Somalia: Peace Deal Is Dead On Arrival

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June 17,2008: The Transitional National Government (TNG) has approved the new peace deal signed in Djibouti last week, with the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS). But a radical faction of the Islamic Courts Union (the ICU, which is part of the ARS) refuses to go along. That means at least ten percent of the clan warriors in southern Somalia are still officially at war with the world, and many of the other gunmen in the region are willing to break the truce, if the payoff is large enough. However, one thing the peace agreement does do is further isolate the Islamic radical factions.

June 14, 2008: Djibouti troops clashed with soldiers from Eritrea on the border, resulting in nearly a hundred casualties. The border dispute puts Eritrea at a disadvantage, because Djibouti has a defense treaty with France, and some 3,000 French troops are stationed in Djibouti. Eritrea also supports Islamic radicals fighting in Somalia.

June 10, 2008: The UN is pleading for some nation to send a warship at the end of the month, to continue escorting food ships into Somalia. Without the escorts, the ships are liable to capture by pirates, and held for ransom. With the increasing price of food, plus ransoms for pirates, there will be much less food for the two million Somalis dependent on the food aid.

June 9, 2008: The renewed peace talks in Djibouti, between the Transitional National Government (TNG) and the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), produced a deal for a three month truce, during which time many other issues would be worked out. But the ICU is split into two factions, and the hard line one refuses to accept this deal (brokered by the UN) unless Ethiopian troops withdraw.

June 8, 2008: Islamic terrorists fired about twenty mortar shells into the center of Mogadishu, causing several dozen casualties among the unsuspecting population. The Islamic terrorists are trying to regain control of the city, by creating chaos and panic among those still living there. About half the city's population, belonging to clans that support the Islamic radicals, have been driven out of the city.

Meanwhile, off the coast of Puntland, a U.S. warship rescued a disabled people-smuggling ship, with 70 people on board. The Somali and Ethiopian refugees were taken back to Somalia. People smuggling is a big business in northern Somalia. Last year, at least 5,000 people were moved across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen. About ten percent didn't make it and died. The smugglers get $50-100 for each person they transport.

 

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