Somalia: Making War On Foreign Aid Workers

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July 7, 2008: Islamic terrorists are believed to be killing and kidnapping foreign aid workers in retaliation for U.S. missile attacks on terrorist leaders (especially the May 1st attack that killed  Aden Hashi Ayro, al Qaeda's top man in Somalia). Actually, the Islamic radical groups won't come right out and say that revenge is the  reason for the increased violence, but reports about sermons in mosques and speeches by pro-Islamic warlords indicates a desire to "cleanse" Somalia of all the non-Moslems (especially the Ethiopians). The Islamic terrorists have good reason to want the Ethiopians gone, for these troops are there mainly to destroy the Islamic radicals. It is the Islamic radicals who preach the need to invade Ethiopia and destroy this Christian nation in a Moslem region. The Ethiopians have resisted this sort of thing for over a thousand years, and tend to get a little intense when their destruction is discussed so openly by the Somalis.

No one appears able, or willing, to implement the peace deal. This arrangement depends on 8,000 UN peacekeepers getting to Mogadishu (2,400 are already there, largely involved in protecting themselves) and replacing the Ethiopian troops (who would leave within 120 days of the UN force taking charge). A lot of "ifs" there, especially since several of the more radical Islamic terrorist factions have refused to participate in any ceasefire or peace deal.

The Ethiopian army has gone mobile, in an attempt to run down the group of Islamic terrorists that are wandering around southern Somalia, attacking government controlled towns, and living off looting. Sort of land pirates. Over a hundred have been killed, and several hundred wounded, in the last week alone as mobile Ethiopian forces chase after the Islamic terrorists.

Despite a UN resolution allowing foreign navies to shut down piracy along the Somali coast, no one has stepped forward to pledge ships, and some action, to do so. Even the armed escorts for food aid ships out of Kenya is ending, because no nation has volunteered a warship to keep the protective operation going. More and more Somalis are fed up with the endless violence, and are trying to get out. That isn't easy, because of the poverty, bandits and generally hostile environments. But thousands more have fled to Kenya (and refugee camps, for most of them), or paid to board a smugglers boat to Yemen.

Foreign nations are also reluctant to get involved in Somalia, which appears capable of creating ever more horrific examples of self-inflicted chaos. Even Moslem nations are not eager to get involved. But few of these reluctant saviors will talk about it either. Everyone wishes it would just go away, but it won't.

July 6, 2008: Osman Ali Ahmed, the head of the  United Nations' Development Program in Somalia, was shot to death as he left a mosque in Mogadishu. Although many Islamic radical gunmen depend on foreign aid to keep their families alive, they see fighting foreign influences as more important.

An international survey ranked Somalia as the most corrupt nation on the planet (actually, a tie for the bottom with Myanmar, a military dictatorship that is a lot more livable Somalia).

June 28, 2008: Two foreign demining experts were kidnapped by Islamic radicals, some 370 kilometers west of Mogadishu. The two men were released several hours later, but their Somali interpreter was not. In the last two weeks, nine aid workers have been kidnapped, either by bandits or Islamic terrorists. The bandits want ransom, the Islamic terrorists want to "purify" Somalia by driving out all the non-Moslems (most of the foreign aid workers are not Moslem).

 

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