Fighting in Somalia

Via BBC: Heavy Somali fighting amid crisis

More than 200,000 people have fled their homes since Ethiopian troops helped the government oust an Islamist group from Mogadishu in December, the UN says.


However, President Abdullahi Yusuf told the BBC that the situation was slowly improving, blaming the latest violence on the Islamists.

“Our aim is to protect the public and the government from attacks of these remnants of the Union of Islamic Courts [UIC] because they are assassinating everyone to reckon with in Somalia who they think would sympathise with the government,” he told the BBC.

He also said the Ethiopians would have withdrawn by now if the violence had not continued.

No specific commentary–just something that was worthy of noting and that likely will not be covered on most newscasts.

FILED UNDER: Africa, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. DC Loser says:

    I’m sorry to say this should not come as a surprise to anyone who’ve been following it. What were the Ethiopians thinking when they went in? Did they really believe the UIC were just going to run away? I guess they didn’t learn anything from our experience.

  2. Wayne says:

    Dc Loser

    Right. The UIC should be and should have been left alone so they could keep increasing their strength and violence. The UIC is a hotbed for terrorist groups.

    Refugee and violence are unfortunate pat of war. However, war is sometime necessary. It sounds like you believe in piece at any cost even surrender if necessary.

    Northern Africa is a breeding ground for terrorist and has been war torn section of the world for a long time now. They only realistic way it will end, is for some major groups to decisively win and that won’t happen without major operations.

  3. DC Loser says:

    And how has the current situation been any improvement over before, especially for the people in Somalia, who we were supposed to help by going in? Please spare me the standard party line about terrorism. The UIC wasn’t a major player in international terrorism. What is going on now will make Somalia a bigger staging ground for the likes of Al Qaeda. Oh, and last I heard, Somalia is in Eastern Africa, not the Maghreb or the Sahel.

  4. Wayne says:

    Somalia is in Northeastern Africa. Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have been in a long conflict with different groups for decades now. Normally Somalia would fall just outside of tradition North Africa but since it is closely related to many of conflicts in North Africa, it is often recognized as being included by many including the military when referring to North Africa conflicts. Many of the groups have ties with terrorist groups. If you don’t believe that then google it.

    The current situation is an improvement since it is a path to stability to that country. Taking out the UIC will eliminate one of the worst destabilizing groups of the region.

    UIC has given safe haven and training area to some of the worst international terrorist in the world. Does this mean the UIC participate directly in terrorism? Depends. Do you consider training and support terrorist as participating?

    It is naive to think attacking such groups will make their staging area bigger in the country. The “lets just leave them alone and they will let us alone” idea has been proven wrong time and time again.