Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Battle For Mogadishu

A little over a week after Somalia's Transitional Federal Government moved to the capital Mogadishu, there's been the heaviest fighting so far as it tries to stamp its authority on the country. TFG forces backed by Ethiopia are battling rebels loyal to the ousted Union of Islamic Courts.

Ethiopian military power was enough to drive the UIC out and put the TFG in power, but it won't be enough to keep them there. The real power in Mogadishu is still divided between the various clan leaders who've been prominent over the last 16 years of anarchy. The most powerful of those clans, the Hawiye, is now threatening to join the fight against the TFG. It's not happy with the role of Ethiopian forces in Somalia in recent months, as well as the Ugandans sent in by the African Union. The Hawiye seem to want some kind of UN force instead, but that can't be allowed to happen. The only solution to the Somalia problem will be an African one, and it's vital the TFG keeps the Hawiye and others onside, to allow it to happen.

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