Friday, July 16, 2010

Somalia's troubles extend landward

While the piracy problems plaguing the coasts of Somalia are, by now, well known, there has been little attention paid to the regional expansion of land-based strife caused by the internal situation in that country. Some may have noted the attacks carried out in Uganda last weekend, though the news of the deaths and injuries that occurred were mostly overlooked.

Yet the instability within Somalia that allows piracy to flourish on the seas also creates not only the potential for greater regional conflict, but, now, the actuality of it. The suicide bombings in Kampala mark another downward step in the fighting that is pitting East Africans against East Africans. Political, cultural and religious differences are being inflamed on land. The worry from those I speak to is that those same divisive elements may be transferred to the nautical theater in the coming months. The suicide attacks in Uganda were reportedly carried out in reprisal of that country's support of the TFG in Somalia. But it should be noted that most Western nations also support the TFG, and an attack on our naval forces would receive considerably more publicity.

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