The Transitional National
Government (TNG) has approved the new peace deal signed in Djibouti last week, with
the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS). But a radical faction of the Islamic Courts Union
(the ICU, which is part of the ARS) refuses to go along. That means at least ten
percent of the clan warriors in southern Somalia are still officially at war
with the world, and many of the other gunmen in the region are willing to break
the truce, if the payoff is large enough. However, one thing the peace
agreement does do is further isolate the Islamic radical factions.
2008: Djibouti troops clashed with
soldiers from Eritrea on the border, resulting in nearly a hundred casualties. The
border dispute puts Eritrea at a disadvantage, because Djibouti has a defense
treaty with France, and some 3,000 French troops are stationed in Djibouti.
Eritrea also supports Islamic radicals fighting in Somalia.
2008: The UN is pleading for some nation
to send a warship at the end of the month, to continue escorting food ships
into Somalia. Without the escorts, the ships are liable to capture by pirates,
and held for ransom. With the increasing price of food, plus ransoms for
pirates, there will be much less food for the two million Somalis dependent on
the food aid.
2008: The renewed peace talks in
Djibouti, between the Transitional National Government (TNG) and the Islamic
Courts Union (ICU), produced a deal for a three month truce, during which time
many other issues would be worked out. But the ICU is split into two factions,
and the hard line one refuses to accept this deal (brokered by the UN) unless
Ethiopian troops withdraw.
2008: Islamic terrorists fired about
twenty mortar shells into the center of Mogadishu, causing several dozen
casualties among the unsuspecting population. The Islamic terrorists are trying
to regain control of the city, by creating chaos and panic among those still
living there. About half the city's population, belonging to clans that support
the Islamic radicals, have been driven out of the city.
off the coast of Puntland, a U.S. warship rescued a disabled people-smuggling
ship, with 70 people on board. The Somali and Ethiopian refugees were taken
back to Somalia. People smuggling is a big business in northern Somalia. Last
year, at least 5,000 people were moved across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen. About
ten percent didn't make it and died. The smugglers get $50-100 for each person