Violence continues in Mogadishu, as pro and anti-Islamic radical clans
fight for control of the city. At least one large group of pro-Islamic radical (Shebab)
gunmen is wandering around central Somalia, raiding towns controlled by anti-Islamic
Burundi want to withdraw their peacekeeping troops from Mogadishu as soon as
possible. The UN has been unable to obtain additional peacekeepers to replace
the 2,000 Ethiopians that will withdraw by next month, and the 3,400 Ugandan
and Burundi troops do not want to be left in the chaotic city all by
themselves. Meanwhile, the Transitional National Government (TNG) has largely
fallen apart. After several years of effort, and international support
(especially from southern neighbor Kenya) the TNG has lost most (at least 80
percent) of the 15,000 soldiers and police that foreign aid paid to equip and
train. The men have gone back to their clans and warlords, taking their
uniforms and weapons with them.
agreed to accept, and prosecute, pirates arrested off the coast of Somalia. The
pirates will be tried under Kenyan law, but foreign countries will provide
money to help pay for the proceedings.
2008: The U.S. is proposing that the UN authorize members to "take all
necessary measures ashore in Somalia" to deal with the pirates. Many African, and Arab, UN members oppose such
a blanket permission, fearing it would lead to many Somali civilian casualties.
2008: Somali pirates seized two Yemeni fishing ships, and 17 crew members. But seven
fishermen escaped in a small boat to report the seizures off the Yemeni coast,
near the port of Aden.
2008: Islamic radical (Shebab) raided the town of 370 kilometers north of
Mogadishu. There were several dozen casualties. Meanwhile, Somali pirates continue to operate
far into the Indian ocean, as two speed boats tried, and failed to take a large
container ship 800 kilometers off the coast of Tanzania (which is south of
Somalia's southern neighbor Kenya). This is apparently the same gang that
seized a Saudi oil tanker last month. The two speed boats were towed by a
larger mother ship, which is patrolling the sea lanes for ships too large for
the Suez canal, and that must go around South Africa. The crew of the container
ship could see the mother ship, a large fishing boat, in the distance.
2008: A Danish warship rescued seven men found drifting in the Gulf of Aden in
a speedboat with a broken outboard engine. The seven were armed with AK-47s and
RPGs. These were confiscated and the speedboat was sunk. The men were obviously
pirates, but because they were not attacking anyone when the Danes found them,
the Danes could not arrest them. The seven pirates were handed over to the Yemeni
coast guard, which probably means these Somalis are out of the piracy business