Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fighting rages in Mogadishu

Contrary to the optimistic reports given by the TNG, they are not securely in power, as evidenced by the fact that they can't even secure the capital.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says the fighting is the heaviest in the city for 15 years.

Dozens of people have died since heavy fighting began on Thursday, ending a six-day truce.

The ICRC said some 229 people, mostly women and children, had been taken to hospital in the past 24 hours.


An ICRC spokesman said staff at Medina and Keysaney hospitals were working hard to treat the number of casualties

"Just to give a figure, since 1 January these two hospitals received 1,000 weapon-wounded which is extremely high," Pedram Yazdi told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

That's not even the whole story. Dead bodies don't get taken to the hospital, nor military casualties. The fighting going on over there is severe. This is largely Somali vs. Somali at this point, as the Ethiopian invasion force has mostly left the country. Prime Minister Ghedi is obviously in over his head. Even if the African Union does ever commit 8,000 troops, they'll hardly be able to do more than secure Mogadishu. Ghedi probably realizes this and hopes for some kind of international help, thus leading him to say, "There are some insurgents in the city who have links with international terrorists and are fighting against the government and the people of Somalia". He's obviously baiting the Western powers with the threat of terrorism, despite there being no real evidence for that claim.

Of course in the US, we still have people talking about terrorists in Somalia.

The report, submitted to key congressional committees, said several al-Qaida operatives have used Somalia as a base of operations, including the perpetrators of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa and the 2002 attacks against an Israeli airliner and a hotel in Kenya.

"The individuals pose an immediate threat to both Somali and international interests in the Horn of Africa," the report said.

Yes, the same three guys who were suspects in those acts and whose affiliations have never been proven (if the US has any evidence to show they're being incredibly tight-fisted), are now full-blown Al-Qaeda operatives who are a threat to democracy. I'm not totally certain they aren't, but we encouraged the Ethiopian invasion based on that claim. It sounds an awful lot like "We know there are WMDs in Iraq" to me.

1 comment:

Xanthippas said...

It's really not any surprise that the world thinks of us as they do. To fend of the "dire threat" of communism in Latin America we toppled regimes and trained death squads. To destroy the "dire threat" of drugs to this country, we've impoverished Columbian farmers and funded armed rebels that battle drug militias. And now, to defeat the "dire threat" of terrorism in Somalia, we green-lighted the toppling of a government that was stabilizing, and now Somalia is in chaos. And, did any of that even work for what it cost us (and more accurately, cost the people we inflicted our strategies on?)