Saturday, October 11, 2008

More African Union Troops for Somalia

Whenever the African Union sneezes, it is either Burundians or Ugandans who flock to Somalia as peacekeepers though for the many splinter groups fighting in Somalia, their presence ignite more violence, bloodshed, refugees, internally displaced, and political instability. Just yesterday, 400 well-armed and well-trained troops meant to boost Somali peace efforts arrived the city of Mogadishu in high spirits from the tiny landlocked central African nation of Burundi. The good thing is that, the international airport in Mogadishu that had been nonoperational for 20 days because of a decree by the fundamentalist religious group Al-Shabab opened doors a day earler allowing even deported Somalis from Saudi Arabia land safely, according to local Somali media reports.

For the past few months, armed resistance groups in Mogadishu and troops from Uganda had been engaged in bitter firefight after contingents from the Ethiopian army paved way for what is thought to be preparations for a complete withdrawal from Somalia of Ethiopian forces pursuant to agreement reached in neighboring Djibouti between the Asmara group and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) that calls for the complete withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia within 120 days.

However, many Somalis are pessimistic and an equal number remain optimistic about the change of affairs in this volatile region. For some, the arrival of Burundians means the world has at last heeded to calls by concerned groups for the pacification of Somalia and the complete withdrawal of Ethiopian forces. For others, the departure of Ethiopian forces from the Somali political spectrum will lead to further divisions and protracted enmity among tribal groups.

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