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Islamists' Grip Tightens On Somalia
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8-5-2006 | MikePflanz

Posted on 08/04/2006 6:20:01 PM PDT by blam

Islamists' grip tightens on Somalia

By Mike Pflanz, East Africa Correspondent

(Filed: 05/08/2006)

The African front line in the West's war on terrorism has collapsed as mass resignations from Somalia's fragile government have all but handed power to hard-line Islamists.

Twenty senior officials quit the United Nations-backed transitional administration this week. That brought to 39 - a third of the government - the number who have abandoned the struggle to stabilise the country and ward off the threat of an Islamist regime giving succour to al-Qa'eda in east Africa.

Islamic militants control much of southern Somalia

All have left office in protest at the way Ali Mohamed Gedi, the prime minister, has handled the stand-off with Islamic militants now in control of most of southern Somalia.

The Islamists' leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, has invited the defectors to join his increasingly powerful Mogadishu-based alliance of hard-liners, the Supreme Islamic Courts Council.

The prospect of the wholesale collapse of Mr Gedi's government has sent shockwaves through the Horn of Africa, where many people blame a botched attempt by the United States to oppose the Islamic militia. Washington has denied that it backed a loose alliance of warlords and businessmen that opposed the militia but lost the battle for control of Mogadishu in June.

That defeat paved the way for the militia to sweep through the south of the country, imposing sharia law, closing down cinemas and banning fans from watching football.

At first there were hopes that both sides would sit down for talks held in Khartoum aimed at working out a power-sharing deal.

Then, however, Ethiopia was reported to have sent troops over its border into Somalia, ostensibly to support the government, which has no military of its own to defend its base in the ruined town of Baidoa. Addis Ababa denies that any of its soldiers are in Somalia but the prime minister, Meles Zenawi, is Mr Gedi's closest ally and, as leader of the region's dominant, majority Christian, power, he does not want a radical Islamic state on his doorstep.

The involvement of Ethiopia in any conflict would hand the Islamists a strong card with Somalis, many of whom regard their neighbours as the traditional enemy.

There are reports that Eritrea, traditionally Ethiopia's arch foe, has paid for plane-loads of arms for the Islamists which have landed secretly at an airstrip just north of Mogadishu.

Officials in Kenya and Tanzania are looking on nervously, worried that this 14th attempt to introduce stable government in Somalia since the overthrow of the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 is also doomed.

They and Washington suspect that al-Qa'eda terrorists used Somalia, where Osama bin Laden once found shelter, to launch attacks against US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998.

The Islamists deny links to bin Laden's network. But Sheikh Aweys appears on several US and United Nations terrorist lists and there are fears that, under his control, Somalia could become a haven for extremists.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: clintonfailure; clintonlegacy; grip; islamists; on; somalia; tightens

1 posted on 08/04/2006 6:20:04 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Just shocking that the UN has failed here. That's very unusual. /sarc


2 posted on 08/04/2006 6:24:11 PM PDT by The Iceman Cometh (Just another evil conservative)
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To: blam

Who is funding the Islamicists?


3 posted on 08/04/2006 6:25:02 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: blam
Thank you, Clinton and Murtha.

Not properly supporting troops led to an unacceptable number of deaths. This is despite the face our brave troops accomplished all objectives and inflicted a major defeat on the enemy. Leading to an embarrassing "strategic redeployment" which emboldened this Islamists. Which caused us to be fighting this war to start with. Peace and Prosperity mean very little while the war clouds gathered on the horizon.
4 posted on 08/04/2006 6:27:53 PM PDT by Hawk1976 (Borders. Language. Culture. AAA-0. Free Travis Mcgee.)
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To: blam

UN Failed? What no loot to blackmail the residents out of?


5 posted on 08/04/2006 6:29:51 PM PDT by Danae (Anál nathrach, orth' bháis's bethad, do chél dénmha)
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To: blam

Another Islamic population we should never have tried to help.

When oh when are we going to learn?

We offer them food, they attack us.

We liberate them and rather than appreciate it they march against us - burning our flag and chanting "death to America".

We offer them peace, they see it as weakness and a chance to prepare for the next battle against the infidel.

Islamic populations will NEVER be real friends to those whom believe in liberty and freedom.


6 posted on 08/04/2006 6:30:29 PM PDT by Longbow1969
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To: blam

I know this is not a nice thing to say but. LET THEM HAVE IT. Its the only place in the world where Nuking it would drive up the property values.


