Somalia: Pay For Peace

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October 25, 2007: The king of Saudi Arabia has invited the heads of various Somali clans and factions to come to Saudi Arabia and discuss a peace deal. The implication is that the Saudis might provide cash, and other goods, in return for some peace in Somalia.

October 24, 2007: Fighting between clan based Islamic radical militias and government security forces (including Ethiopian troops and Ugandan peacekeepers) continues. The terrorists are using more mines and roadside bombs, but these are killing more civilians than troops. Meanwhile, the security forces search pro-terrorist neighborhoods, arresting suspects and seizing weapons and munitions. Civilian supporters of the violence continue to flee the city, partly because of government attacks on their neighborhoods, and partly because the terrorists frequently use civilians as human shields.

October 23, 2007: The government released, from detention, the head of the UN food aid program. The UN said it would not resume food distribution in Somalia until their man was released. The UN provides food for 76,000 in the capital and about 1.5 million throughout Somalia.

October 20, 2007: A small cargo ship, which had just delivered 7,000 tons to the port of Brava (just south of Mogadishu) was attacked by pirates in two speed boats. The cargo ship got away. France has offered to provide a warship to escort food aid cargo ships in and out of Somali waters next month.

October 19, 2007: Police in Puntland surrounded a house in the capital and fought a gun battle with Islamic militants from the Islamic Courts. Two militants were killed and six arrested. It is believed the eight heavily armed men were planning a terror attack in response to the upcoming trial of twelve other Islamic militants. Puntland police have intercepted bomb making materials and munitions being smuggled to Islamic terrorists in Mogadishu.

Meanwhile, in Mogadishu, the Transitional Government accused the head of the UN food program of selling food on the open market and giving the money to Islamic terrorists. The UN food program had been halted in Mogadishu between last June and October 15th because of violence against UN personnel. Suspicion and paranoia are popular activities in Somalia.

 

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