Somalia: There Is A Plan

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August 14, 2007: The fighting in Mogadishu now pits the native Hawiye clan militia, and its allied clans, against the outside clan militias representing the Transitional Government, and their Ethiopian allies. The government is forcing the hostile populations to flee the city. The Hawiye clan has numbers, but lacks the firepower of the Ethiopians and government irregulars. The Hawiye clan gunmen have been unsuccessful trying to raid police stations and army camps. In response, the government troops go attack neighborhoods the raiders came from (or were believed to have come from), forcing the civilians to flee the city. The plan here is to drive out the hostile (willing to fight) elements, and then exploit the more docile segments of the population.

The government continues to host meetings between clan elders and chiefs, to try and broker some kind of peace. But in Somali politics, there's a tendency to downplay give and concentrate on take. Compromise is seen as a temporary setback. And everyone has guns, and is ready to use them. While international media and NGOs bemoan this sorry situation, no one is willing to step up and try and stop it. That was attempted in the early 1990s, and no one is eager to try it again. But complaining about Somalia is pretty safe, so there is plenty of that.

 

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