Somalia: Not Worth The Effort


March 18,2008: About a hundred Islamic Courts Union (ICU) gunmen are wandering around Somalia, making appearances and photo opportunities for whatever journalists they can find. This crew calls itself Shabab. The government responded by offering to negotiate with the ICU, or anyone else who was a player and willing to talk. The Shabab and ICU said no to negotiations, as they were on a Mission From God, and we all know how that works. The ICU, and the clans that support them, have been driven out of Mogadishu, with several thousand clan members still fleeing the city each week. The ICU leadership is now headquartered in Eritrea. Most ICU gunmen have been driven out of Mogadishu (along with the clan population they were a part of) and are now operating from wherever those refugees ended up (refugee camps, or the homes of kinsmen throughout central Somalia.) The ICU can keep up the violence going indefinitely, living off plunder. This includes UN food aid, which is taken by groups of gunmen at will. The UN wants peacekeepers to prevent this, but the UN has been unable to recruit a large enough peacekeeper force. Few countries, even in the region, are willing to risk their troops lives for chaotic Somalia.

The ICU related fighting is only part of the violence in Somalia, which has always been the case. Some 750 kilometers north of Mogadishu, tribes fought over real estate, leaving about three dozen dead and wounded.

Pirates in the north have released a Russian ocean going tug, seized last year, after a $700,000 ransom was paid. In the south, NATO warships continue to escort UN supply ships, which are bringing in food and other supplies for the ten percent of the Somali population that are refugees.

March 5, 2008: The target of the March 3rd cruise missile attack was Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, an al Qaeda leader responsible for organizing attacks in East Africa in 1998 and 2002. Nabhan has been using Somalia as a refuge for the last decade. There have been at least four attempts to kill or capture Nabhan since then, and all have failed.


Article Archive

Somalia: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close