Thursday, April 26

Baghdad by the sea

The week before I left for Kenya, I went to a conference at CSIS, where all the Africa policy folks in Washington were gathered to discuss Somalia. Ethiopia had just 'routed' the Union of Islamic Courts, and though everyone who spoke admitted things could slide back to chaos, there was a lot of optimism in the air. As you may have heard, things haven't turned out that way. At least 1300 people have been killed this month in fighting between Ethiopian and transitional government troops on the one side, and members of the Hawiye clan and Islamist militants on the other. This latest piece in The Economist gives a good overview of how bad things have gotten, noting that some are saying that Somalia is facing a bigger humanitarian crisis than in the early 1990s. There are some good links on the right-hand sidebar too.

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