Somalia: Axis Of Evil Joins the War

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September 20, 2007: In addition to all the disruption of the clan wars, about a quarter of the ten million population of Somalia is suffering from the long drought, and subsequent famine. The U.S. is providing millions of dollars a month in food aid, which is the bulk of the relief aid coming into the country.

Meanwhile, Transitional Government and Ethiopian forces continue to drive hostile clan populations out of Mogadishu. The displaced clans belong to the Islamic Courts Alliance, and are fighting for their economic survival. In a land of limited economic resources, control of parts of Mogadishu is worth a lot of money, and worth fighting over, which is what is happening. This has been going on for two decades now, since the first, and only, government of a united Somalia, finally collapsed in the early 1990s. The clans have been trying to work out a new, nationwide deal to unite and govern Somalia ever since. But too many clans would rather fight than talk, and that is still Somalia's curse. Meanwhile, over a million refugees, displaced by the fighting, are getting by in "temporary" camps, supplied by foreign charity (mainly from the United States.)

September 16, 2007: Saudi Arabia hosted the signing of a reconciliation agreement between several Somali clans. Saudi Arabia provided the necessary bribes and "gifts" needed to make this peace deal happen. Unfortunately, Somali clans, once bought, don't stay bought. So the Saudis will have to continue payments, as well as energetic diplomacy (to keep reminding the clan leaders of the connection between doing what the Saudis want, and the continued arrival of the cash.)

September 14, 2007: In Eritrea, the revived Islamic Courts Alliance (ICA, although officially, the "Anti-Ethiopian Alliance") has selected Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed as their leader. Thus the new phase in the two decade old Somali civil war has one coalition of clans forming the Transitional Government, while the other forms the ICA. The Transitional Government has the backing of the West and all of Somalias neighbors, except Eritrea. The ICA is backed by Eritrea and the Axis of Evil (Iran, North Korea and Islamic terrorists in general). The ICA has the support of clans comprising about a third of the counties population. The ICA has an edge because they believe God is on their side, and that anything goes. Actually, that's not a particular advantage in Somalia. The country has long been known for ruthless combat tactics. Women and children are regularly included in the fighting (either as human shields, or combatants) and regularly victimized. Both sides will play this up to the Western media, as an example of how evil their opponents are.

The ICA have another advantage in that they oppose the "foreign invader", Ethiopia. No matter that it was the ICA that attacked Ethiopia first, by reviving the rebellion in the Ethiopian province of Ogaden, and urging Somalis to liberate all of Ethiopia from the curse of Christianity. Them's fighting words in this part of the world, so the Ethiopians fought back. Ethiopia doesn't want to pull its troops out until the ICA is so weak that it cannot support violence inside Ethiopia.

 

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