Somalia: Do Nothing And Hope For The Best

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April 18, 2007: The Transitional Government has dismissed 31 members of the 275 member parliament, who had allied themselves with the Islamic Courts. Meanwhile, nothing has been settled by the recent fighting, and ceasefire. The Islamic Courts, and the clans that support them, are waiting for an opportunity to renew the fighting. The Islamic radicals are raising more money and fighters overseas, especially in expatriate Somali populations. Historically, the Somali clans have to be hammered quite a bit more before they submit and settle down. The Ethiopians are willing to go in and persuade the hostile clans with force, but the UN wants to do nothing and hope for the best.

April 10, 2007: Over 120,000 civilians have fled Mogadishu in the last two months. About 20 percent of them ended up in refugee camps, the rest found sanctuary with kin outside the city.

April 15, 2007: The Mogadishu port re-opened for importing and exporting goods. While some Islamic radicals and clan gunmen continue to snipe at UN peacekeepers and Ethiopian troops, the city is largely calm.

April 14, 2007: In the north, several hundred gunmen from the independent areas of Puntland and Somaliland fought. The dispute was over exactly where the border was supposed to be.

April 13, 2007: Several dozen of the captured Islamic Courts fighters were from Somali refugee communities, and provided some detail on the extent of Islamic radicalism in Moslem communities living in the West. Although the Islamic Courts denies it has anything to do with international Islamic terrorism, the testimony of the "foreign volunteers" says otherwise.

April 12, 2007: The ceasefire largely holds, but clan politics has prevented a real peace. The Mogadishu clans, especially the Hawiye, are still not willing to play second fiddle to anyone. Everyone is waiting for the Ethiopians to leave, so they can force the peacekeepers out, and then resume their civil war.

 

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