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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:13 AM
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Civilians flee Somali town as government and Islamist rebels prepare for war
Ethiopian troops backing prime minister
US and African Union call for resumption of dialogue

Xan Rice, east Africa correspondent, and Simon Tisdall
Friday December 15, 2006
The Guardian

Hundreds of civilians were reported to be fleeing their homes in central Somalia yesterday as the prospect of a war between Islamist militants and government forces, backed by Ethiopian troops and artillery, appeared to draw closer.

The exodus was under way in the area around Baidoa, the last big town under the control of the western-backed transitional government. Baidoa is under siege on three sides by fighters from the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) movement and rival forces are reportedly only a few miles apart in some places.

The UIC, which controls the capital Mogadishu and most of southern Somalia, has given Ethiopia until Tuesday to withdraw its troops from the country. If it fails to do so the Islamists, who are backed by Ethiopia's enemy, Eritrea, say they will attack. Ethiopia, which officially denies having combat troops in Somalia, has rejected the ultimatum.

Western diplomats are seeking ways to bring the Islamists and the Somali government together but little progress has been made. "We still have a tiny window of opportunity to avert war," said a European diplomat in Nairobi yesterday. "But it needs a huge effort ... to get both sides talking."
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Eugene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:56 PM
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1. Somali Leader: Door to Peace Talks Shut - AP
Somali Leader: Door to Peace Talks Shut

Friday December 15, 2006 4:31 PM

AP Photo XJD102


Associated Press Writer

BAIDOA, Somalia (AP) - Somalia's president said Friday that peace talks
with the country's Islamic movement are no longer an option because the
group's leaders have declared war on his government.

"They are the ones who effectively closed the door to peace talks and
they are the ones who are waging the war," Somali President Abdullahi
Yusuf told The Associated Press from his office in Baidoa.

Tension has been mounting in recent weeks between Somalia's government,
which has Western and U.N. recognition but little authority on the ground,
and the Council of Islamic Courts, which controls most of southern Somalia.
The Islamists have vowed to launch a holy war starting Tuesday unless
Ethiopian troops supporting the government leave Somalia.

"The fighting can happen at any time now," Yusuf said, adding that his
administration will not be the first to attack.


Full article:,,-6283022...

Somalis brace for war, troops test weapons - Reuters
Somali Islamists vow not to strike government (...just the Ethiopians) - Reuters
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. A lot of right-wingers believe Clinton "got us into Somalia."
That was just another major Bush blunder.

Sent troops into Somalia with a month left in his term.

Big steaming pile of doodoo for your replacement.

But now I guess they're big pals so what do I know?
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