Sep 30, 2006

AlQaeda allegations in Somalia

FP blog had a post discussing the credibility of the Somali Prime Minister's allegations that UIC are "Al-Qaeda", certainly one of the most sensible analysis of the subject. Somali factions routinely accuse each other of terrorism and whatever else they can throw around to get outside support. Here's an excerpt from the FP Blog :
Is al-Qaeda on the march in Somalia? According to Somali interim PM Ali Mohamed Gedi, it is. After Islamic militias captured the southern town of Kismayo, on Sunday, Gedi cried out for international help:

I would appeal to the governments of the region to join our efforts and protect the region from the expansion of this al-Qaeda network, these terrorists."

What makes this characterization completely disingenuous is that Gedi was among those who celebrated the take over of Mogadishu by the Islamists a few months back. This is Prime Minister Ghendi in a June interview with Radio France Internationale:

It was an excellent step forward... because [the previous secular warlord leaders] were not ready for a government, they were not ready for peace."

So, why the flip-flop? As it turns out, Mr. Ghendi fears that the Islamists may be positioning themselves for an attack on Baidoa, the seat of his transitional government. The al-Qaeda allegation is meant to provide justification for the involvement of Ethiopian troops that are reportedly inside the country.

Gregory H. Winger, in a recent Christian Science Monitor op-ed, points out that part of the reason why Ethiopians are eager to defend the transitional government against the Islamists is to gain international aid - because they'll be seen as partners in the war on terror. It's just more evidence that anytime someone wants to get the United States' attention, you'll hear the al-Qaeda connection invoked.
Ethiopia is not making it a secret that it doesn't really want a united Somali government. It's the only country to recognize Somaliland, support Puntland and claim to support the Transitional Somali government as well as the warlords ousted by the UIC. If Puntland declares independence like Somaliland you can be sure Ethiopia will recognize it too. The previous Somali government repeatedly accused Ethiopia of interference in Somalia.

Technocrati Tags: Somalia, Africa

1 comment:

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