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Somalia Report Weekly Newsletter- Volume 27

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Friday November 25, 2011 - 19:58:25 in Reports by Super Admin
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    Somalia Report Weekly Newsletter- Volume 27

    Issue 1, Volume 27 Dear Readers,

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Issue 1, Volume 27 Dear Readers,

Mogadishu (Sunatimes) There's always one uninvited guest crashing the party, twelve cans of strong lager tucked under his armpit, embarrassing guests who realize there is no one big enough around to throw him out.

And so Ethiopia enters the free-for-all to save Somalia. Ethiopia is fully expected to dance around Somalia wearing a lamp shade, backslapping Kenya, talking up its ASWJ wingmen and being completely lout like while breaking their guest's furniture.

Regional grouping IGAD on Friday provided the invitation late, although its request came in the form of requesting troops for the peacekeeping mission. Ethiopia said it was considering the request, but soldiershave already crossed the borderinto Somalia,taking up positions in Galgadud.Ethiopia may restrain its antics as it limits its invasion to the Baidoa area, butal-Shabaab was almost giddy with delight as itredeployed troops to face the Ethiopian advance. "The Boys" were the directly result of Somalia's 2006 choice between two-worst case scenarios.

Sadly, this latest descent into dysfunction is not limited to Ethiopia as we explore in aforward-looking opinion piece.

Apart from the new factor, it was business as usual, with Kenya not doing much advancing and indecisive fighting taking place across the country.There werethree days of fightingin Mogadishu's Karaan district, while al-Shabaab's bombs struck on three occasions throughout the capital, the deadliest blastkilling eleven civilians.Air strikes were reportedon al-Shabaab targetsand there wasfighting in Afmadow district, while al-Shabaab was forced toviolently suppressa small uprising by villagers after an old woman was beaten for not wearing appropriate dress.



The major confrontation between Kenya and its TFG allies and the insurgents has yet to take place, but many residents have decided they arenot going to hang aroundto watch the fireworks, defying al-Shabaab's order to stay put in search of safer ground.They may be advised not to flee to Mogadishu where, apart from the fighting and bombings that are taking their toll, residents are feelingless than safe under the TFG's watch.

A good number of people interviewed bySomalia Reportsaid they felt more secure under al-Shabaab, which is no surprise given the insurgents' firm treatment of anybody who transgresses their laws.We've talked of the killing, robbing and looting being carried out by TFG forces on many occasions, and it looks increasingly likely that the government will lose what good will it has if it doesn't finally live up to its promises of bringing safety and security to its people.

Kenya

The Kenyans continued to pay a still relatively modest price for their incursion into Somalia, with one soldier dead in aland mine blastin Kenya's Mandera districtand five more civilians perishing whentwo hand grenades were thrownin Garissa.

Al-Shabaab has promised major operations, which have yet to materialize, and if the attacks stay at the same level they are unlikely to dent Kenya's resolve to stay in Somalia to meet its every-shifting goals. Still, most observers feel a big bomb blast is likely, and with Christmas coming up in the Christian-majority nation, there is still a real sense of fear in the capital Nairobi.

Puntland

It wasn't exactly peaceful up in Puntland either, where anIED explodednear a mosque in Galkayo. Police blamed al-Shabaab, as they tend to do, but it could be related to one of the many ongoing conflicts between clans, pirates and militias that have dented the semi-autonomous region's reputation as being a tad safer than the south of the country.There was, at least, apeace dealthat created an uneasy ceasefire between two clans fighting over water and pasture in Karkaar, so that should lower the body count.

One of our correspondents also took a look at themedia scenein Puntland, where authorities have been accused of cracking down on journalists who are not toeing the government line.

Piracy

It was one of the quietest week for piracy news on record, so rather than carry out the same desperate exercise to fill space in the newsletter as we shamelessly indulged in with the piracy report, we'll just point you to thereportitself to find out the highlights of the week, which are essentially: no hijackings, no releases and the EU saying it is struggling to provide warships for the anti-piracy mission.

Special Features

There are a few things worth highlighting this week. First up, we looked at thedifferent groupsfighting in the south and their differing end games.Then our publisher Robert Young Pelton took a look atKenya's incursionone month in.We also took a look at theburden being borneby the many widows in Somalia, who find themselves having to both father and mother to their children after the deaths of their menfolk.

That's it from us this week. We wish you happy weekending, and hope to catch up with you soon.

By Michael Logan.


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