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Mistaken Movie

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A group of international gangs and Terrorists. For their job to be effective and not to draw so many attention they hire jobless young men to do their job, the men marry ladies from Somalia and bring them to Kenya but when they reach Kenya, they disappear and never be seen again. Jamal (Lead Character) finally defies their order and fights for the poor lady he brought in the pretext of marriage with the help of another gang member will they succeed? Crew. Executive Producer – Burhan Iman Director – Abidweli Elmi Script – Abdiweli Elmi Videography – Rage Abdirahim Video Editing – Rage Abdirahim Cast Hassan A Salat – Jamal Anfac – Aisha Qali Ahmed (Qali ladan) – Deqa Amir – Amir Africa – Africa

Long Considered a Threat, Can Youth Take Lead in Peacebuilding?

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Members of a pro-peace youth group perform in Nairobi's Kibera slum following a recurrence of violent rhetoric within the community. Nairobi, Kenya, July 28, 2014. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)

The challenge for policymakers will be to develop more youth and community-driven programs that effectively engage young people in the ways outlined in the UN resolution.

There are already a number of promising prototypes in this respect. Nairobi’s Eastleighwood Youth Forum (EYF), for example, has established “peace forums” and youth dialogues to provide alternative paths for marginalized Muslim and ethnic Somali community members considering joining al-Shabaab.

These monthly events gather more than 200 young people to discuss concerns within their community, and how to combat extremism through peaceful means. According to EYF’s own data, its programs have seen more than 50 young people move away from violence and extremism, as well as a drop in violence in the Eastleigh community. 

Margaret Williams is a Policy Analyst at the International Peace Institute.

Garissa school kids on holiday unaware of looming FGM cut

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Monday November 27, 2017

As schoolchildren start the Christmas holidays, many parents in Garissa are plotting ways to have them undergo FGM.

This is despite knowing well the law prohibits Female Genital Mutilation. However, the parents organise to have the girls undergo the cut in secrecy.

This has drawn attention from the area administration, NGOs fighting FGM, clerics, scholars and the Nyumba Kumi initiative. They have intensified campaigns in the last two weeks to end the vice.

A series of meetings targeting area chiefs and youth organised by Sisters Maternity Home, a vocal anti-FGM crusader in Garissa, arrived at a consensus to take the fight to the rural areas.

The campaigners educate the community on the health and legal implications of the practice.

Statistically, the Somali community has the highest rates of FGM in the world. About 95 per cent of girls between the ages of four and 11 undergo FGM, according to Unicef.

FGM is a rite of passage that involves removal of the external female genitalia. It was officially banned by the UN in 2012, but is still widely practised.

During the workshops conducted in Bula Mzuri sublocation, two circumcisers handed over their tools to assistant chief Hubba Abdullahi after learning of the legal consequences if found culpable.
Abdullahi said they have information that some Somalis, from as far as Britain and Nairobi, are taking their girls to either villages in Tana River or in the refugee camps in Dadaab to undergo the cut.

It has been difficult to do it near the towns. Abdullahi said the circumcisers are making a killing out of the exercise. They charge between Sh1,000 and Sh2,000 per girl for the cut. Some years back a woman would circumcise up to 50 during a season.

Zahara Hashi, a nurse at Simaho, said at least three cases of retained menstruation, formation of cyst and delayed delivery are reported at the facility every week. These conditions lead to fistula and may cause permanent disability.

Some of the women have since been divorced for sexually underperforming.

Sheikh Hussein Mahat, an Islamic scholar, said the practice commonly witnessed among the Somali community has nothing to do with religion.

He said Islam is against the cut and it is nowhere in the Holy Quran or even in the countries where the religion started. Mahat adds that it is purely a cultural practice that has been sneaked into the religion by a few selfish individuals.

Kenyan-Somali, black, Muslim and Canadian: new doc explores Canada's hyphenated identities

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Wednesday November 15, 2017

Short documentary 'Hyphen-Nation' by 22-year-old Torontonian puts five black women in conversation

A new documentary by a 22-year-old Toronto filmmaker is analyzing what is means to be an immigrant in Canada.

Directed and produced by Samah Ali, Hyphen-Nation features a 14-minute conversation between five women of colour that is inspired by her own cultural experience. 

The women discuss how their cultural heritage influences their identities as Canadians and immigrants.

"The whole conversation is what's your hyphen?" explained Ali, calling her debut film a "nuanced" discussion about what black Canadian identities look like.

"And that's what opens it up to so many people to identify with because whether it's themselves or their family members who have an immigration story, everybody typically has a hyphen."

The women are asked if they identify with being black Canadians.

Ali explains this is both liberating and tragic. She identifies as a Kenyan-Somali woman, along with a Muslim woman and a black woman.

