Jul 15, 2007

Somalia Update

The security situation in Mogadishu has only deteriorated in the past few weeks. Mortar attacks, bombings and assassination have increased despite government imposed night-time curfews. Also prices of goods and have increased dramatically and many businesses have closed and that's making life harder for Mogadishu residents.

Prime minister Ghedi in a visit to the UN head quarters requested the security council to send UN troops to Somalia but UNSC members remained skeptical and preferred to wait a bit longer and assess the security situation. But African leaders in the AU summit made it clear that peacekeeping troops must be sent urgently to Somalia. The problem is that there isn't much peace in Mogadishu to keep.

Tensions continue in Kismayo where Mareehan clan militias are still holding the city and Puntland troops together with Ethiopian army are threatening to mount an attack to retake the city. But president Abdullah Yusuf doesn't want any fighting, at least now, until the reconciliation conference ends. The government insists that it will not postbone the reconciliation conference again though the security situation in Mogadishu hasn't improved. The dispute within Hawiye tribal elders continues as well over whether or not to participate in the conference. Some of Hawiye elders have met the president and it seems most of them will be attending.

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