Somalia: Peacekeepers Join The Fight


July 15, 2009: The pirates in Puntland have taken two ships so far this month, and currently hold 17 ships. There has been less pirate activity in the last month because of the annual monsoon rains. So far this year, there have been 148 attacks and 30 ships seized. For all of last year, there were 111 attacks and 48 ships taken.

The heavy losses of al Shabaab in Mogadishu has led the Islamic radicals to call for reinforcements from towns they control south of the capital. However, it appears that the AU peacekeeping force has orders to prevent any al Shabaab capture of the city. Since the AU has better armed, trained and led troops, al Shabaab fanaticism is unlikely to prevail.

July 14, 2009: Two French civilians, apparently sent by the French government to help train the Transitional Government presidential guard, were kidnapped from their hotel by unidentified gunmen. The two foreigners had been in Somalia for a week.

July 13, 2009: In Mogadishu, al Shabaab fighters made a run for the Presidential Palace, but were driven back. AU troops, who guard government buildings, along with the port and air port, intervened. There were over 200 casualties, most of them al Shabaab and civilians.

July 11, 2009: Fighting flared in Mogadishu, leaving over fifty dead and wounded.

July 10, 2009: In Baidoa, al Shabaab conducted a mass execution, and beheaded seven men, after accusing them of being Christians or spies. Off the north coast, an Indian dhow that had just unloaded a cargo at the port of Bosasso, was seized by pirates after it left to return to Dubai with a cargo of livestock. The pirates wanted to use the dhow as a mother ship, but grabbing one of the few ships that still dares to deliver cargo to Puntland is avoided, and when the pirates realized that they were messing with Puntland merchants, they let the dhow go free.

July 9, 2009: The UN refused to sanction Eritrea for supporting Islamic radicals in Somalia, but did issue a warning to Eritrea and said they would investigate over the next month and issue a report. However, the UN did recognize the transitional government as the legitimate government of Somalia.




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