Somalia: Which way backwards?

Is Somalia worth saving?

  • Only if they discover oil or some other meaningful natural resource

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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#1
The BBC is reporting

Artillery exchanges are taking place in Somalia between Islamist militia and government fighters for a fourth day.
The clashes come a day after a leader of the Union of Islamic Courts, which controls much of the south, said they are in a state of war with Ethiopia.

Both sides claim to have inflicted heavy casualties. An eyewitness in a village near the government's Baidoa base reports seeing many dead bodies.

Ethiopian troops and tanks have reinforced positions south of Baidoa.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6202681.stm

The situation in the Horn of Africa is undoubtedly one of the most under reported stories of the year. While the rest of the world sleeps, a very substantial area of Africa is about to erupt into a regional war that will rival if not surpass the Balkan Wars of the '90s.

Consider: Ethiopia, which by reputation has one of the best trained and best equiped militaries in the region, is about go full scale against a well organised militia which has within it's abilities the capacity to export terror beyond it's borders into neighbouring countries.

Eritrea, no pushover either,has in the recent past nudged itself closer to the militias if only to make a point to it's mortal enemy Ethiopia. Caught in the middle is another regional power Kenya which has no intention of throwing itself into the fray but will have to absorb most if not all the refugees that this conflict will spawn.

The African Union is impotent. The UN (well it's the UN). The EU can't offer anything but platitudes. The US is too involved elsewhere to offer any meaningful leadership. France is probably signing arms deals with both warring parties even as we speak.

Here is a better analysis.

http://www.nationmedia.com/eastafrican/04122006/News/News04120612.htm

For all it matters, this region has to be stabilized because ultimately the future of a continent is very rapidly going down the drain.
 
#2
Yep you are right. It is going to get nasty.

Thing is it is a long way away, no assests/interest for the UK so the reporting on it will be very sparse until the body count starts mounting.

How long did it take for the world to take any notice of Dafur?

More bad news from Africa? Is anyone surprised or even interested?
 
#3
Steven said:
Yep you are right. It is going to get nasty.

Thing is it is a long way away, no assests/interest for the UK so the reporting on it will be very sparse until the body count starts mounting.

How long did it take for the world to take any notice of Dafur?

More bad news from Africa? Is anyone surprised or even interested?
Sad but true, eventually the UN will get off its backside and wave some empty threats.
 
#5
Somalia is, has been, and always will be an area of conflict. The problems are inherent in the region and will not go away tomorrow.

A very very good book to read is 'Somalia on $5 a day'

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0891417419/?tag=armrumser-20

which gives an insight into the region prior to the 'Black Hawk Down' era. In it, he describes the Somali's as the Irish of Africa!! I'm still trying to figure that one out myself :D

Slightly off topic-this is my 2000th post. Ohhh, get me!
 
#6
This isnt our fault or are war stay away .like the review of the book which went like the best british memoirs (without the smugness) :D
 
#7
Red Shrek said:
Just let them kill themselves. Infact i'd even sell arms to them. Why not make money off the stupidity of others?
The Yanks used to supply weapons to Somalia in the ´70s,even cluster bombs whose fragments being made out of plastic wouldn´t show up on Eritrea´s one and only X-ray machine.

IIRC Kent Gavin(?) of the Daily Mirror(in the days when it was a News-paper and not a rag)reported on the war there stating that the Eritreans started their kids off with weapon handling at 5 years old and sent them to the front at 9!

Probably not worth saving any of them :evil:

SORRY, BRAIN FART! for Somalia read ETHIOPIA,well it was 30 years ago that I read it :oops: :oops: !!
 
#9
Not all of former Somalia is in chaos - the former British Somaliland protectorate in the north has separated from the former Italian bit in the south and has for the past 15 years had a stable elected government and the rule of law, but Britain doesn't have the guts to recognise it. Meanwhile, Djibouti, a.k.a. French Somaliland, is independent and recognised by everyone, and hosts a French military base.

