HEY, HOW DID THAT HORN OF AFRICA THING GO?

HEY, HOW DID THAT HORN OF AFRICA THING GO? Not so well in Somalia:

Somali Islamists and opposition leaders meeting in Eritrea have joined forces in a new alliance to overthrow Somalia's transitional government. More than 300 delegates, including Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, have approved a constitution and central committee.

A spokesman said the new movement will be called The Alliance for the Liberation of Somalia. It aims to remove the Ethiopian-backed government by negotiation - or war.....Since their defeat by Ethiopia's vastly superior military force in December last year, the Islamists have resorted to guerrilla tactics, launching daily hit-and-run attacks on targets, mainly in Mogadishu. The UN refugee agency says some 400,000 people have fled the fighting in the capital in the past four months as a result of the surge in violence.

On the "upside" it looks as if we're going to declare Eritrea a rogue state:

The US has issued Eritrea with its strongest warning yet over its alleged support for terrorism. A senior US official said the presence of an exiled Somali Islamist leader in Asmara this week was further evidence Eritrea gave sanctuary to terrorists.

The gathering of further intelligence could lead to Eritrea being named as a state sponsor of terrorism - followed by sanctions, the official said....What had got her government's attention was Eritrea's actions to destabilise other countries in the Horn of Africa and, in particular, evidence that they were harbouring terrorists.

Meanwhile, in Ethiopia (which, you'll recall, recently invaded its neighbor Somalia, although this apparently wasn't "destabilizing"):

In Addis, there are several neighborhoods populated by ethnic Somalis, and one was made up almost entirely of internally displaced people from the Ogaden....They would tell me their stories and show me their scars. One elderly woman even removed her hijab, exposing her shoulder and back, to show me the grotesque, deep scar hidden there. Ten months earlier, she had been stabbed with a bayonet by an Ethiopian soldier. "He asked me to stand up, and I guess I did this too slowly for him," she said, focusing her rheumy, blue-rimmed eyes on mine. "He meant to hit my face."

Every person I interviewed had a similar story. Their villages had been burned. Their men and women had been jailed, tortured, and raped. Many had been killed. One student I spoke with said, "There are only two options for us: Join the rebels or flee."

Read the whole thing, as they say.

--Robert Farley

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