Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reason #16 To Fly A Peace Globe ~ Somalia

There are thirty ongoing violent conflicts waging right now around the globe. The United Nations defines Major Wars as military conflict inflicting 1,000 battlefield deaths per year. Wikipedia expands that definition to include wars that cause destruction and humanitarian crisis of outstanding severity." Ongoing civil wars fueled by racial, ethnic, or religious differences come with a new twist that distinguishes them from wars in previous generations - civilian casualties. During World War I non-combatants made up less than 5% of casualties. Today, the number is a staggering 75% civilians killed or wounded. Less than thirty days from now we will engage in another BlogBlast For Peace. By my research and estimation, there are at LEAST 30 very good reasons to fly a peace globe. To begin your activism. To increase our awareness of the suffering of others. To talk about peace. To write about peace. To be part of a larger voice for peace. To invoke peace. To pray for peace. To focus on peace.To wage peace.

Need a reason to fly a peace globe?
Here's reason #16 ...

Somali Civil War
Began 1986
Casualties 300,000 - 400,000

Where? Somalia is located in the "Horn of Africa" bordered by Kenya, Djibouti, Yemen, the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean and Ethiopia

Who is fighting? Alliance for The Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism and the Transitional Federal Government against and the Islamic Courts Union (ICU)

Why are they fighting? Background: After the dissolution of Somalia's government in the early 90's due to the overthrow of leader Siad Barre, anarchy ensued as did a humanitarian crisis that followed. The United Nations dispersed a coalition of peacekeepers to primarily deal with famine conditions. Cynics claimed that the US used the crisis to step in and gain control of oil concessions in the region. Just before pro-U.S. President Barre was overthrown, a large portion of the country's territory had been granted as oil concessions to Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips. Somalis opposed the presence of foreigners and were suspicious of the aid relief they were getting. In the Battle of Mogadishu, local gunmen fought the peacekeepers killing 1000 Somali militia. This conflict was the basis for the book and movie: Black Hawk Down (scene from film below)

The U.S. withdrew in 1995.
Today it is a battle for control between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Kenya
In 2006 an Alliance For the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism was formed by Mogadishu-based warlords.
The ICU captured the capital city of Mogadishu and took over the region. They declared "Jihad" against Ethiopia and wanted to force them from their land. They were defeated,however, and the leaders of the ICU resigned. The Prime Minister called for the country to cease fire. In January 2007, the US led air strikes against Islamist positions in an effort to kill Al Qaeda. The ICU began a guerrilla war against Ethiopian and Somali government forces. Tribal and inter-clan conflicts ensue today.

Recent fighting: February 2008, militants captured Dinsoor. On March 3, 2008, the US launched an air strike on Dhoble, claiming the town was held by Islamic extremists.
Human Rights Watch: Warring parties within the region commit violence against civilian men,women and children. At least 9 journalists have been killed since March 2008. The Al-Hidaya Mosque massacre happened in April 2008 where 21 people were reportedly killed in Mogadishu, Somalia when Ethiopian troops attacked the Mosque. Amnesty International condemned the violence but Ethiopian authorities have denied that the killings too place. Since 2006, suicide bombings have been the new weapon of choice.
I am appalled by the needless suffering in my world.
If words are powerful, then this matters.

Come on. Join the Revolution.


Copyright © Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.


Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Another great bit of writing. Thanks!

Mimi Lenox said...

Bud - Thank YOU for reading. I appreciate your support.

Sandee said...

Another great reason to fly all the peace globes. What is happening here is frightening. Have a peaceful day Mimi. Big hug. :)

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