Somalia: The Next Afghanistan?

Sun, 2010-09-19 20:38 by admin
Somali fighters

By Jamal Daiani
SEPTEMBER 17, 2010, 12:00 PM

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Somalia has not had an effective government for almost 20 years. The Somali government has struggled to gain relevancy, but it has been plagued by corruption and has been battling warlords and militant groups such as the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab.

This week Augustine Mahiga, the U.N.'s top envoy for Somalia, warned that more international peacekeepers are needed in the war-ravaged country because of the growing threat from insurgent groups. He also told the Security Council that he is concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Somalia and its potential impact on the entire region.

"The threat level in Mogadishu and southern-central Somalia has actually increased, therefore, IGAD and the African Union foresee a new AMISOM troop level of up to 20,000 in the coming months. The African Union Peace and Security Council will soon submit to the U.N. Security Council a request for authorization for increased troop levels for Mogadishu and other strategic locations in Somalia," Mahiga said.

Recently, al-Shabab fighters disguised in Somali military uniforms stormed a hotel favored by lawmakers in the capital Mogadishu, firing indiscriminately and killing 32 people, including six parliamentarians. The attack came after a warning was issued by al-Shabab that a new “massive war” is about to be launched against the government. The militant group wants to establish a Taliban-style Islamic Sharia law in the country. …

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