Somalia: Fighting For an Islamic Republic

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May 25, 2006: Fighting in Mogadishu, between Islamic Courts and anti-terror alliance gunmen, increased. There were apparently over 40 casualties in two days of battles, with over a dozen dead. The transitional government is unraveling because of this fighting. That's because some of the anti-terrorist warlords fighting in Mogadishu are in the government, and are not happy with the fact that most other warlords are unwilling to support them. The Islamic Courts want to establish an Islamic Republic in Somalia, which threatens the interests of all the clan leaders, but they prefer to fight the Islamic Courts if they come to them, and not travel to Mogadishu to do it.

May 24, 2006: In Mogadishu, Islamic Courts and anti-terror alliance gunmen began fighting again. Civilians could be seen fleeing the vicinity of the fighting and there were at least a dozen casualties.

May 23, 2006: The U.S. has pointed out that it has contributed $83 million in food and other, non-lethal, aid to groups in Somalia that are willing to resist pro-Islamic terror groups. The aid included help for the transitional government.

May 22, 2006: In Baidoa, where the transitional government is set up, a local radio station was shut down by pro-government gunmen, after the station ran an anti-government interview with a local clan chief.

May 21, 2006: In Mogadishu, Islamic Courts broke the ceasefire and fired on anti-terror alliance positions. Several people were killed and a compound belonging to a anti-terror alliance warlord was overrun. The Islamic Courts also staged anti-American demonstrations for the available media. The U.S. has denied supplying weapons to the anti-terror alliance, but anti-American activists have seized on this accusation as a new theme for their anti-American propaganda.

In Baidoa, the transitional government changed its mind and now approves the use of African Union peacekeepers (but only from Sudan or Uganda) in Somalia. Neither of these nations has shown a lot of interest in sending peacekeepers to Somalia.

May 20, 2006: Groups of armed men from the Islamic Courts and the anti-terror alliance militia groups gathered in northern Mogadishu, which caused thousands of local civilians to flee in anticipation of new fighting. Meanwhile, the European Union has offered the transitional government $70 million in aid. It will be revealing to see if that money is largely stolen, or actually applied to aid projects.

 

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