Somalia – 29 November 2014

‘Al-Shabab Doesn’t Want a Truce With Infidel Powers’
The violent campaign between Kenya’s government and Somali militants is escalating. On Sunday, a day after members of the al-Shabab group executed 28 passengers on a Kenyan bus, Kenya’s Vice President William Ruto announced that the country’s military had crossed into Somalia and attacked al-Shabab camps where the bus attack was planned. The combined air and ground attack killed over 115 militants and, according to Ruto, “identified, followed and struck the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.” A spokesman for al-Shabab denied Ruto’s claim, and the attack could not be independently verified.
The most recent round of violence began last week, when the Kenyan government conducted raids on at least four mosques suspected of being staging zones for terrorist attacks, leading to the arrest of 350 Muslims. Kenya claimed that it found weapons such as hand grenades in the mosques, proving that the places of worship had been turned into strategic locations for al-Shabab militants.
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Kenyan leader calls for joint efforts to ensure security
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday called for joint efforts to help restore security amid increased terror attacks in the East African nation. Kenyatta also urged the people of Kenya to play their part in ensuring the country’s security.
“The government will do more in the security sector but the responsibility of security first and foremost lies with you and me as citizens of this country,” he said in Nairobi when he launched 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. Kenyatta emphasized that as the government allocates more resources to the security sector, Kenyans need to be more vigilant to curb cases of insecurity. “Unless we change our mindset and take security matters as a personal responsibility, we will not succeed in solving the problem of insecurity because no matter how many police officers we deploy, they will not be everywhere to watch over us,” he said.

Officials say US threatens aid cuts to Somalia
The United States has threatened to make significant cuts in the financial assistance it gives to Somalia because of political bickering by its leaders, officials said.
The top U.S. representative to Somalia, James P. McAnulty, recently threatened an aid cut unless the country’s bickering president and prime minister begin working together, a Somali official said Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of providing details about private discussions.
The international community is losing confidence in the Somali government, and the United States has threatened to pull military and financial support from Somalia, said a United Nations official who insisted on anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The U.S. Embassy declined to comment on the reported threat of an aid cut. In a statement this week, Washington said it was concerned about “recent political turmoil” in Somalia and that plans for a no-confidence vote “do not serve the interests of the Somali people.”
Washington also this week announced it would not attend an international conference on Somalia next week in Denmark, saying political divisions are distracting Somalia’s leadership.
“I think they’re basically saying if you want more money and support from us, you need to fix these problems,” said E.J. Hogendoorn, an Africa expert at the International Crisis Group.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed have feuded since Mohamud last month rejected a Cabinet reshuffle by the prime minister. The president has been trying to call a no-confidence vote in parliament, and the U.N. has said it’s concerned about vote buying allegations surrounding the vote.
The U.S. gave $58 million to Somalia in development assistance in this fiscal year and an additional $271 million in military assistance for the Somali national army and the African Union force in Somalia.

Somalia faces ‘no confidence vote’ with fear of instability
reported this note: Somalia’s prime minister will face a ‘no confidence’ vote next week, a lawmaker said on Friday, as frustrated donors voiced concerns over another bout of political infighting which could slow an economic recovery from more than two decades of war.
Western donors who have promised to help rebuild Somalia’s battered institutions worry that the removal of a second prime minister in less than a year will weaken the government and leave it rudderless in its fight against Islamist rebels.
Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, an economist who has been in charge since December 2013, fell out with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud last week over a cabinet re-shuffle, prompting the no-confidence vote. Legislator Dahir Amin Jesow told Reuters the parliamentary motion against Ahmed, which had the backing of 140 lawmakers, was presented to the speaker of the 275-seat chamber on Thursday and would be debated on Nov. 15.