As I sit here writing this hundreds if not thousands of troops are converging on cities in Somalia to forcefully remove members of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) from control of the war torn country. Refugees from many different parts of the country making their way to camps in neighboring countries. Recent heavy rains and continued fighting continues to force people from their homes.

While some are leaving their homes others are taking to the streets for rallies both for and against Ethiopia’s occupation of the capitol of Mogadishu. Many people are left questioning whether the peace talks in Kenya will lead to a new organized government. Which may lead to the end of over a decade of fighting with child soldiers and the displacement of tens of thousands from their homes.

Even after being forced from Mogadishu and now having their southern seaport stronghold of Kismayo the UIC still holds its political ground. With Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed pledging to continue fighting even after devastating losses in recent weeks. Peace makers in Kenya and from Somalia’s government have given reassurance that the UIC will be included in discussions of peace.

Many African organizations are standing by the Ethiopian occupation in hopes that this will bring some resolution to what has been a nation of anarchy and danger for its people. The US has moved on this opportunity to facilitate the capture of al-Qaida members in the Horn of Africa.

The recent fighting combined with damaging annual flood rains have placed an undo burden upon aid workers in the region. These aid workers have been promised upwards of $300 million USD to assist with humanitarian relief efforts in Somalia and camps in neighboring countries.

Only time will tell if the movements of the Ethiopian army, combined with the peace talks in Kenya can finally bring Somalia out of years of darkness and perhaps into a new light of democracy and improved human rights. However, Somalia’s specific set of intra-clan politics may again lead to instability in this amazingly resilient anarchist nation.


New York Times — Jeffrey Gettleman

AngolaPress — Anaclet Rwegayura

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