January 18, 2010
[efoods]Press TV reports that “There are . . . allegations of US-sponsored bomb plots in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. As of 12 Jan 2010, at least 18 people have been killed in clashes between rival factions in southern and central Somalia, and there are reports that Blackwater/Xe mercenaries have entered the country.” That’s for starters.
What’s more, “A battle broke out between the pro-government Ahlu Sunnah militia and Hizbul Islam fighters in the town of Baladwayne on Sunday and went well into Monday, during which at least 13 people lost their lives, witnesses said . . . There are also allegations of US-sponsored bomb plots in the capital. The bombings will be carried out in order to create a pretext to launch a campaign against the [hard-line Islamist] Al-Shabab, a spokesman of the group, Sheikh Ali Mohammed Rage, told Reuters.
He also told reporters, “’We have discovered that US agencies are going to launch suicide bombings in public places in Mogadishu . . . They have tried it in Algeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan . . . We warn of these disasters. They want to target Bakara Market and mosques, then use that to malign us. At a meeting with tribal elders in Mogadishu on Monday, the Al-Shabab spokesman said that mercenaries of the Xe private security firm — formerly known as Blackwater — have arrived in the Somali capital, the Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported on Monday.”
So what threat has brought out the notorious Xe? Somalia is this small sub-Saharan country in the horn of Africa’s east to north coast, south of Yemen, on the bottom of the Arabian Peninsula, across the Gulf of Aden. Somalia is also strategically at the mouth of the Red Sea to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south.
Britain pulled out of British Somaliland in 1960 to permit its former protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland into the new nation Somalia. In 1969, a coup headed by General Mohamed Siad Barre brought in an authoritarian socialist rule that managed to impose a level of stability in the country for several decades. It included close relations with the former Soviet Union, which caused frequent conflicts with neighbors.