Sunday, July 30, 2006

Somalia link dump

First, we have some more eerie deja vu ala Afghanistan: Somalia has first commercial flight in years.
"The first commercial flight in a decade departed Mogadishu's newly reopened international airport Sunday, demonstrating how Islamic militants have pacified the once-anarchic capital and much of southern Somalia." UIC is providing gunmen for "security." Like I've said previously, we've got an Islamist group who has taken power of an anarchic region and brought some measure of peace and stability, at the low cost of completely subjugating the region under harsh 7th century Sharia law. Oh, and harboring terrorist groups. Sounds like a bargain to me. /sarcasm.

Next, Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi survived a no-confidence vote, meaning his government won't collapse, for now.

A Somali minister was shot to death in Baidoa (the home of the Gedi's government) on Friday, but the real news is that another Il-76 arrived amid tight security. While both the UIC and Eritrea deny the claims, several sources have maintained that both this flight and one earlier this week are arms shipments to the UIC from Eritrea.

Finally, a good roundup of the current situation. (From the Beeb, of all places.)

My amateur analysis would seem to indicate a couple of things. First, obviously, Gedi's government has no chance in hell of ever regaining control of the country short of Operation Enduring Freedom, part deux. They become weaker every day while the Islamists grow stronger, especially with the arms shipments from Eritrea. Gedi's government is between a rock and a hard place because most of the people resent the presence of Ethiopian troops, but these troops are the only thing protecting Gedi's government. And quite honestly, the Ethiopian troops wouldn't leave even if Gedi asked them to (as the above roundup indicates.) The UIC refuses to negotiate with Gedi's government until the Ethiopian troops leave Baidoa, making negotiations pointless because the UIC could simply take out Gedi's government. So what we're probably going to see is a war between Ethiopian troops ostensibly backing Gedi's government and the UIC, acting as Eritrea's proxies, and possibly Eritrean troops if things get really bad.