Just look at this country's location, with a deep-sea port just east of the Bab-el-Mandeb, one of the most important chokepoints in world shipping through which every ship from the East has to pass through before Suez. It's truly idiotic that our government is leaving this country to be sucked back into the morass of Somalia and its civil war.



Somaliland: Appeals to Britain for Help

2006-10-30

In the harsh terrain of the Horn of Africa, torn by decades of war, a peaceful Muslim democracy with a pro-Western government has emerged on the territory of a former British Protectorate.

Somaliland has its own flag, anthem, currency, army and elected government – yet the country of 3.5 million people does not appear on any map. By seizing de facto independence from Somalia 15 years ago, Somaliland escaped the anarchy engulfing its southern neighbor.

However, it has remained a stateless enclave ever since, denied international recognition or legal status. Camels stride through its tumbledown capital Hargeisa, where the streets swirl with desert sand. But no one carries a gun in public and there has been no fighting here since a brief outbreak of clan warfare about 11 years ago.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin, who won a closely fought election in 2003, is leading a campaign for the world to recognise Somaliland's independence. As the colonial power from 1884 until 1960, Britain's position in this campaign is vital.

"How can a country that has met all the conditions of statehood be rejected by the international community," Mr Kahin asked during an interview with The Daily Telegraph.


"We are struggling for recognition. We have fulfilled every condition, but the world has left us stateless. Our people have no enmity for the British. They have sympathy with the British. They want Britain to come again and recognise our independence."

After Britain ended the Protectorate on June 26, 1960, Somaliland enjoyed five days of recognised independence until it chose to unite with Somalia, formerly under Italian rule.

Two decades later, Somaliland began a guerrilla war to regain its independence. Victory came with the overthrow of President Siad Barre and the destruction of Somalia's central government in 1991.

Since then, Somaliland's leaders have managed to disarm 50,000 militiamen and rebuild Hargeisa, which Barre's forces razed in 1988. A series of free elections has taken place. Mr Kahin, 54, won power by a margin of 217 votes. Two years later, the opposition defeated his party and won a majority in parliament.

Mr Kahin, who is the only African president who "cohabits" with his opponents, said this proved Somaliland was a "secular democracy".

"The isolation we are living with gives us enough problems. We don't want to create problems within our country," he added.

But without recognition, Somaliland has no international aid or loans. Its agricultural economy has a minimal tax base and the national budget is only £20 million.

Few regions are more dangerous for a weak, unrecognised state than the Horn of Africa. To the south, Islamist radicals have seized control of Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia. Their goal is to "reunite" the entire country, by force if necessary.

Already, Islamist sympathisers have held demonstrations in Hargeisa, calling for the imposition of Sharia law. Somaliland occupies a strategically vital position on the Gulf of Aden, with a large port at Berbera.

Without international help, its government may not be able to withstand the pressure. Mr Kahin warned of the consequences of Somaliland's collapse. "Many foreigners, including the British, will regret that they lost a friend in the Horn of Africa," he said.

But recognising Somaliland is fraught with risk. Islamist radicals would view it as a Western plot to divide the Muslim world. The League of Arab States, which counts Somalia as a member, is adamantly opposed.

So are many African countries, who fear that welcoming Somaliland into the club of nations would encourage separatists inside their own borders.

But observers in Hargeisa say the very future of Somaliland hangs in the balance. Hussein Bulhan, a local commentator, said that internal collapse followed by an Islamist invasion was the main threat.

"We are really at the 11th hour here," he said. "In my view, it is a race between a collapse and being recognized by the world and rebuilding our country."

Source

Daily Telegraph
 
#10
Wasn't there some concern for somalia becoming a haven for terrorists?
The armed militias loyal to the ICU are run by key AQ operatives. The commentary below from the National Review, although a bit dated, highlights the risks both to the region and the West if the situation isn't dealt with.

Here
 
#11
My ship went to Djibouti in 2003 for one day to refuel.

If I remember correctly, the highlight of the visit was seeing two tramps fighting over a plastic bag on the jetty.

Oh, and a 3 legged goat.

