Ever since Ethiopian armed forces removed the Islamic Courts movement from control of south-central Somalia in December 2006, Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has been the scene of growing urban warfare. In March-April 2007 Ethiopian and Somali government forces joined battle with a coalition of insurgent groups composed of Islamic Courts supporters, clan militia, and others opposed to the Ethiopian presence in Somalia. Residents of Mogadishu were trapped by a terrifying escalation of violence that killed hundreds of civilians, provoked almost 400,000 people to flee the city, and shattered the lives, homes, and livelihoods of thousands of families. Shell-Shocked: Civilians Under Siege in Mogadishu, based upon on-the-ground research soon after the fighting, presents the first detailed account of civilian suffering during the conflict and violations of the laws of war.
Idd Beddel Mohammed, Somalia's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations and Abdi Samatar, a Somali scholar at the University of Minnesota, discuss recent violence in Somalia and options for reconciliation.
A U.S. air strike in Somalia may mark the return of a robust U.S. military presence in the Horn of Africa. Though aimed at al-Qaeda operatives within Somalia, the U.S. action could reverberate throughout the region.
Ethiopian troops appear to have won a military victory over Somalia's Islamic Courts militias, who fled Mogadishu Thursday. Their exit leaves a power vacuum in Somalia, and the United States’ focus on counterterrorism in the Horn of Africa may hinder its ability to defuse the crisis.
The United States has proposed a UN Security Council resolution calling for a regional peacekeeping force to bring stability to Somalia, but some experts say such a resolution might achieve precisely the opposite.
A new UN report details a complex and troubling exchange that allegedly provided weapons to Somalia’s Islamist power brokers in exchange for dispatching Islamist commandos to Hezbollah and opening Somali uranium mines to Iran.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.