Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Somalia's spreading war

Somalia's spreading war

If there were any doubts that the bloody conflict in Somalia could pose a threat to African stability, they were buried in the Ugandan capital of Kampala this week along with the 76 people killed in twin bombings orchestrated by Somalia's extremist Islamic militia known as Shabab. The attacks, which targeted fans watching the World Cup final on televisions at a rugby club and an Ethiopian restaurant, were, in fact, a triple blow against Uganda, Ethiopia and what the radical group perceives to be ungodly Western influences such as soccer.
The United States, United Nations and African Union peacekeepers support a weak transitional government led by President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed that controls a small part of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, while Shabab's extremist rule extends over large swaths of the country. Shabab is largely focused on ousting the government, although the coordinated attacks in Uganda illustrate the rising influence of foreigners allied with Al Qaeda and their ambitions for global jihad. The two interests may have aligned in the strike in Uganda, which contributes a large part of the peacekeeping force.

 

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