7 posted on 08/04/2006 6:30:55 PM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: The Iceman Cometh

The UN didn't fail. They want all of the world to be muslim.


8 posted on 08/04/2006 6:32:34 PM PDT by RouxStir (Refreshingly Offensive, with Hints of Cohiba and Auchentoshen.)
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To: Hawk1976

True, Clinton failed miserably here - but Bush Sr. deserves his share of the blame as well.

Bush Sr. should never have allowed the media to pressure him into sending US soldiers to the hellhole that is Somalia. There was zero national interests at stake, and even had we successfully fed these people for a few years it would have solved absolutely nothing.

The US had absolutely no business going to Somalia. I am just fine with individual citizens wishing to contribute to charities in an effort to keep a few of these people from starving to death, but the US government had absolutely no business sending US forces to Somalia.


9 posted on 08/04/2006 6:37:21 PM PDT by Longbow1969
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To: blam

Another step towards the inevitable world war between Western democracy and Islamic fascism.


10 posted on 08/04/2006 6:40:20 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY ((((Truth shall set you free))))
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To: The Iceman Cometh

The UN annointed 'President' has already decided on a program of collecting guns in the ONLY village he controls... but the citizens won't give them up.


11 posted on 08/04/2006 6:40:38 PM PDT by GeronL (http://www.mises.org/story/1975 <--no such thing as a fairtax)
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To: Brilliant

These folks (Islamicists) are like cockroaches, no matter how many you kill more just keep come out of the woodwork! Surly, somewhere, there is a lab that is working on a serum, spray or injection that will cleans the earth of this vermin!


12 posted on 08/04/2006 6:41:16 PM PDT by doc1019
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To: Longbow1969
but Bush Sr. deserves his share of the blame as well.

Well yes and no

A VERY Strong leader could have resisted but with the constant drumbeat night after night of starving people children on the TV news it was impossible to ignore

Once again the MSM screws up everything
13 posted on 08/04/2006 6:46:47 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: uncbob
A VERY Strong leader could have resisted but with the constant drumbeat night after night of starving people children on the TV news it was impossible to ignore

It is his job to resist pressure to commit US troops needlessly and where we have no national security interests.

I grant you that Bush Sr. was not a very strong leader, but he really should have known better than to get us involved in Somalia.

Once again the MSM screws up everything

Agreed.

14 posted on 08/04/2006 6:52:08 PM PDT by Longbow1969
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To: doc1019
Surly, somewhere, there is a lab...

Surly? Who you calling surly? (:^D)

15 posted on 08/04/2006 7:11:25 PM PDT by WideGlide (That light at the end of the tunnel might be a muzzle flash.)
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To: Free ThinkerNY
You got that right.....there is no hope of peace as long as islm exists. It is either them or us....

But if "they" win, there will be on peace.....islm requires murder and terror to exist.

16 posted on 08/04/2006 7:16:21 PM PDT by B.O. Plenty (Islam, liberalism and abortions are terminal..)
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To: WideGlide

Please, cut me some slack … it is Friday, it has been a long week, I’m tired, I’m twelve beers into a sixpack and … well you get the picture. By the way, thanks for pointing out my mistake, need to pay more attention to what I type. Have a great weekend.


17 posted on 08/04/2006 7:31:26 PM PDT by doc1019
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To: Longbow1969

I truly hate to agree, but I do.

Cut off all trade, food and let this hellhole nation slowly die.

I'll never forget Blackhawk Down...and I know it was a movie, but the facts remain the same.

Phuck Somalia.


18 posted on 08/04/2006 7:42:35 PM PDT by Hilltop
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To: WideGlide
Surly? Who you calling surly?


19 posted on 08/04/2006 7:44:36 PM PDT by NonLinear (He's dead, Jim)
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To: doc1019

The photo of the Somali goon sporting belt fed rounds do not match with the weapon he's carrying.

Everything seems to be in order, a clean uniform, a snappy red bandana, and an angry, yet staged scowl.

They say pictures don't lie....I've my doubts.


20 posted on 08/04/2006 7:50:00 PM PDT by Hilltop
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To: doc1019

Yeah, but they are carrying some pretty nice looking guns. I'm sure they don't make those in Somalia.


21 posted on 08/05/2006 4:50:23 AM PDT by Brilliant
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