Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen Releases Statement & Information on Burundian AMISOM Soldiers Slain at Battle of Dayniile
December 12, 2011 1 Comment
Harakat al-Shabab spokesman ‘Ali Mahamoud Rage (‘Ali Dheere) holding up a cross necklace or rosary belonging to a slain Burundian soldier at a press conference following fierce fighting between insurgent forces and Burundian soldiers from AMISOM in Dayniile, Mogadishu in late October.
-Christopher Anzalone (McGill University)
The Somali insurgent movement Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabaab) released via its press office today a statement and identifying information on a handful of the Burundian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) soldiers it says it killed during fierce fighting in Dayniile, a suburb of Mogadishu, in late October. Insurgent spokesman ‘Ali Mahamoud Rage (‘Ali Dheere) claimed at a press conference held soon after the battle, where scores of bodies in Burundian military uniforms were displayed, that 101 Burundian soldiers had been killed but that insurgents had only been able to retrieve 76 of their bodies. Harakat al-Shabab’s media department, the Al-Kata’ib (The Brigades) Media Foundation released a video documenting the battle at Dayniile on November 12, which I wrote about in detail as part of an article about the rapid evolution of the movement’s media, which was published at openDemocracy.
The statement may be read HERE.
The information released today includes names of a handful of Burundian soldiers with identifying information such as blood type, rank, and military specialization. Photographs of identification card were also released. Harakat al-Shabab’s media department has released similar types of identifying information in the past to disprove AMISOM denials that it has suffered casualties. For example, in October 2010 at least one Ugandan soldier was killed in a brazen Al-Shabab attack on an AMISOM position in Mogadishu. AMISOM officials denied that their forces had suffered any casualties or lost any equipment to insurgent forces. Within a week Harakat al-Shabab released a statement with photographs of a slain Ugandan soldier and a large amount of captured military equipment. This type of media savvy has long been displayed by Al-Shabab’s media department, which has most recently set up a Twitter account to spar with AMISOM, Kenyan, and other opponents online. It is unclear why Harakat al-Shabab waited this long to release this information when in the past it has been released soon after the event in question.
PHOTOGRAPHS RELEASED TODAY:
PHOTOGRAPHS RELEASED IN OCTOBER 2009 AFTER ATTACK ON UGANDAN POSITION: