Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Somalia: A return to the past
Whilst Somalia is by no means classified as a peaceful state, the relative calm since the failed US missions of the early Nineties has been shattered in recent weeks in renewed violence between the local warlords and Islamic factions. On Friday, it was reported that the Islamists have "declared Jihad" on the warlords, further raising the stakes on the violence as that is sure to attract other Islamic fighters from around the world. This is sure to escalate, and in a place as lawless as Mogadishu, there is little the world can do by stand on the sidelines. The Somali people have enjoyed little respite in the past decade, and they will be the ones bearing the brunt of this again, bringing another sad African story to the fore.

There is a certain irony in the fact that the warlords, who have practiced terror on the local population for decades, and who so famously repelled the US missions in Mogadishu, are calling themselves the "Mogadishu Anti-Terrorism Coalition". With the US refusing to comment on whether it supports the warlords, that 'no comment' probably infers tacit support at least.

This "war on terror" is certainly messy...