & past here whole of somalia and The world are getting real picture what is going on This small Enclave region.There is no such Thing called s/land country it’s all in your tiny little confuse brain cells telling you That.These are somali citizen They can live where ever They want in somalia if council militia keep Threatning These civilains we will sent AU one battlion to protect Them.

      • kaboon

        may allah forgive your father for having you. these monkeys should stay in their mogadisho and not bring their filth to hargaisa.

        • xudeyfa

          probably you like cleaning white asses as usual norrow minded.

  • Burcawii

    Look at those innocent kids and their poor mother faces. I’m sure she is thinking about what she is going to do to feed her kids and if they are going to make it. They have been struggling for years because of the different Somali wars. Other families may not be fortunate enough because they will end up walking hundreds of kilometers and leaving all their belongings behind. The least we can do is accepting southern refugees and helping them until their crisis is over.

    This is another advantage of having two different governments or states. This way, if one state goes to war the other state will be able to help the refugees and try to bring the different parties together to solve their conflict peacefully.

    Wallaweyn, what you think?

  • mohamed cheers

    The TFG is blame for the miseries of Somalia. No body else.
    Cheers.

  • Kayse

    Most of these people are originally from Mogadishu and have not had the opportunity to relocate back to their homes yet as they were moving out in small numbers.

    They were staying in makeshift homes in Ceelasha Biyaha, which is an area between the agricultural town of Afgoi (Afgoye) on the Shabelle river and Mogadishu. Its in Lower Shabelle region and north-east of Mogadishu.

    These people are now fleeing back to Mogadishu because Mogadishu which is more important than Afgoye is now almost entirely free of al shabab (theres still the hidden suicide bombers).

    The idea is that AMISOM and Somali troops will clear al shabab from Lower Shabelle, central Somalia and then they will attack Middle Jubba and Lower Jubba where some Kenyan forces are already based.

    This is the start of liberating Somalia from the crazy terrorists and after that Somali troops will move north to Puntland pirate bases then to the Council in Hargeisa and Somalia will be reunified under one Somali race.

    Pirateland and the Council have under two months to disarm. If Pirateland thinks they will survive they are wrong because no Somali wants such thing called federal.

  • Allemagan

    It is good news and is encouraging to see Al-Shabab is on the run. We are grateful to Somali armed forces and AMISOM troops for their heroic action against the misguided religious fundamentalists and their foreign terrorists. Our people that lived under the ruthless reign of Alshabab for the last few years have seen more than horror; enough slaughtering of innocents, chopping off peoples' hands and feet and massacring of Somali children as child soldiers. Somalia will be free from the never ending bloodletting of Alshabab and our people will know the taste of peace and tranquillity.

    Aside from that, the war against Alshabab is being conducted very slowly and without a plan. Although the TFG with the help of AMISOM was able to liberate a few areas including Mogadishu, their strategy to win the war is total failure; it took the government to free Mogadishu more than one year. It took the government another 6 months to capture Deynile which is in the outskirts of Mogadishu. It took the government another four or more months to reach Ceelasha Biyaha (water wells). All these locations lie between Mogadishu and Afgoie and all these location became commercial hubs. Today they are fighting in Afgoie which lies a mere 30 miles from Mogadishu. This is a very painful way to conduct a war and the agony of our people is being prolonged. Let us remember that it took the Ethiopian troops only one week to occupy all of southern Somalia including Ras Kamponi in 2006. Even today if Ethiopian troops were brought to this front, Alshabab will quickly melt away and retreat to Kismayo in a haste. Something is rotten in the TFG and MISOM campaign. All is not well in the AMISOM and Somali armed forces front.

    Also, the prolonged fight in Somalia has brought about illegal economic parasites that thrive under lawlessness and anarchy. You would think that the displaced populace that are on the move here would run for their lives and come back to the liberated areas. No, these economic parasites are moving to set up shop in Walowayne which lies 90 kilometers south of Mogadishu and is under the control of Alshabab. The government must give these economic traitors fair warning to leave Alshabab controlled area. The government must bluntly tell these economic criminals either you are with us or you are with the enemy. If they do not heed the warning, the government must bomb them and fight them as it fights Alshabab. Like a festering gangrene, sometimes one is forced to cut a limb to save a life.

  • Kayse

    Allemagan,

    The Somali government troops are moving painfully slow no doubt but one of the reason for that is because Somalia didn't have proper army that was fit enough to take on Al Shabab. In the last year, more than 6000 troops finished their training in Uganda and are now been deployed every month.

    Al Shabab still controls large junk of the country including the important Kismayo.

    The Kenyans have also stopped pursuing the al shabab and I question their real motives. Were they really there to secure their border or were they there to secure the recently discover oil blocks?

    I think its a combination of the two and I would say its more driven by the oil because shortly after their arrival the oil finds were announced. Somalia has to ask the Kenyans to leave or join the fight against al shabab.

    I know everyone is there for their own interest but we can also use them for our own interest. Let them clean up al shabab and once we rebuild our forces we can go after that oil which falls within Somalia's maritime borders.

    Right now the important thing is restoring Mogadishu, getting a unity government and small parliament, restoring the Somali confidence and desire to be united.

