Ethiopia: The Somali Campaign


June 5, 2012: While there has been no al Shabaab terrorism in Ethiopian cities, that's not the case in Kenya. There, a large ethnic Somali population in urban areas provides recruits for al Shabaab terrorism. Kenya’s business community is asking their government to increase security measure to stop Al Shabaab terror attacks. Businessmen want more armed police in downtown Nairobi and they want them assigned to guard buildings. Hotels are a special concern. Citizens of Nairobi are also concerned that Al Shabaab terrorists might use hijacked aircraft to attack buildings, like Al Qaeda did on 9-11. Kenya has suffered numerous terror attacks on buildings and markets. In August 1998, Al Qaeda terrorists destroyed the US embassy in Nairobi using a truck bomb. An Israeli-owned hotel in the Kenyan port of Mombasa was attacked with a vehicle bomb in November 2002.

June 3, 2012: The African Union (AU) Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) reported that a Djibouti peacekeeping unit of 100 soldiers has taken over Ethiopian Army positions in the Somalia town of (north central Somalia). The plan is that Ethiopian forces will attack Al Shabaab militiamen in new sectors and AMISOM peacekeepers will fill-in behind the Ethiopian Army, to maintain security in the liberated region.

June 2, 2012: Kenyan troops operating in Somalia have officially joined AMISOM’s peacekeeping force. Kenyan expeditionary forces are fighting Al Shabaab militiamen in southern Somalia. Kenya launched the incursion in October 2011, after Al Shabaab fighters launched a series of attacks in Kenya and kidnapped several Kenyan civilians. Kenya has indicated that it will ultimately deploy 4,631 soldiers in the AMISOM force.

June 1, 2012: Intelligence officials are warning Kenya that Al Shabaab intends to launch new terror attacks inside Kenya. Likely targets include skyscrapers in Nairobi.

May 31, 2012: The Ethiopian rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) said its members ambushed two Ethiopian military convoys in the Ogaden region and killed over 50 Ethiopian Army soldiers. There was no independent confirmation of the claim.

May 30, 2012: Kenyan Army forces (Kenyan Defense Forces, KDF) have taken the town of Afmadow in Somalia. Afmadow is located north-west of the key Al Shabaab-controlled seaport of Kismayo and is the junction for several major roads connecting southern Somalia to central and western Somalia. The KDF launched an assault on the town of Hayo and killed six Al Shabaab fighters in the resulting battle. The KDF then attacked toward Afmadow and its Al Shabaab defenders fled without resisting. Analysts now expect the KDF units in Afmadow to move toward Kismayo. Kismayo is Al Shabaab’s headquarters and its most important supply center.

May 29, 2012: Kenya reported that KDF naval vessels were fired upon by Al Shabaab forces near the port of Kismayo. The KDF vessels returned the fire and killed 11 militiamen. Al Shabaab disputed the Kenyan version of events and claimed that the Kenyan navy started shelling the port at three a.m. in the morning, then launched another gunfire attack at 6 a.m. on houses near port facilities.

May 28, 2012: A blast in a Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall injured 33 people. Security officials first attributed the blast to an electrical malfunction. However, police investigators now have evidence which indicates the blast may have been caused by a terrorist bomb. Witnesses claim they saw a bag left near the blast site.

May 22, 2012: Ethiopian officials said that Ethiopian military forces operating in Somalia intend to take more territory from Al Shabaab in southern Somalia. For several weeks Ethiopia has indicated that its forces in central and western Somalia would turn and head south, to link up with Kenyan and pro-Somali government forces near the port of Kismayo, which remains under Al Shabaab control.

May 21, 2012: Gunfire erupted in a refugee camp near the Sudan-Eritrea border. Refugees in the camp fought with police. One policeman was wounded. The camp, located at Shagarab, houses several thousand Eritrean refugees. No one claimed to know who was responsible for the gunfire. A spokesman for an aid agency said that most of the refugees are fleeing Eritrea. Some are trying to escape the Eritrean military conscription while others are fleeing the country’s deteriorating economic conditions.


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