I've already paid my deposit for my holiday there next Summer.....
 
#12
I knew about Somaliland for years, It really should be recognised so that there is an example of a secular democratic muslim country can be shown to the world as a shining example to others.
I don't really understand politicans these days, they wouldn't know common sense if it hit them on their head.
 
#13
Should Somalia be saved? From what? Itself? Sometimes it is better to look the other way. Sooner or later after enough of the population has died or fled, then they will realize the river of bloodshed is not self sustaining and then they will come to their senses.

The little *******.

What's up with Africa and it's constant desire to have someone else clean up it's mess? Most of the countries over there have been "independent" for at least a generation. They are lucky they came of age when the West had already made all the mistakes evolving civilisations make. Couldn't they just look and learn?

The *******. Let them figure this out for themselves. You can only hold someone's hand for so long.
 
#14
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/africa/12/22/somalia.ap/index.html

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Ethiopian attack helicopters and tanks headed for battle Friday as fighting raged for a fourth day between Somalia's Islamic militia and the country's secular government, witnesses and a government official said.

Tens of thousands of Somalis fled their homes as the Ethiopian-backed government used artillery to push back Islamic fighters who had advanced on the regime's only stronghold, Baidoa. Islamic forces who have declared they want to bring the whole country under Quranic rule said the latest fighting had been started by the government but now they would launch their own attacks.
Looks like the battle has been joined. If everything stays equal and Muslim countries don't get involved (which they will in a matter of days), I predict an Ethiopian occupation of Somalia. Another 'Shock and Ouch?'
 
#15
eveyuk said:
Wasn't there some concern for somalia becoming a haven for terrorists?
I think it has been proven it is just that!

I see no vaule to save them at this point. Let them kill each other off and then finish of what is left, of the terrorists that are still there.
 
#16
Jupiter_Jones said:
Should Somalia be saved? From what? Itself? Sometimes it is better to look the other way. Sooner or later after enough of the population has died or fled, then they will realize the river of bloodshed is not self sustaining and then they will come to their senses.
I think that you may be close to the official line there, I'm sure there was news items linking them to AQ etc. While they are fighting each other they aren't a problem to us.

:(
 
#17
Send Bono in to sort it out with his mate Geldof. No there is no publicity in that is there? So they probably wouldn't go. Make Poverty History? Nah! Can't be arrsed mate!
 
#18
hammockhead said:
Not all of former Somalia is in chaos - the former British Somaliland protectorate in the north has separated from the former Italian bit in the south and has for the past 15 years had a stable elected government and the rule of law, but Britain doesn't have the guts to recognise it. Meanwhile, Djibouti, a.k.a. French Somaliland, is independent and recognised by everyone, and hosts a French military base.
That's one of the things that's puzzled me, why has no-one ever recognised these guys in the last four or so years? I can understand the whole trying not to encourage separatist movements but that seems a little stupid in this case. Why can't the government just recognise the place and then get some basing rights in exchange. Here's the wikipedia page on Somaliland for anyone that's interested.
 
#20
gwar_drill_pig_stab said:
save africa bring back empire not pc but true and you guardian cnuts can quote me on that no fees
Very true. A Berlin Conference type summit ( this time involving the active participation of the affected parties) would go a long way into solving the problems of this wretched masses. A complete redrawing of African borders is not just necessary but long overdue.

The Colonization of the Continent by European Powers

"The Berlin Conference was Africa's undoing in more ways than one. The colonial powers superimposed their domains on the African continent. By the time independence returned to Africa in 1950, the realm had acquired a legacy of political fragmentation that could neither be eliminated nor made to operate satisfactorily."*
In 1884 at the request of Portugal, German chancellor Otto von Bismark called together the major western powers of the world to negotiate questions and end confusion over the control of Africa. Bismark appreciated the opportunity to expand Germany's sphere of influence over Africa and desired to force Germany's rivals to struggle with one another for territory.

http://geography.about.com/cs/politicalgeog/a/berlinconferenc.htm
 

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