Turning the Corner in Somalia
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?
Wait, before you go…
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.”