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article imageHeavy fighting in Somali capital escalates

By Mark M Drewe     Oct 27, 2007 in World
Somalia, a small country on the East African coast bordering Kenya and Ethiopia, has been overshadowed by the crisis in Darfur; however, this country has seen almost a lifetime of violence.
In a country where the word 'peace' seems only to be a fairy tale, Somalia is once again battling, this time against the government-backed Ethiopian forces that forced out Islamists last December.
Ethiopian and Somalian forces have entered into their deadliest warfare in months, as machine guns and guerrilla fighting has escalated inside the capital, Mogadishu. This marks the heaviest fighting Somalia has seen since the Ethiopian occupancy, and residents of the city claim that 10 have died after street fighting in the capital was met by an Ethiopian offensive attack.
The clashes inside the city raised after reinforcements were moved into the city late Friday night, including 20 armored tanks and cars. After taking barracks, the forces fanned out across the city and targeted loyal militia to the couped Union of Islamic Courts, and even took a police station that was in the area.
According to the BBC article, many witnesses report the fighting to be in every alley of the city, while other reports claim that the Ethiopian forces are back in their barracks.
Local elders described the Ethiopian offensive as a genocide and have appealed to the international community to intervene.
To make matters even more complicated, the African Union forces have sent in 1,600 troops from Uganda as part of the planned 8,000 to support the interim government.
Somalia, without an effective government since 1991, which marks the beginning of their civil war, has also seen 400,000 displaced people that have fled in the last 4 months.
It's hard to wrap one's head around the crisis that Somalia has seemed to face for an eternity. With Darfur garnering the majority of the attention, the international community has essentially ignored Somalia; but it seems that this conflict has been longstanding, and with it unclear which side to support, International aid doesn't appear likely until there is yet another genocide in Africa.
More about Ethiopia, Somalia, Insurgent
 
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