"I don't know if I identify strongly as a Canadian, but definitely when I leave Canada I identify as a Canadian," she said despite being born and raised in Toronto.

"The other parts of my identity, the ones that are more visible, the ones that I practice everyday are definitely the ones that are on the forefront of my mind. Compared to my Canadianness, it's something that I'm not really aware of until I have my passport and I'm travelling to other countries."
Sojin Chun, programmer for Regent Park Film Festival, says the short documentary captures the theme of the festival.

"We really want to show different narratives that you wouldn't normally see through other means, through the mainstream media," she said.

The three day event is free and showcases the work of women of colour which reflects Toronto's east end neighbourhood.

"We really make sure we represent all the cultures that are present in Regent Park," said Chun.

Ali explains this is why she wanted Hyphen-Nation to premiere at the film festival.

"I want this film to foster a greater community, not only in Canada, but also worldwide." 

US-targeted ISIS in Somalia could be a 'significant threat'

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Tuesday November 14, 2017

Mogadishu - The Islamic State group's growing presence in Somalia could become a "significant threat" if it attracts fighters fleeing collapsing strongholds in Syria and Iraq, experts say, and already it seems to be influencing local al-Shabaab extremists to adopt tactics like beheadings.

The US military this month carried out its first drone strikes against ISIS fighters in Somalia, raising questions about the strength of the group that emerged just two years ago. A second strike targeted the fighters on Sunday, with the US saying "some terrorists" were killed.

The Islamic State group burst into public view in Somalia late last year as dozens of armed men seized the port town of Qandala in the northern Puntland region, calling it the seat of the "Islamic Caliphate in Somalia." They beheaded a number of civilians, causing more than 20 000 residents to flee, and held the town for weeks until they were forced out by Somali troops, backed by US military advisers.

Since then, ISIS fighters have stormed a hotel popular with government officials in Puntland's commercial hub of Bossaso and claimed their first suicide attack at a Bossaso security checkpoint.

This long-fractured Horn of Africa nation with its weak central government already struggles to combat al-Shabaab, an ally of al-Qaeda, which is blamed for last month's truck bombing in the capital, Mogadishu, that killed more than 350 in the country's deadliest attack.

The Trump administration early this year approved expanded military operations in Somalia as it puts counterterrorism at the top of its Africa agenda.

The US military on Sunday told The Associated Press it had carried out 26 airstrikes this year against al-Shabaab and now the Islamic State group.

For more than a decade, al-Shabaab has sought a Somalia ruled by Islamic Shariah law. Two years ago, some of its fighters began to split away to join the Islamic State group. Some small pro-ISIS cells have been reported in al-Shabaab's southern Somalia stronghold, but the most prominent one and the target of US airstrikes is in the north in Puntland, a hotbed of arms smuggling and a short sail from Yemen.

The ISIS fighters in Puntland are now thought to number around 200, according to a UN report released this month by experts monitoring sanctions on Somalia. The experts traveled to the region and interviewed several imprisoned ISIS extremists.

The UN experts documented at least one shipment of small arms, including machine guns, delivered to the Islamic State fighters from Yemen. "The majority of arms supplied to the ISIL faction originate in Yemen," ISIS defectors told them.

A phone number previously used by the ISIS group's US-sanctioned leader, Abdulqadir Mumin, showed "repeated contact" with a phone number selector used by a Yemen-based man who reportedly serves as an intermediary with senior ISIS group leaders in Iraq and Syria, the experts' report says.

While the Islamic State group in Somalia has a small number of foreign fighters, the Puntland government's weak control over the rural Bari region where the ISIS group is based "renders it a potential haven" for foreign ISIS fighters, the report says.

The ISIS group's growing presence brought an angry response from al-Shabaab, which has several thousand fighters and holds vast rural areas in southern and central Somalia, in some cases within a few dozen miles of Mogadishu.

Al-Shabaab arrested dozens of members accused of sympathising with the Islamic State faction and reportedly executed several, according to an upcoming article for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point by the center's Jason Warner and Caleb Weiss with the Long War Journal.

Civilians in areas under al-Shabaab control have suffered. "Possibly in response to the growing prominence of ISIL, al-Shabaab imposed more violent punishments, including amputations, beheading and stoning, on those found guilty of spying, desertion or breaches of sharia law," the new UN report says.

Some Somali officials say al-Shabaab has begun to de-escalate its hostility against the ISIS fighters as its initial concerns about rapid growth have eased. Al-Shabaab has begun to see ISIS in Somalia as a supplementary power that could help its fight against Puntland authorities, said Mohamed Ahmed, a senior counterterrorism official there.

Officials also believe that the Islamic State group has difficulty finding the money to expand. Its fighters are paid from nothing to $50 a month, the UN report says.

