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Old 05-13-2007   #1
SWJED
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Default Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

13 May Washington Post commentary - Ethiopia's Iraq by David Ignatius.

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"Get it done quickly and get out." That, says a senior U.S. diplomat here, was the goal of the little-noticed war that Ethiopia has been fighting, with American support, against Islamic extremists in Somalia. But this in-and-out strategy encounters the same real-world obstacles that America is facing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Conflict is less the problem than what comes after it. That's the dilemma that America and its allies are discovering in a world where war-fighting and nation-building have become perversely mixed. It took the Ethiopians just a week to drive a Muslim radical movement known as the Islamic Courts from Mogadishu in December. The hard part wasn't chasing the enemy from the capital but putting the country back together...
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Old 06-02-2007   #2
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Default Report: U.S. Hits Militants' Somali Base

By MOHAMED OLAD HASSAN

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - At least one U.S. warship bombarded a remote, mountainous village in Somalia where Islamic militants had set up a base, officials in the northern region of Puntland said Saturday.
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Old 06-03-2007   #3
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Default Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

3 June Washington Post - U.S. Warship Fires Missiles at Fighters in Somalia by Stephanie McCrummen.

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A U.S. Navy destroyer launched an attack on foreign fighters in a remote corner of northeastern Somalia late Friday, according to a senior U.S. official, though details of the operation remained sketchy.

The bombardment was concentrated in and around the port town of Bargaal, the official said Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is classified...
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Old 06-14-2007   #4
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Default Somalia Continues its Political Collapse

14 June Power and Interest News Report - Somalia Continues its Political Collapse by Dr. Michael A. Weinstein.

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... Somalia's weak and internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government (T.F.G.) continues to be a severely impaired participant in the country's multiple conflicts, facing a chronic insurgency in its official capital Mogadishu; unrest, lawlessness and failing control in the country's regions; and inadequate funding from international donors, on which it depends for its financial survival. Ethiopia, on which the T.F.G. depends for military protection, has been over-strained financially and is anxious to withdraw its forces, yet their replacement by an 8,000 member African Union (A.U.) peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) has yet to materialize, except for a contingent of 1,500 Ugandan troops, which have withdrawn to guard duty at Mogadishu's airport and seaport, and at government facilities, after one of its convoys was attacked on May 16.

Despite efforts by the T.F.G. to gain control of Mogadishu through a crackdown on armed opposition, closure of independent media outlets and arrests of leaders of the Hawiye clan, which is distrustful of the Darod-dominated T.F.G., the city remains insecure. Although donor states and international organizations have edged toward providing the T.F.G. with greater financial support, the transitional authority still lacks the resources to govern...
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Old 07-28-2007   #5
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Default Eritrea 'Arming' Somali Militia

28 July BBC - Eritrea 'Arming' Somali Militia.

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Insurgents in Somalia have received huge numbers of weapons in secret shipments from Eritrea, the UN says.

There are now more arms in Somalia than at any time since the civil war started in 1991, the UN report says.

Eritrea, which has repeatedly denied aiding the insurgents, dismissed the report as a "total fabrication"...
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Old 07-28-2007   #6
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It's worth reading the UN monitoring report in full. There's some interesting information in here. I like the statement by Zalmay Khalilazad on behalf of the US Government that the US conducted several strikes in self defense against Al Qaida operatives and that these attacks didn't violate the "plain meaning" of the UN Security Council Resolution requiring a "general and complete embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia".

Here's a link to the full Somalia Monitoring report:
http://www.eritreadaily.net/News0307/RPRTSOMMNGRP.pdf

there's also some good analysis and interview on VOA with Timothy Othieno, a senior researcher at the Institute for Global Dialogue in Midrand, South Africa. He basically states that there is a proxy war being fought in Somalia between Ethiopia and Eritrea and that it stems from the unresolved border dispute (mainly the issue of the return of Badme to Eritrea) and that the UN (and by extension, international community) is to blame for not enforcing the border ruling.

http://www.voanews.com/english/Afric...7-27-voa27.cfm

Last edited by Beelzebubalicious; 07-28-2007 at 11:33 AM. Reason: added a piece
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Old 08-13-2007   #7
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HRW, 13 Aug 07: Shell-Shocked: Civilians Under Siege in Mogadishu
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...The conflict in Mogadishu in 2007 involves Ethiopian and Somali government forces against a coalition of insurgent groups. It is a conflict that has been marked by numerous violations of international humanitarian law that have been met with a shameful silence and inaction on the part of key foreign governments and international institutions.

Violations of the laws of war documented in this report include the deployment of insurgent forces in densely populated neighborhoods and the widespread, indiscriminate bombardment of these areas by Ethiopian forces. The deliberate nature of these bombardments, evidence of criminal intent, strongly suggests the commission of war crimes....
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Old 09-13-2007   #8
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Default Mujahideen in Somalia (w/fighter from U.S.) [al-Jazeera]

For those who know Arabic and wish to know...


Interesting al-Jazeera video of the Mujahideen fighting in Somalia... Nearly at the end you can see a video of a Muslim fighter from America fighting side by side with his Somali brothers.

http://www.aljazeera.net/mritems/str...19191_1_12.wmv

Last edited by Jedburgh; 09-13-2007 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 10-17-2007   #9
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UN World Food Programme office stormed in Mogadishu by government forces.

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Dozens of heavily armed government security officials detained the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) office in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 17 October, an act decried by the UN organisation as a violation of international law.

