Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

US Policy Towards Somalia: More of the Same, Once Again

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Somalia by ruben eberlein on September 15, 2009

gunmansomaliaThe killing of a suspected al Qaeda militant cell leader in Southern Somalia by US special forces is big in the news. French soldiers are also suspected to have taken part in the raid which left several people dead. Taken together with the arms shipment and the finance of weapons acquirements by the US (see Foreign Policy’s report here), nothing points to a new approach of the Obama administration vis-à-vis the war-torn country.

On the Warpath in Somalia for the Sake of Free Markets

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Somalia by ruben eberlein on August 13, 2009

Ansgar Graw is fed up to the back teeth. The journalist deplores the payment of 2 Million Euro to Somali pirates for the release of the ‘Hansa Stavanger’ (Die Welt, 5/8/09). He calls for ‘bold steps’ after acknowledging the ‘declaration of war against the free trade’ by the buccaneers. ‘Who cashed ransom should be tracked by special forces in the interior’, writes Graw. The coasts of ‘failed states, in any way powerless zombie states, should be administered by healthy states’. One wants to witness Ansgar Graw leaving his convenient office at the Axel-Springer-Straße, swapping the laptop with an AK 47 and crawling through the streets of Mogadishu.

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‘Western Powers and Somalis Will Not Accept a Taliban-style Regime’

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Somalia by ruben eberlein on June 29, 2009

Interview with Paula Roque, Horn of Africa Researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS, Pretoria), about the current situation in southern Somalia and Mogadishu. She comments on the motivations of young people to join al-Shabaab, the international approach to Somalia and the presence of international Jihadists in the country. (more…)

Extremists Dreaming of a Somali Caliphate State on the Offensive

Posted in African Politics, Somalia by ruben eberlein on June 22, 2009

The situation in Mogadishu and Southern Somalia at large worsens day by day. It seems that nothing can stop the religious extremist groups from toppling the weak Transitional Federal Government (TFG) any time soon. The TFG is so desperate to even ask archenemy Ethiopia and other neighbouring countries to intervene. (more…)

Never Mind the Serengeti – Go for the Coast at the Horn

Posted in Global Africa, Somalia by ruben eberlein on May 14, 2009


‘Six attacks in 4 days was more than I expected. I bagged three pirates and my 12yr old son sank two rowboats with the minigun. PIRATES: 0 – PASSENGERS: 32! Well worth the trip. Just make sure your spotter speaks English’, says Donald from Salt Lake City after booking a trip with Somali Cruises. You have to check that stuff out. If you’re skint, stay at home and watch Pirate Hunters.

Afghanistan 2.0? Empire Reluctantly Confronts Somali Badlands

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Somalia by ruben eberlein on April 19, 2009

somparl1Some skinny dudes in flip-flops, shorts, or wrap-skirts messing around with an armada of 21th century roboCops: This is more than a good number of media editors and politicians of the Empire can bear. It‘s time to get tough with piracy and hostage-taking in Somalia is the message of the day. Completely missing in this discussion are the historical trajectories responsible for the formation of a huge badlands at the Horn of Africa where warlords, religious extremists and political entrepreneurs hold a people at ransom. A comment. (more…)