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There are signs that other countries have run out of patience with the chaos and violence that radiate from Somalia. Two thousand Kenyan troops are embarked on Operation Linda Nchi (Defend the Country) inside southern Somalia, after the kidnapping and murder of European tourists from luxury resorts near Lamu laid to waste Kenya's vital tourist industry. 

This operation is being synchronised with African Union attempts to expel the Islamist terror organisation al-Shabaab from Mogadishu. It is easy to forget the Burundian and Ugandan troops trying to bring order to a Somali capital that is so terrifyingly chaotic that in 1993 the US military came, saw and fled in what is sometimes called Operation Black Hawk Down. US-backed Ethiopian troops intervened in 2007 and withdrew two years later, leaving Somalia more unstable than ever. 

Although the Kenyan invasion seems to be going well, al-Shabaab has already mounted grenade attacks on bars in Nairobi, for it has a ready-made fifth column inside the country, consisting of 2.4 million ethnic Somalis and 600,000 refugees. "Your attack on us means your skyscrapers will be destroyed. Your tourism will disappear. We shall inflict on you the same damage you inflicted on us," said an al-Shabaab spokeman.

Meanwhile, there is the aftermath of Nato operations in Libya, whose conclusion the British government regards as the starting pistol for an oil and gas bonanza for British business (and democracy and human rights). Many Western commentators have concentrated on the rights and wrongs of the summary execution of Gaddafi and his son. This is a largely academic question, of interest mainly to lawyers who are going to miss out on huge earnings which they might have accrued in The Hague. 

One key element of Gaddafi's forces was Tuareg tribesmen hired out by the government of Mali. As far as the latter was concerned, this brought in considerable revenue, while getting disgruntled Tuareg separatists out of the north of the country, where they hope to establish a state called Azawad in the region of Timbuktu. As the war in Libya proves "portable", we should familiarise ourselves with such capitals as Bamako (Mali), Nouakchott (Mauritania), and Niamey (Niger). 

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