Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More on Somalia. Grim and Grimmer.

It looks like the situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate despite the arrival of a small (400!) force of AU peacekeepers from Uganda. See pics of their arrival here at Shabelle.

At the official welcoming ceremony at the airport these "peacekeepers" were greeted with incoming mortar fire.

Residents are returning to Mogadishu, saying they preferred the violence in the city to starving in the country. Unfortunately, the Islamists are returning as well. You know what that means. An increase in carjackings, shootings, and collateral damage. Even the Coca-Cola refugee camp was attacked. (No, it's not sponsored by Coca-Cola, it's an abandoned Coca-Cola plant occupied by a group of IDP's.)

Conditions for IDP's are particularly wretched what with watery diarrhea being on the rise. The young and the very old are being affected in increasing numbers.

And remember the MV Rozen, the UN aid ship hijacked off the coast of Somalia last week? The crew is reported to be safe but the ship remains in pirate hands anchored near the northern Somali port of Eyl. Negotiations are reportedly underway.

The Central Prison was reopened on Monday. The Islamist Courts Union is getting high marks from the UN for the improvements they have made there during their "administration".

More props for the ICU from neighboring Djibouti's President: Not so much for the US and Ethiopia. He feels not only has situation on the ground worsened, no al-Qaeda terrorists or sophisticated weapons have been found in the region and that this was the rationale for the removal of the ICU. He sounds a tad steamed about it, too. Why should that matter to us?

Djibouti is the base for Camp Lemonier, a U.S.-led anti-terrorism task force.

And Somalia is believed by many experts in the terror arena to be the 'new Afghanistan'.