Somalia: Warlords Plunder Drought Aid


February 17, 2006: Fighting between tribal militias spilled over the border into Ethiopia, leaving at least 17 Somalis dead over the last few days. The fighting is over control of water and pasture land.

February 14, 2006: Pirates have forced the UN to send in drought aid by truck, but this is not working because warlords are attacking the convoys. In some parts of Somalia, the effects of the drought are causing the death rate to rise sharply.

Off the coast, the U.S. Navy rescued a 3,000 ton cargo ship that was being plundered by pirates.

February 13, 2006: Most of the warlords agreed to a truce so that the newly selected parliament could meet, for the first time, inside the country. The truce does not apply to plundering aid convoys and other forms of larceny. That's considered normal business.

February 10, 2006: In the last year, there have been several IEDs (roadside bombs) used in Somalia. It appears that one or more Islamic radical groups believe that the IED, because of its widespread use in Iraq. In Somalia, the IEDs are used against the UN and the transitional government, both of which are opposed by Islamic radicals. Some of the IEDs appear to have gone off as they were being set up, as these weapons are very much improvised. Apparently the design of the Somali IEDs was obtained from the Internet or television news.

February 9, 2006: Pirates freed twelve Filipino fishermen they had held for five months. The pirates had demanded $500,000 ransom for the men, but how much was actually paid was not revealed.


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