Here we go again in the Horn of Africa

#1
Somalis sign up to fight Ethiopia

The Islamic Courts Union in Somalia has begun recruiting thousands of people in response to alleged military action by neighbouring Ethiopia, amid fears of all-out war across the country.


A day after claiming to have captured an Ethiopian military officer in fierce weekend battles with a militia allied to Somalia's weak government, the union on Wednesday said at least 3,000 people had enlisted for combat.

Many new recruits have signed up in the past two days since the leader of the powerful Islamist movement called on residents to defend the country against Ethiopian troops allegedly in Somalia.

A senior official with the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SICS) told AFP in Mogadishu: "We have at least 3,000 young fighters who have now registered to fight the enemy of Allah."

The newcomers, including women, will join what the Islamists claim are tens of thousands of existing fighters who seized the capital, Mogadishu, in June. The Islamic courts now controls most of southern and central Somalia
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/284EE7A7-08AB-4709-AB2E-8FE902602254.htm
 
#2
My local rag paints an even worse picture (sorry no link possible).

According to their report, the 'Govt' forces had just retaken a town previously lost to the ICU. The assault being 'directed' by Ethiopian advisors in the front-line and with 4-6,000 Ethiopian combat troops in reserve - with backing from the CIA!

On the other hand, the ICU was said to be forming a counter-offence based around a core of Eritrean troops totalling 3-4,000 with Saudi, Yemeni and Iranian support!

Now, if you had money to blow, where would you place a bet as to a possible current or future base for al-Qaeda? :)
 

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