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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 08
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
08 Sep 2014

A Somali soldier stands in front of one of two minibuses that were hit by a suicide car bomb (VBIED) 20Km outside of Mogadishu on 9 September 2014.

12 civilians were killed and 27 wounded. Despite being weakened, Al Shabab were still able to carry out ambushes and attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These would often hit military targets, but would end up killing and maiming scores of civilians. Al Shabab displayed a blatant disregard for civilian casualties in their fight agains AMISOM/the government.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
31 Aug 2014

2011-2014

These photos profile the efforts over the past years of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to route Al-Shabab from its strongholds in Somalia.
Beginning with a large offensive in 2011, aimed at ending Al-Shabab rule in Somalia, Mogadishu was quickly retaken. Since then, AMISOM forces were able to steadily push Al-Shabab militants out of the outlying areas under their control.
In the summer and fall of 2014, AMISOM launched Operation Indian Ocean, which was another offensive aimed at eradicating pockets of Al-Shabab fighters still stationed in the Somali countryside. 

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 07
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
31 Aug 2014

Soldiers from UPDF 62 battalion sit in a Casspir Armoured Personnel Carrier on the way to join in the attack on KurtunWaraay on 31 August 2014. Somalia is big and mobility is key to AMISOM's ability to reclaim Al Shabaab controlled territory. Offensives thus involved a variety of armored personnel carriers to allow for movement of troops.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 11
Beled Amin
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Aug 2014

Ugandan AMISOM soldier guarding the outer perimeter at the forward operating base in Beled Amin during Operation Indian Ocean on 29 August 2014.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 06
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Aug 2014

As Al Shabaab lost their footholds around Mogadishu, and forces from other countries joined AMISOM, Somalia was carved up in sectors, each under control of an AMISOM contingent. Here a Ugandan Army colonel stands in front of his tank battalion in preparation for Operation Indian Ocean to reclaim the cities of Bulo Marer, Kurtunwaraay and eventually Barawe, in Lower Shabelle. 29 August 2014.

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Protests Against High University Tuit...
Nairobi, Kenya
By Ruud Elmendorp
20 May 2014

May 20, 2014

Nairobi, Kenya

Students at Nairobi University are protesting against an increase in registration fees.
Video shows clashes between university students and the police using clubs and tear gas to disperse the protestors.
According to the students, high fees are forcing some of their colleagues to drop out of school, which may lead them to join extremist groups such as al-Shabab, the Islamist extremist militia based in Somalia.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 12
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Jan 2013

The head of a suicide bomber, who blew himself up outside of State House, the seat of the government, in Mogadishu on 29 January 2013.

NOTE: GRAPHIC IMAGE

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 04
Arabiska
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 May 2012

A Ugandan T55 tank sits on the ridge overlooking Afgoye, during Operation Free Shabelle on 24 May 2012. Having superior fire power and a willingness to accept casualties, the Ugandan People's Defense Forces, supported by the Burundian National Defense Forces slowly pushed Al Shabab out of the capital and subsequently the regional population centers.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 05
Arabiska
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 May 2012

By May 2012, the Somali National Army was showing signs of coherence and the 6th Brigade fought alongside the Ugandan Army as the African Union Mission to Somalia captured the strategic city of Afgoye. The offensive was the first proper move out of Mogadishu and into Al Shabab's heartland. 24 May 2012.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 09
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
22 May 2012

Dead Al Shabaab fighter in the bush during Operation Free Shabelle to take the town of Afgoye on 23 May 2011.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 01
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
26 Mar 2012

Here a Somali warlord-turned-general relaxes with his entourage at a divisional HQ in Mogadishu on 26 March 2012. The Somali National Army was still in its infancy when the anti-Al-Shabab offensive began. The Army was initially comprised of little more than four pro-government clan militias loosely working together.

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The Somali National Army in the Somal...
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
01 Jan 2012

The Somali National Army - A far cry from the Somali Army of the Cold War often referred to as the Lion of Africa - has slowly emerged from the civil war as a somewhat coherent fighting force in the past few years capable of supporting and participating in various AMISOM offensives. When AMISOM deployed in Somalia in the spring of 2007 the Somali National Army was little more than clan militias loosely bound together with the aim of countering the threat of Al Shabaab and protect and preserve the Transitional Federal Government and its institutions. Since Al Shabaab in the autumn of 2010 tried and failed in the attempt to push the Transitional Federal Government and AMISOM into the sea, the Somali National Army has slowly evolved into the present fighting force capable of fighting Al Shabaab on their own terms. The development has been hampered by clan interests, lack of weaponry and training, but international efforts and an acceptance of common goals among the contributing clans have by now established it as a major actor in the rebuilding of the Somali State, but the road has been long and ardous.

The present compilation of pictures depicts the Somali National Army from training via deployment in the capital to actual participating in combat and the possible outcome.  

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 03
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
18 Nov 2011

The Somali Army soldiers were underfed, undertrained, under-equipped and often addicted to khat/mirra. Here a Somali soldier high on khat rests at a battalion HQ on the eastern frontline in Mogadishu on 18 November 2011.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 02
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
17 Nov 2011

Two widows of killed Somali Army soldiers collect the salary of their dead husbands in Mogadishu, on 17 November 2011. The Somali army, under-equipped and undertrained, took part in the fighting, losing thousands of soldiers in the process.

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The Somali National Army in the Somal...
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
15 Oct 2011

Somali National Army pick up truck with a 12.7mm Duskha heavy machine gun mounted on the back.

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The Somali National Army in the Somal...
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
15 Oct 2011

Somali National Army soldiers sit the back of pick up truck in the midst of a battle with al-Shabab.

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The Somali National Army in the Somal...
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
10 Oct 2011

Somali Army soldiers pile on the back of a pick up truck during the battle for the Pasta Factory in Mogadishu.

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The Somali National Army in the Somal...
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
10 Oct 2011

Somali soldiers and female khat suppliers wait to get paid.

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The Somali National Army in the Somal...
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
10 Oct 2011

Somali soldiers at the Coca Cola Factory in Mogadishu. The soldiers are in the midst of a battle to capture the factory.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 02
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
05 Oct 2011

Ugandan soldiers play checkers with bottle caps in a semi-destroyed building at the eastern part of Mogadishu on 5 October 2011. The Ugandan People's Defense Forces took heavy casualties in the hard fighting as they forced Al Shabaab out of the Somali capital.

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The Somali National Army in the Somal...
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
05 Oct 2011

Somali National Army soldiers with their weapons wait to receive their pay in Mogadishu.

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The Somali National Army in the Somal...
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
05 Oct 2011

Somali National Army soldiers and their heavy weaponry on the main street of Mogadishu.

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The Somali National Army in the Somal...
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
28 Sep 2011

Decades of fighting in Somalia has left a high number of amputees to end for themselves.

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Somalia: Routing Al-Shabab 10
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Jul 2011

An Al Shabaab sniper fires at a Ugandan soldier as he crosses an open area on the frontline during the battle of Bakara Market in Mogadishu on 29 July 2011. Notice the bullet hitting the ground right behind the running soldier.