Monday, January 01, 2007

War in Somalia

The Horn of Africa is referred to the easternmost projection of the African continent, includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. This region is poor, political unstable and the relations between neighboring countries remain tense. Conflicts have never ceased for decades.

Click here to understand the background of
Somalia upheaval since 1991.

The present Transitional Federal Government (TFG), formed in October 2004, is comprised of Somalia warlords and civilian leaders. The so-called rebels - Islamic Courts Union (ICU) is a group of
Sharia Courts vows to build an Islamic country and government, who has gained the confidence from the civilians on their effort in reinforcing laws and re-establishing economy. We couldn’t judge who is decent or otherwise.

The Christian-Orthodox dominant Ethiopia is always staying alert of the threats from Muslim dominant Eritrea and Somalia. It is not difficult to define Ethiopia political stand and intentions on their recent intervention in the on-going war in Somalia.

Worrying that ICU would turn out to be another Taliban and is alleged harbouring Al-Qaeda, the US has supported the secular Somali warlords with the assistance from the region’s strongest military power Ethiopia, because they couldn’t afford to bog down into another war zone like in Iraq. Ethiopia has the following advantages,

- extending diplomatic intimacy to the US in exchange of some favours
- announcing their anti-terrorism effort
- keeping the ruling Somali TFG as strategic partner
- eradicating threats along the Ethiopia – Somali borders
- might make use of Somalia coastal line to compensate the geographical deficiency of the landlocked country

According to the report from UN, a number of countries including Ethiopia’s persevering enemy Eritrea, are contributing equipment and financial aids to this war zone. Hoping that this would not drag the whole Horn of Africa into endless crisis in the name of holy war.