There's no doubt that UIC has raised fears in many Somalis, not because of the myth of terrorism, but some perceive them as another tribal faction using the name of Islam. Though they've done a great job in
When the UIC started expanding, I predicted and so have many observers, that they will not attack Puntland and so far they haven't. There's a very simple logic to it, UIC and Puntland are of different tribal groups and any attack will be seen as another tribal war; not an attractive option. However, UIC had another impact on the rest of
The TFG on the other hand, is recognized not only as weak and unpopular, but as a collection of former warlords and incompetent former officials in Siad Barre's regime. The only thing the TFG can boast about is they represent most (or have people from) all Somali tribes, regions and factions. The question is whether they will be able to reach out to UIC and to share power, and recognize that they're in a weaker position (they control only one city, Baidao). Simply claiming to be the legitimate government without having nothing to show for it isn’t enough.
From the time of creation of the TFG, having foreign troops to support the government was an option strongly advocated by many, and mostly opposed by the warlords who then controlled Mogadishu because they saw the mandate of such troops would be to disarm them. UIC have also made it clear that they will not accept any foreign troops in
It seems that US has made its mind up to support the TFG against the UIC after a period of hesitation about whether to talk to UIC or not (in fact Shiekh Sharif revealed in an interview with Aljazeera that US officials were having indirect talks with UIC). The US-led security council resolution (along with
A closer look at the resolution reveals that it's impractical to implement it at least for the coming months if not years. It does not address the most important questions; who is going to pay for it? Who will contribute troops? Not all factions in Somalia are in favor of it, so how is it suppose to work? Is it a fighting force or just peacekeeping? and is there peace to be kept in the first place?
The troops will be from IGAD excluding Somalia's immediate neighbors, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. You're only left with Uganda, Eritrea and Sudan; only
The coming year will be another very dangerous year for
The role of IGAD, AU and the international community will be crucial in filling the gaps in the resolution and pressuring the different groups to reach a compromise. For a start, Kofi Annan urged African countries who might be sending troops to
The Somali population and refugees in the south (and border areas with
Somali Diaspora (which is massive by any standard) is shamefully out of the picture, they may not agree on political issues but how about humanitarian. If they get together they can surely gather enough support to assist the desperate Somali refugees and those effected by floods, this won't happen in 2007 either.