Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth





Somalia

Remember that time I posted a bit about Eritrea and the likelyhood of regional conflict? Well here's round two only now I'll reason from the vantage point of the disaster in the making that is Somalia. Two years after the creation of a transitional government Somalia is effectively ruled by Shariah in the form of the self styled Islamic Courts. Led by Shiek Ali Bashir the IC has waged a quiet coup (the rest of the world seems apprently unaware) in Somalia, first capturing Mogadishu (blue spot on the map) in 1999 and then leeching the current majority of Somalia as the transitional government hunkers down in Baidoa (red spot on the above map) essentially impotent and slowly losing it's effectiveness and military through defection to the IC.

Ethiopia officialy denies what is commonly and logically suspected; the presence of up to 10,000 Ethiopian troops in Somalia. Given that half of Ethiopia's population is Muslim the presence of a Shariah state next door is, to say the least, a bit unnerving to the secular Addis Ababa government. As such the idea that Ethiopea should "clandestinely" send martial support for the Baidoa government is both logical and likely.

There's the brief, unpolished background now here's my point: As Eritrea appeared to be gearing up for some action (I outlined this in the above linked post) Somalia has too shown an alarming want for conflict with Ethiopia:

Islamic Courts in central provinces of Somalia have incited civilian population to defend the country against the Ethiopian troops that penetrate settlements in central regions of the country.

Sheik Ali Bashir, the commander of Islamist fighters in central Somalia has called on the people to act on the Islamic Sharaeh and fight with the Ethiopian forces reportedly entering some parts of the central provinces.

I initially suspected a slow "proxi" war between Eritrea and Ethiopia within the ravaged borders of Somalia as skirmishes between the IC and the TFG have been both ongoing and increasing. I now suspect both a fullblown civil and proxi war as the IC becomes emboldened by their growing power, Eritrean arms support and financial support from Yemen and Egypt.

Further devastation combined with a very strong Islamist element (already whispers of al qaeda involvement surround the IC) will effectively lay the framework for both a new haven and fertile farm team for al qaeda.