"For them, getting arms is a lot easier than funds because of the tight anti-terrorism finance regulations," said Yusuf Mohamud, a Somali security expert.

For now, no one but al-Shabaab has the ability to carry out the kind of massive bombing that rocked Mogadishu last month. For the Puntland-based ISIS fighters to even reach the capital, they would have to pass numerous checkpoints manned by Somali security forces or al-Shabaab itself.

That said, two Islamic State fighters who defected from al-Shabaab and were later captured told the UN experts they had received airline tickets from Mogadishu to Puntland's Galkayo as part of the ISIS group's "increasingly sophisticated recruitment methods," the UN report says.

Scenarios that could lead to ISIS fighters gaining power include the weakening of al-Shabaab by the new wave of US drone strikes, a new offensive by the 22 000-strong African Union force in Somalia or al-Shabaab infighting, says the upcoming article by Warner and Weiss.

On the other hand, "it is a strong possibility that given the small size of the cells and waning fortunes of Islamic State globally, the cells might collapse entirely if their leadership is decapitated."

That's exactly what the US military's first airstrikes against the Islamic State fighters this month were aiming to do, Somali officials told the AP. The US says it is still assessing the results.



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According to a UN report obtained by Reuters, ISIS has increased from a dozen to some 200 foot soldiers this year in Somalia.
The report said: “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction loyal to Sheikh Abdulqader Mumin – estimated … in 2016 to number not more than a few dozen…, has growing significantly in strength, and [now] consists of as many as 200 fighters.
“Even a few hundred armed fighters could destabilise the whole region.
“It (air strikes) is a recognition from the U.S. that the situation in terms of the (Islamic State) faction in Puntland is becoming increasingly critical.”
The increase in strength of ISIS in Somalia has attracted attention because some security officials fear it could offer a safe haven for terrorists fleeing military defeat in Syria or Iraq.
Only last week the US executed counter-terrorism drone strikes against ISIS fighters in Somalia for the first time killing “several terrorist”, US Africa Command said.
Somalia’s main terrorist group is Al-Shabaab who are aligned with Al-Qaeda. No confrontation between the two terrorist groups in Somalia have taken place.

slamic State's footprint spreading in northern Somalia: U.N

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Wednesday November 8, 2017
By Katharine Houreld

NAIROBI (Reuters) - A militant faction loyal to Islamic State (IS) has increased its following in northern Somalia from a few dozen last year to up to 200 this year, a U.N. report said, days after the group came under U.S. air attack for the first time.

The increase in strength of the IS spin-off group has attracted attention because some security officials fear it could offer a safe haven for Islamic State militants fleeing military defeat in Syria or Iraq.

“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction loyal to Sheikh Abdulqader Mumin - estimated...in 2016 to number not more than a few dozen..., has growing significantly in strength, and (now) consists of as many as 200 fighters,” said the report by a panel of U.N. experts obtained by Reuters.

“Even a few hundred armed fighters could destabilize the whole region,” said a regional diplomatic security source. “It(air strikes) is a recognition from the U.S. that the situation in terms of the (Islamic State) faction in Puntland is becoming increasingly critical.”

Somalia has been riven by civil war and Islamist militancy, though more in the south than in the north where the Puntland region is located, since 1991 when clan warlords overthrew a dictator before turning on each other.

Friday’s air strikes failed to kill Mumin, the security source said. But Abdirizak Ise Hussein, director of semi-autonomous Puntland’s spy service, said the strikes killed about 20 militants, including a Sudanese fighter and two Arabs.

Almost all Mumin’s fighters are Somali, the U.N. report said, though the group is believed to include a Sudanese man sanctioned by the United States. The group also has contacts in Yemen. It was unclear if the Sudanese man under U.S. sanctions was the same one reported killed in the air strike.

“The number of IS fighters in Puntland has increased. Mostly they come from southern Somalia and a few, including foreigners, come from Yemen,” Colonel Abdirahman Saiid, a military officer in Puntland, told Reuters.

The U.N. report said defectors from Mumin’s faction reported the group had received money and orders from Iraq and Syria, and one member said he had seen Mumin and another leader using TrueCrypt software to communicate with them. The United Nations could not independently verify those claims.

Mumin’s group has been slowing increasing its activity over the past year. In late 2016, it occupied the port of Qandala in Puntland, a semi-autonomous region, for a month.

Earlier this year, it carried out its first attacks. Its fighters killed four guards at a hotel in Bosasso, the economic capital of Puntland, in February. The same month, the group beheaded three men it had kidnapped.

Somalia’s main Islamist insurgent group, al Shabaab, is aligned with al Qaeda and is most active in the Horn of Africa country’s south. It has repeatedly clashed with the Islamic State-aligned faction in the north.

Additional reporting by Abdiqani Hassan in Bosasso; editing by Mark Heinric