May 21, 2006

U.S. role in Somalia questioned

Government leaders charge U.S. with backing Mogadishu warlords.
The United States is facing growing criticism that it is secretly aiding one side behind the deadly clashes raging in Mogadishu, thwarting Somalia's attempts to restore peace and order.
Somalia plunged into anarchy [misuse of the word anarchy] in 1991 after the fall of the Mohamed Siad Barre regime. Following the deaths of 18 American servicemen in Mogadishu in the 1993 "Black Hawk Down" fiasco, the U.S. withdrew its troops from the Horn of Africa country and has shied away from a hands-on diplomatic role.

But now leaders of a transitional Somalia government are blaming the U.S. for sparking what has become the deadliest outbreak of violence in Somalia in years. Somali government officials accuse U.S. intelligence agencies of secretly funding the Mogadishu warlords as part of anti-terrorism efforts.

"The warlords in Mogadishu are telling us that they were encouraged by the U.S. to fight the Islamists," said Asha Ahmed Abdalla, a parliament member representing the north.


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