Islamists’ Advance: No Effect on U.N. Aid to Somalia

23.11.08

Categorie: Africa, Relief |

There were some alarmist headlines when Islamist fighters seized the strategic port of Merka in southern Somalia this month. “The threat the [Islamic Courts Union] posed in late 2006 has thus re-materialized: that Islamists will Talibanize Somalia and nurture a regional base for jihadism that exports insecurity and instability,” one heavy-breathing reporter claimed.

But Islamic rule in Somalia actually might improve security and stability. My Somali sources express hope that Islamic gains will mean a big boost in law and order: indeed, the perception that the Islamists are prepared to stabilize Somalia accounts for their widespread popular support in the country.

Furthermore, there is evidence that the Islamists are prepared to work with the U.N., which administers food programs that feed almost half the Somali population. Pete Smerdon, a World Food Program official, says that the new Islamic regime in Merka has done nothing to impede the flow of food shipments into the port.

(Photo: me)

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Somalis welcome Islamists’ return
Port fall might help piracy problem
Is secret sea lane working against pirates?
Puntland raids pirates
No easy solutions to piracy problem
What I learned from a Somali warlord
Secret sea lane for piracy protection
Peacekeepers, insurgents swap mortar fire
U.S. planes terrify Somalis
Somalia series
Ethiopians withdraw? Peace talks break down
Ship rescues Somalis
Who are Al Shabab?
Abducted journos’ vulnerability
Journos kidnapped!
Problems retrieving journos
Kidnapping: inside job?
Ransom pending?
Developments in kidnapping case
Ignored victims

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2 Responses to “Islamists’ Advance: No Effect on U.N. Aid to Somalia”

  1. Om says:

    As always, your on point. I remember reading an article in the NYT earlier this year when the madness of the TFG started in which a high UN official was quoted admitting how cooperative the Union of Islamic Courts were when they ruled, making their job quite easy along with the bandit-free roads.

  2. Dave says:

    Thanks for the first hand account. Good Job, keep it coming.

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