In a statement, WFP called for "the immediate release of Mr Idris Osman, WFP's officer-in-charge of our Mogadishu office, who was taken at gunpoint by the Somali National Security Service (NSS) after the storming of a UN compound in Mogadishu this morning at 0815 local time by 50-60 heavily armed and uniformed members of the NSS.

"Mr Osman is being held in a cell at NSS headquarters near the presidential palace. WFP has not received any explanation for this action, which violates international law. International law also bars authorities from entering UN premises without prior UN permission," the statement said ...
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Old 10-17-2007   #10
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Why I love Somalia...

Let me count the ways...
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Old 11-20-2007   #11
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Default Somalia update

New York Times
Somalia Worst Humanitarian Crisis in Africa, U.N. Says

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AFGOOYE, Somalia, Nov. 19 — The worst humanitarian crisis in Africa may not be unfolding in Darfur, but here, along a 20-mile strip of busted-up asphalt, several top United Nations officials said.

A year ago, the road between the market town of Afgooye and the capital of Mogadishu was just another typical Somali byway, lined with overgrown cactuses and the occasional bullet-riddled building. Now it is a corridor teeming with misery, with 200,000 recently displaced people crammed into swelling camps that are rapidly running out of food.

...

Top United Nations officials who specialize in Somalia said the country had higher malnutrition rates, more current bloodshed and fewer aid workers than Darfur, which is often publicized as the world’s most pressing humanitarian crisis and has taken clear priority in terms of getting peacekeepers and aid money.

The relentless urban combat in Mogadishu, between an unpopular transitional government — installed partially with American help — and a determined Islamist insurgency, has driven waves of desperate people up the Afgooye road, where more than 70 camps of twigs and plastic have popped up seemingly overnight.
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Old 11-20-2007   #12
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Something tells me that the Ethiopians will soon be knocking on Washington's door, looking for some kind of deal like the Pakistani Army is receiving now. Given a possible war with Eritrea, current "counterinsurgency" in the Ogaden, and brewing urban guerrilla war in Somalia, the Ethiopians will be in search of handouts. One wonders if we will be as recklessly generous as we have been with the Pakistani military --- thankfully the Ethiopians don't have a nuclear project or two to enable.
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Old 11-20-2007   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tequila View Post
Something tells me that the Ethiopians will soon be knocking on Washington's door, looking for some kind of deal like the Pakistani Army is receiving now. Given a possible war with Eritrea, current "counterinsurgency" in the Ogaden, and brewing urban guerrilla war in Somalia, the Ethiopians will be in search of handouts. One wonders if we will be as recklessly generous as we have been with the Pakistani military --- thankfully the Ethiopians don't have a nuclear project or two to enable.
FMF to Ethiopia has been declining recently with IMET increasingly slightly. I think you hit the nail on the head--there are four things that generate extensive security assistance from the United States: 1) having a significant AQ presence; 2) having nukes; 3) producing narcotics; 4) being Israel or a threat to Israel.

From Ethiopia's perspective, that's 0 for 4. But maybe the creation of AFRICOM will help.
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Old 11-20-2007   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
FMF to Ethiopia has been declining recently with IMET increasingly slightly. I think you hit the nail on the head--there are four things that generate extensive security assistance from the United States: 1) having a significant AQ presence; 2) having nukes; 3) producing narcotics; 4) being Israel or a threat to Israel.

From Ethiopia's perspective, that's 0 for 4. But maybe the creation of AFRICOM will help.
Target Round, out.
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Old 11-20-2007   #15
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I think they will strain to provide (1) as much as possible. Worked during the invasion in 2006, after all.
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Old 11-20-2007   #16
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Maybe someone can help me understand something here. When the ICU was in power, they were fundamentalists who installed Sharia Law. I understand that there were extremist elements of the ICU who supported terrorism. To what extent were the extremists opposed/supported by the broader ICU? I want to break down and differentiate Islamic Fundamentalism and Islamic extremism/terrorism.

In terms of stability and security, was a fundamentalist Islamic state under ICU better than the umpteen transitional governments that have ruled in the last 15 years?
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Old 11-20-2007   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beelzebubalicious View Post
In terms of stability and security, was a fundamentalist Islamic state under ICU better than the umpteen transitional governments that have ruled in the last 15 years?
Not if one thinks that the only appropriate connection between church and state is a Christian connection (and that Christianity can probably be more narrowly defined as some subspecies of fundamental Protestantism that looks a lot like early Calvinism).
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Old 11-20-2007   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark O'Neill View Post
Target Round, out.
Repeat, over.
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Old 12-05-2007   #19
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Default Somalia - President hospitilized

It could get really worse their if he dies or somehow becomes incapable of performing his duties. It will be just going back to 2003 again. May be we will see the rise of the Islamist Militias again as the real power in Somalia.

Whatever the case, I think its tragic for my homeland.

Last edited by abduljrus; 12-05-2007 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 12-05-2007   #20
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I thought he just had a "bad cold" and was just going for a "check up" and that he was just "delegating" his meeting with Rice (first time a secretary of state has traveled to region in last decade) to the new PM....I don't know what's going on, but I would assume he is either very sick or he does not want to meet with Rice. Your message seems to indicate that he his, indeed, sick.

What do you think of the new PM, Nur Hassan Hussein? Any chance that he can keep things together?

I've met some Somalis during my time in Eritrea and Ethiopia and have certainly followed events in your country with concern. I do hope for your sake and for the sake of the Somali people, that there can be some peace and stability. If President Yusuf is the key, then I really hope he gets better.
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