    Everything else will be achieved. Al shabab is the biggest obstacle.

    • ahmed

      Allemagan-kayse.
      I think both of you made good point here in your own way,put somali problem exists last twenty years neglected by international community & somali leaders Them self’s, no magic silver bullet will solve somali issue over night it will take time long bambi ride a head put defenitly taking right direction,as one somali poet siad”Goosba mar baa la siibaa ama la bixiyaa”.

  • mohamed cheers

    Allemagan and kayse two mad caps. At least Kayse admits Al shabab is the biggest obstacle.
    Listen you two isla baxay..Somalia Ilaahi lahaa ba u'maqan'e haw biqina. Balse waxa ogataan sidday
    wax u'socdaan dhibaatooyin'kuunba kusii kordhaya. Kayse, Don't you think these Afgoi fleeing
    Civilians back to Mogadiscio, with them the Alshabab will also flee back and then Mogadiscio
    becomes Alshabab full of suicidal bombers and what have you. Indeed Kayse as you said, Al shabab
    remains the biggest obstacle. Eventually, after the Egyptian Presidential elections, who knows the
    Alshabab might seek alliances with the new Egyptian Civilian Islamic brotherhood Govt. and Somalia,
    Sudan, Yemen, all AL/OIC countries might fall for the same new Egyptian ways of governances etc etc.
    Just hinting.
    Cheers.

  • Kayse

    This picture is for my fans: http://i48.tinypic.com/2i8g139.png, originally by Amin Amir but made it vector and changes.

    I predict by 2013 Silanyo and Dahabo will be on the run……….to……….UK, see which Dahabo I'm talking about.

  • Kayse

    Original: http://i45.tinypic.com/sbkb54.jpg by Amin Amir

  • HMObsiye

    When one is so delusional, they became so obsessed with one thing and stick to it like a magnet, our friend has become like that in recently weeks. He has been so obsessed with Somaliland that he can't see fact from fiction Somaliland is a fact denied it or not it's here to stay for ever.. These kind of people crave for attention and their only cure is not to pay attention to them then, tomorrow I am sure they will look for something else to obsessed with. our friend has become those group lately.

    My advice to all Somalilanders is to ignore the ignorant and continue fighting for our causes as we always do.

    Why waste time with unemployed, mentally challenged individuals, who has nothing else to do but sit in front of computer screen every minute, how else will one have all these time and continue writing garbage after garbage about ones own Country, that they use to swear in it?

    • Xarago

      @HMobsiye if SL for the land run let be it you will never achieve nothing with out international recognition and that will never happen, you have been isolated last 21 years and you will be like that if you don't come to the table and negotiate the future of Somalia power sharing half and half north and south. Sl region have opportunity today to negotiate maybe you will not have that tomorrow so take the opportunity. There is no development if there is noo international recognition and international community respect Somalia borders as one country.

  • Allemagan

    @Kayse,

    Do you think someone is behind all the problems facing Somali businesses like Hormud Telecom Somalia Inc? It is fascinating to see how many Somali businesses both in the north and south of Somalia are ending up in United Nations sanctions list one after another see here http://bit.ly/JBqeE8

    • Kayse

      I think Dahabshiil is in a secret campaign against Al Barakat, they succeeded before and now are after the new industry they recently entered — telecom. If you don't know Hormuud is a subsidiary company of Al Barakat and its northern division is Telesom. Dahabshiil's SomTel can't compete with them because al Barakat opens its share for all Somalis where as Dahabshiil reserves them for their subclan and few British investors.

      Al Barakat was the largest company in Somalia by 2001, after September 11th, it reinvented itself using different names, the company was never found of any terrorism connections and there was a court going on for them to reclaim their $25million that they lost.

      Telesom has over 200 Somali shareholders while Hormuud has over 600.

      Dahabshiil keeps its investors secret because all of them are from one subclan. They also try to silence all Somali media. Google "Dahabshiil employment of a PR firm to manipulate the results of google searches"

      I am sure they will soon write to Somalilandpress about this comment and its most likely it will be removed.

      Dahabshiil is employing people to lobby against large Somali firms.

      • Kayse

        Dahabshiil claims to be the largest employer in Somalia with a total workforce of 2000 but Hormuud has over 4000.

  • babz

    why does daha bshil always get atacked i dont get it. telesom and albarak have notinh to do with each other mate.

  • Gobaad

    Kayse-Dora, dhig haw dhigin. He is mentally unstable and his mental capacity is that of the "Dora" he draws!

  • Allemagan

    @Kayse,

    Great information. Here is a link from Huffington Post http://huff.to/8OVTg that shows that some Somali business people who are/were in competition with Albrakat had a hand in the misinformation that lead to placing that great Somali company in the UN black list.

  • Burcawii

    Talow ninka miyay sixreen. Warya Kayse, bal ayat el-kurse akhri dawr goor.

  • amal

    "ayat el-kurse akhri dawr goor" lool
    iyo sadexda qul acudu birabinaas

  • ali ahmed

    if you believe sixir & That garbage may be your not muslim.other Thing is ACCUALY persons with double disorders delusionist Thinking something does not exist need to be given some Qur’an.

  • Gobaad

    Wax la sirxay ma jireene, he mentally ill and isolated.

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