News and Analysis: Somalia
During an African Union summit July 25-27 in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, U.S. and AU officials expressed continued support for the AU "peacekeeping" mission, with Guinea pledging 2,000 additional troops.
According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, 258 non-combatants died in Somalia in January, the bloodiest month since August 2009. February threatens to be no better as fighting continues between government troops and their supporters and fundamentalist Islamic militias.
The article below is an adaptation from a talk presented at the July 24 San Francisco branch meeting of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Africa has become a new focus of the imperialist powers’ inherent drive to divide and re-divide the world’s markets and resources.
Somalia has recently returned to the headlines with the news that the U.S. government has been quietly providing low-level military hardware to Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, most recently shipping 40 tons of ammunition.
President Obama’s recent trip to Ghana, his first trip to Africa as president, drew a considerable amount of attention. As President Obama’s father was from Kenya, his first trip to the continent and his speech were highly anticipated.
Somali hostage-takers have become a favorite topic of the business media. The coverage peaked in April, when the Maersk Alabama, a U.S.-based container ship, was hijacked and its captain, Richard Phillips, was taken hostage.
Recent news coverage has been dominated by sensationalized stories of Somali pirates hijacking ships and taking hostages in order to secure large ransoms. Most recently, the Maersk Alabama, a U.S.-based container ship, was hijacked and its captain, Richard Phillips, was taken hostage.
The last Ethiopian troops in Somalia left Jan. 15, ending a two-year occupation. The hatred of the occupation was on full display when the pullout began just two days earlier, as hundreds of Somalis lined the route of the retreating military forces and cheered their departure.