US and Ethiopia "Sleepwalking to Failure" in Somalia

21 de junio de 2007

June 21 (LPAC)--The Somali opposition is far from dead, according to an unnamed Somali official cited in the Washington Post yesterday. They are politically uniting, strengthening, and planning a conference next month to hone their strategy for ousting the Somali government and the Ethiopian troops backing it, according to the source. The opposition is reaching out to different clans, and citizens, without any preconditions. The source says that the conflict is now becoming one between Ethiopia and Somalia, rather than between different groups of Somalis. Groups that once were quarrelsome and fragmented are unifying against their common enemies, including the United States.

Earlier this month, a group calling itself the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign met in Doha, Qatar, and issued a statement condemning "Ethiopian naked aggression," and Ethiopia's "collaborators." Participants included former Islamic Courts leader Sharif Ahmed, the former speaker of the Somali parliament, and members of the Somali diaspora. The group will hold a conference next month to establish a "Somali national movement for the liberation of the country from the foreign oppressive occupation by all legitimate means available."

The official in Mogadishu said on June 18 that the United Nations, the United States and other nations are "sleepwalking to failure" in Somalia, by continuing to back a government that refuses to acknowledge the opposition except by fighting it. "The Somali government is in a state of denial," the official said. "They can't accept that there is an opposition, and that's very foolish. There are daily roadside bombs in Mogadishu. Today for example. And it's almost every day." The Post says that analysts are comparing the pattern of developments in Somalia, after the U.S.-backed invasion, "to Iraq on a small scale."