African Union forces liberate Baraawe from al-Shabab

On Monday, October 6, Ugandan People’s Defence Forces Sector one commander, Brigadier General Dick Olum, kept his promise to liberate Baraawe, the last major Somali port town held by al-Shabab.

This was Mr. Olum’s last offensive as sector commander, as his one-year term comes to a close.

The African Union said al-Shabab was using the town, which the al-Qaeda-linked fighters had held for six years, as a base to launch attacks on Mogadishu, the capital.

A warning shot at 0100 G signified the start of the Hostility Hour or H-Hour, before Mr. Olum and 1500 strong African Union Mission To Somalia (AMISOM) forces, together with Somalia National Army, entered Baraawe at 02h00, meeting very little resistance.

“We faced some resistance on our way in but they are no match for us,” Mr. Olum told Al Jazeera’s Catherine Wambua-Soi, who was embedded with the AMISOM forces on their 220km, two-day journey to Baraawe. “They were actually retreating. They have been leaving in boats – heading southwards towards Jilib.”

In Baraawe, the special forces went door to door, checking for elements from the militant group and any improvised explosive devices they could have left behind.

The town residents, too afraid to venture out, peeped at the advancing troops from their houses.

However, by midmorning, residents started streaming into Sheikh Mahmoud Stadium. This is where al- Shabab militants had carried out their street justice with public stonings and arbitrary executions, even as recently as a few weeks ago, but yesterday the residents of Baraawe cheered on their Army and welcomed their government for the first time since the collapse of Somalia in 1991.

In his first visit since 2008, Abdikadhir Sheikh Mohammed Nor, the Governor of Lower Shabelle, danced with the people, promising them better days and more freedoms under his leadership and that of the Somalia central government. In front of a cheering, curious crowd, the governor honored his promise to cut his hair once Baraawe was liberated.

However, a new haircut is only just the beginning; the residents of the town told the governor that they want peace and a government that will bring change to their lives.

Catherine says the mood among the AMISON troops is optimistic. “This is a major victory for them, taking Baraawe. It was one of the main strongholds, the main port, their economic hub as well as their logistical center, the port they used to bring in fighters and weapons… Losing Baraawe is a big loss for al-Shabab, which is why the confidence is being felt so much here, because they’re saying if they can take Baraawe with so little resistance, then there’s no where else they can’t take… They’re saying that very soon they’re going to take all the territory that al-Shabab is still holding.”

Watch the report below:


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  • Oweja

    Of all the doctrinal rubbish Femi had been writing, this one stands out as an opinion with a ring of the truth. Christians are not obliged to pay tithes. The early Christians financed their ministry through voluntary offerings, it was not mandatory because God loves a cheerful giver.

  • Amir

    Satanic verses laced with distortions from the pit of occultism. True believers beware of faithless online preachers whose minds are full of anger, hatred and deceit.

    • DARLINGTON

      Amir, take a hike. We have had enough of your rants here. You are not even a Christian, so what the hell are you doing here spewing garbage every week?

    • Datti

      Most times I don’t agree with Femi because he sometimes turn the Bible around to support what he wants and thinks and, sometimes he thinks the Pauline letters are satanic and yet he turns around to quote them to support his views. As for politics, forget it, we are too parallel lines. He wanted the status quo while I wanted anybody but GEJ.
      However on this, he is quite right and I support him 100%. Christians are called to give and give generously, sacrificially. The widow and her mite is the standard – give as the Lord lays on your heart and you would, if you are a child of God.
      Tithe died with the Levitical Priesthood. Please study the administration of tithes in the old testament and check out how many tithes were there. None of the apostles demanded for tithe and, they received none. They were supported by free will offerings. Free will offerings persisted throughout the times of the founding fathers until such a time when the Bishops (Bishop again!) increased in number and people faith started to wane. The Bishops in 560AD or thereabout, decreed tithe into existence once again. Please check the Catholic Encyclopedia online.
      The bottom line is that Christians must give: to the course of evangelism, to the widows and orphans, to those in needs and to your Pastor (that’s why he earns a salary) and to every good cause. At the end of the day, some Christians give far in excess of the legalistic tithe which the book of Hebrews says is obsolete along with the other laws and ordinances. Doubt? Check Hebrews 8: 6-13. Thank you

  • attah8

    I believe in tithes but this article makes me think again when I see how the poor are being pauperized in churches. Case in point, Deeper Life High schools can be attended only by those who can afford it and most members of the church can’t and yet the church has no scholarship for the poor to attend. The same poor are faithful tithers in the church. The school is solely run as for profit