May 17, 2007: The UN is trying to provide
food and medical aid to about a million refugees inside Somalia. Nearly 400,000
of them are the result of the recent fighting in Mogadishu. The United States
has provided most of the money for this effort, with over $129 million coming
from America in the past two years. There seems no end in sight to the violence
and lawlessness. The basic problem is that the clan leaders will not submit to
a national government, and are more inclined to use guns, rather than
negotiation, to settle disputes. The place is kind of a warlord heaven, and
hell for everyone else.
May 16, 2007: In Mogadishu, a roadside bomb
killed four Ugandan peacekeepers, and a nearby civilian.
May 15, 2007: In Puntland, the two UN
kidnapped UN officials were released, after payment of a ransom. The UN staff
are normally safe from this sort of thing because of regular payoffs to the
various clan leaders. But sometimes, a local warlord will feel slighted, and look
for ways to get more money. Meanwhile. two more ships were attacked off
the coast. Two South Korean fishing boats, traveling to Kenya, were seized some
300 kilometers off the coast. Two dozen sailors were taken hostage, along with
the two boats. The pirates are apparently operating from a mother ship, far off
the coast, where most ship traffic now is, in an attempt to avoid the
May 14, 2007: For the fifth time in the last
two months, a merchant ship was attacked off the coast. A speedboat, operating
over 300 kilometers from the coast, attacked a cargo ship traveling from Qatar
to South Africa, managed to escape, after suffering machine-gun and RPG
May 13, 2007: Ethiopia will withdraw its
troops (several thousand) when the full AU peacekeeping force of 8,000 is in
May 12, 2007: Several days of fighting over
land disputes in the south, left at least ten dead, and dozens wounded. With no
courts to settle these disputes, the clans use their armed militias to work
things out the traditional way.
May 11, 2007: Islamic radicals are still
active, although they do not openly attack those they believe are not
sufficiently religious. Video stores have been shot at and bombed in the south,
but no one takes credit for it.
May 9, 2007: In Puntland, up north, a local
clan leaders gang kidnapped two UN officials, and are holding them for
May 4, 2007: Just after a senior UN official
arrived in Mogadishu, to inspect relief efforts, a bomb went off at the
airport, killing three security personnel. The UN official did not, as planned,
stay overnight, but left at the end of the day.