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Ear to the Ground

Turning the Corner in Somalia

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Posted on Jan 2, 2007
Somali troops
nytimes.com

The Islamists have fled, the transitional government and its Ethiopian allies have reclaimed Mogadishu as Somalia’s capital and the prime minister has banned guns and called for peacekeepers. Will the stability last, or will guerrilla warfare and clan violence tear the country apart for another 15 years?


New York Times:

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia—After Somalia’s Islamist forces abandoned their final outpost on Monday, the transitional government moved aggressively to assert control, setting a three-day deadline for all weapons to be turned in and calling for international peacekeeping troops to be sent immediately.

Somalia was already a place where military-grade weaponry was casually flaunted on its streets, but the Islamists’ swift collapse has created such a surplus of guns that the average price of a Kalashnikov assault rifle, one of the world’s most popular killing machines, has dropped to $15.

Ali Mohammed Gedi, the former veterinarian who is the transitional prime minister, said at his daily news conference that he would not tolerate the situation and gave instructions for turning in the weapons.

“Individuals or groups of people who have trucks mounted with antiaircraft guns, known as ‘technicals,’ should bring those battlewagons to Mogadishu’s old port,” he said.

Clan leaders were skeptical about whether he would succeed, and many Somalis seemed dead set against it. “They’re trying to neuter us,” said Muhammad Duudo, an unemployed car mechanic. “And it’s not going to happen. Just wait until the full moon passes and the darkness comes.”

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By C Quil, January 3, 2007 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another disaster in the making.

Blundering Into Somalia Yet Again

by Eric Margolis

“Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia under cover of the Christmas holiday was a blatant aggression that is likely to widen the arc of conflict across the dangerously turbulent Horn of Africa. It also marks the opening of a new front in Washington’s war against Islamic militants and reformers.”

http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis61.html

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By DennisD, January 3, 2007 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Turning the corner to what - a cheaper AK47 ? That’s just crapitalism at it’s best, isn’t it.

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By Socrates, January 3, 2007 at 6:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is some reason for optimism here, especially seeing the bordering countries stand up for the UN installed gov’t (of course, it is clearly in their self-interest). Trouble is still that this gov’t can’t provide law and order by itself, so what happens when Ethiopia pulls out in 2-3 weeks? They are asking for an international peacekeeping force, once again (sounds like a re-play, doesn’t it?), to help secure Mogadishu until the gov’t can stand up for itself.

I still wonder what caused the internal collapse of the Islamic Court leadership. That was quite fortuitous. Thinking ahead, what can the Somali gov’t learn from them about providing law and order?

Just as I read this article, there is a Google ad in the right column for “Mogadishu Somalia Hotels,” which of course is crazy at the present time. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to go visit this beautiful country some day? I’ve always wanted to travel up the coast to the horn. One can hope…

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By Spinoza, January 2, 2007 at 7:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Neither group is any good as far as I can tell so why is the USA sticking its nose in other peoples business?

We need to follow a strictly anti-Imperialist line. It will keep us out of trouble and the world will be better off.

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