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Friday, January 26, 2007

Reuters: New wave of violence shakes Mogadishu as the bloodshed continues unabated

Also in the news: [ICG: Somalia - The Tough Part Is Ahead] - [South Africa says no troops for Somalia] - [Ethiopian Supermodel Raises Money for African Village Women]

International: [Severe hunger looms for Zimbabwe] - [U.S. troops allowed to kill Iranians plotting attacks in Iraq] - [Hollywood stars choose between Clinton, Obama] - [Suicide blast rocks Pakistani luxury hotel] - [Delayed convict steals car to get back to jail] and more of today's top stories!

Professor Yacob Hailemariam’s LETTER FROM KALITY JAIL, addressed to the people of Ethiopia and the federal judges overseeing the case.

Resolution supporting urgent lobbying and vigil campaigns concerning Feb 19 2007 (sentencing day for Kinijit leaders, human right defenders and journalists)

New wave of violence shakes Mogadishu as the bloodshed continues unabated

A Somali woman is wheeled into the Medina hospital after being wounded by a mortar shell after a mortar attack.(AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Mortars hit a Mogadishu residential area and two men were shot dead overnight in the latest violence in a city the Somali government is struggling to pacify after the ouster of hardline Islamists.

In neighboring Kenya -- where some defeated Islamist fighters have fled -- five young men of Somali origin carrying U.S., French, Tunisian and Syrian passports were arrested at the border, local newspapers reported.

In what looked like a targeted killing in the lawless Somali capital, a man was blindfolded and shot dead late on Thursday in Mogadishu's Tarbuunka Square, witnesses said.

"Three men came out of a vehicle holding a blindfolded man. They shot him then drove away," said a resident who saw the assassination. The other man was shot in Bakara market, residents said. Details of both incidents were murky.(More...)

Also see: Amid chaos, young Somalis struggle to get by

Somalia: The Tough Part Is Ahead

the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines the situation since Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces and Ethiopian troops drove the Council of Somali Islamic Courts (CSIC) from power in December 2006

Somalia’s Islamic Courts fell even more dramatically than they rose. In little more than a week in December 2006, Ethiopian and Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces killed hundreds of Islamist fighters and scattered the rest in a lightning offensive. On 27 December, the Council of Somali Islamic Courts in effect dissolved itself, surrendering political leadership to clan leaders.

This was a major success for Ethiopia and the U.S. who feared emergence of a Taliban-style haven for al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremists, but it is too early to declare an end to Somalia’s woes. There is now a political vacuum across much of southern Somalia, which the ineffectual TFG is unable to fill.

Elements of the Courts, including Shabaab militants and their al-Qaeda associates, are largely intact and threaten guerrilla war. Peace requires the TFG to be reconstituted as a genuine government of national unity but the signs of its willingness are discouraging. Sustained international pressure is needed. (More...)

South Africa says no troops for Somalia

South Africa will not send peacekeepers to war-torn Somalia but will consider other avenues of support, officials say. The decision was announced by Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota after discussing the matter with President Thabo Mbeki.

There had been concerns that another peacekeeping mission would strain the country's defense resources, the Shaybelle Network said. South Africa currently is involved in similar missions in other parts of Africa.

Lekota said he supported the view of the African Union and the United Nations that there was a need for a strong peacekeeping force in Somalia. But, South Africa's force is already over-extended and other ways will be sought to help Somalia, he said. (More...)

Ethiopian Supermodel Raises Money for African Village Women

Jan. 26, 2007 With her good looks, the 28-year-old Ethiopian knockout is one of the fashion world's "it" girls and the first black woman chosen as the face of Estee Lauder.

Despite her wild success, Kebede is not content to simply grace the catwalks and live in luxury. Instead, she's now focusing on the poor African villages she left behind. "For me, Ethiopia is such a nice place.

I mean, really, it was such a nice place to grow up," she said. "It's a really poor country and it's very sad that's such a poor country, but the people are so proud, also." (More...) [Learn About Liya Kebede's Foundation]

Today's Top Stories

-Severe hunger looms for Zimbabwe
-U.S. troops allowed to kill Iranians plotting attacks in Iraq
-Hollywood stars choose between Clinton, Obama
-Indonesia offered to moderate Hamas-Fatah talks
-3 Dead, Scores Injured as Opposition Paralyzes Lebanon
-Suicide blast rocks Pakistani luxury hotel
-Delayed convict steals car to get back to jail
-Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' Hitting China