Somalia’s Government Has Fallen

27.01.09

Categorie: Africa |

baydhabo_ethiopia.jpg

Occupying Ethiopian troops were the only thing keeping the U.S.- and U.N.-backed Somali Transitional Federal Government in power. When, after two years of bloody fighting, the Ethiopians gradually pulled out their last troops this week, pictured, the dominant Al-Shabab Islamic group went on the offensive.

Yesterday, the TFG’s capitol and final stronghold, Baidoa, was taken by Al-Shabab fighters. The TFG’s top officials have fled to neighboring Djibouti, where the U.S. and other foreign militaries maintain large bases.

Last fall, the State Department told me they were committed to a peace process in Somalia, but not necessarily committed to the TFG. In other words, any alliance promoting national reconciliation and, eventually, a democratic process ultimately will get Washington’s support. That clearly will not be the TFG, which now is an ineffectual government-in-exile.

* How will the TFG’s final defeat affect the U.N.-led aid effort that feeds half of Somalia’s 8 million people?

* How will the country’s other Islamic groups respond?

* How do everyday Somalis feel?

* Will the accelerating Islamification of Somalia affect the multi-national campaign against Somali pirates?

I’ve got queries out in a bid to answer these questions. Check back later.

(Photo: Somali Weyn)

Related:
Peacekeepers attacked
Islamists occupy Mogadishu police stations
Fighting threatens Somalia food shipments
Somali president out
Don’t go to Somalia
Americans join Somali insurgency
Ethiopians change mind about withdrawal
Kenyan fighters in Somalia
Good news, bad news, in Islamists’ return
Invading Somalia a bad idea
Pirates and Islamists: enemies or allies?
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
Ethiopians withdraw?
Peace talks break down
Ship rescues Somalis
Who are Al Shabab?

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6 Responses to “Somalia’s Government Has Fallen”

  1. James says:

    Thus they return to their humble beginnings. An ineffectual government-in-exile is how they started and they never rose above puppet status. I’m sure they will be available to the next army that needs to put a local face on their occupation.

    Seriously, no one elected these guys. If the whole country wasn’t such a tragedy it would be fare for a Hollywood comedy: a bunch of unemployed former civil servants who looked around and, seeing no other claimants, boldly decided to call themselves the legitimate government of Somalia. For the last four years they’ve been soberly attending international conferences and meeting with aid groups and soliciting funds to keep themselves in a comfortable style but, when called upon to actually govern, it turns out they were far better at bickering over the spoils of their scam.

    And it was a scam. Their angle was to put themselves in between the donors and their wretched clients. The middle is a great place to be when money is changing hands, as any African civil servant will tell you. With no other prospects on the horizon lots of people who should have known better allowed themselves to be taken along for the ride. The US and the UN certainly should have known better, but they’ve never known better in the past and I doubt they’ll know better in the future. If you want to get anything done in a country you work with the guys that already have the power to get things done, not ambitious exiles who tell you what you want to hear.

  2. [...] Still, CFR and its analysts have a point: a capable coast guard indeed would be a lasting solution to the piracy problem. But coast guards are high-order functions of stable states. As of Monday, south and central Somalia doesn’t even have a government, much less any law enforcement agencies. The country has gotten less stable since the U.S.-Ethiopian invasion two years ago. You can talk about coast guards all day long, but at this point the only thing that can begin to solve Somalia’s problems, piracy included, is political reconciliation on land. To that end, the U.S. and Ethiopia must embrace Somalia’s emerging hardline Islamic regime, encourage that regime to open up ties to the outside world, and be prepared to provide significant aid to slowly elevate the regime to the level of a truly functional government. [...]

  3. [...] Two years after U.S. and Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia and deposed the ruling Islamic Courts regime, Islamists now are back in control of the East African country. Islamists’ reconquest of Somalia represents the failure of the Bush Administration’s “proxy” strategy for waging the “war on terror” in Africa, using armies such as Ethiopia’s to do most of the fighting. Despite a lack of strong evidence, the Bush Administration had accused the Islamic Courts of colluding with Al Qaeda — and used that to justify supporting the Ethiopian invasion. By contrast, today’s dominant Islamic group, Al Shabab, truly has been radicalized by two years of insurgent warfare and publicly has proclaimed its alignment with Al Qaeda’s global jihad. [...]

  4. [...] Two years after U.S. and Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia and deposed the ruling Islamic Courts regime, Islamists now are back in control of the East African country. Islamists’ reconquest of Somalia represents the failure of the Bush Administration’s “proxy” strategy for waging the “war on terror” in Africa, using armies such as Ethiopia’s to do most of the fighting. Despite a lack of strong evidence, the Bush Administration had accused the Islamic Courts of colluding with Al Qaeda — and used that to justify supporting the Ethiopian invasion. By contrast, today’s dominant Islamic group, Al Shabab, truly has been radicalized by two years of insurgent warfare and publicly has proclaimed its alignment with Al Qaeda’s global jihad. [...]

  5. [...] Related: A.U. rescues Somali lawmakers Building a Somali coast guard? Somali government falls Peacekeepers attacked Islamists occupy Mogadishu police stations Fighting threatens Somalia food shipments Somali president out Don’t go to Somalia Americans join Somali insurgency Ethiopians change mind about withdrawal Kenyan fighters in Somalia Good news, bad news, in Islamists’ return Invading Somalia a bad idea Pirates and Islamists: enemies or allies? 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 Ethiopians withdraw? Peace talks break down Ship rescues Somalis Who are Al Shabab? 1 Comment so far Leave a comment [...]

  6. [...] Related: Fact vs. Fantasy in Somalia Verified: kidnapping an inside job Somali journo released Inside job rumors persist Hope for kidnapped journos Who are Al Shabab? Abducted journos’ vulnerability Journos kidnapped! Problems retrieving journos Kidnapping: inside job? Ransom pending? Developments in kidnapping case Ignored victims New prez = hope for Somalia A.U. rescues Somali lawmakers Building a Somali coast guard? Somali government falls Peacekeepers attacked Islamists occupy Mogadishu police stations Fighting threatens Somalia food shipments Somali president out Don’t go to Somalia Americans join Somali insurgency Ethiopians change mind about withdrawal Kenyan fighters in Somalia Good news, bad news, in Islamists’ return Invading Somalia a bad idea Pirates and Islamists: enemies or allies? 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 Ethiopians withdraw? Peace talks break down Ship rescues Somalis Who are Al Shabab? No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

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