Recent historyJune 19, 2007 at 7:03 am | Posted in somalia | Leave a comment
The various Somali militias have developed into security agencies for hire. Due to that development security has much improved and an economic rebound occurred. It can be said that Somalia is now partly in a state of anarcho-capitalism where all services are provided by private ventures. According to CIA factbook Somali telecommunication firms provide wireless services in most major cities and offer the lowest international call rates on the continent.
In 2000, Abdiqasim Salad Hassan was selected to lead the Transitional National Government (TNG).
On October 10, 2004 Somali parliament members elected Abdullahi Yusuf, president of Puntland, to be the next president, leading the successor to the TNG, named the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Because of the chaotic situation in Mogadishu, a decision was made to hold the election in the relatively atypical venue of a sports centre in Nairobi, Kenya. The other institutions adopted at this time were the Transitional Federal Charter and the selection of a 275-member Transitional Federal Parliament.
Indian Ocean Tsunami
On December 26, 2004, one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern history, the Indian Ocean earthquake, struck off the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake and subsequent tsunamis reportedly killed over 220,000 people around the rim of the Indian Ocean. Somalia’s east coast was affected. 298 people were reportedly killed but relief workers dispute this figure as overstated.
Civil War and Ethiopian intervention (2006)
Starting in May 2006 with the Second Battle of Mogadishu, civil war wracked Somalia as the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) fought with warlords, including the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT), pirates, other separatists of Jubaland and Puntland, the internationally-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Ethiopian troops to bring unity, security and Sharia law to Somalia. On June 5, 2006 forces associated with the Islamic Court Union claimed to have taken control of Mogadishu.
The transitional government in Baidoa tried to secure the help of African Union peacekeeping troops to help pacify Somalia so that a government can survive and hold power with some stability (see IGASOM). This proposal has been controversial, because of bringing foreign troops in the country since 1995 when the United Nations troops left Somalia (see UNOSOM II).
Some of the countries contributing troops are also not popular locally, Ethiopia especially. The warlords in Mogadishu united to fight any foreign troops, joined by the speaker of the parliament, causing a fault line in the government. Some of the warlords are aligned with Islamic miltant groups, and the US government accuses the involvement of al-Qaeda amongst the ICU leaders. Instability, warlord control, piracy and economic chaos remain significant issues in many parts of the country.
On December 20, 2006, active fighting broke out between the ICU and Ethiopia in the Battle of Baidoa. The ICU considered the conflict a jihad. Ethiopia was allied with the TFG and Puntland in its counterattacks against the ICU. The ICU troops and technicals proved no match to Ethiopea’s tanks and aircraft and on 26 December, the ICU was forced to retreat to Mogadishu. They abandoned Mogadishu on 28 December 2006 and retreated to Jilib, where they were again defeated in the Battle of Jilib on the night of 31 December 2006. A mutiny within the ICU caused their forces to disintegrate, and abandon both Jilib and Kismayo. They fled towards the Kenyan border, where they were trapped between the advancing Ethiopian and TFG armies, Kenyan border patrols, and a US naval blockade. They were then engaged in the Battle of Ras Kamboni.
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