WASHINGTON ACADEMY MODEL OF UNITED NATIONS
2. The ongoing situation of armed conflicts in Somalia
Starting February 2006, Somalia suffered the breakout of armed conflict between the ‘Alliance of Mogadishu warlords’, the ‘Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism’ and a militia of the ‘Islamic Courts Union’ (ICU). Hundreds of people died in what has been called the worst fighting in more than a decade. The ICU has accused the United States of funding these warlords through the CIA. The United States, stating that is has not violated the United Nation’s imposed arm’s embargo in Somalia, has neither admitted nor denied these claims. The fact is that if the United Stated has in truth supplied arms to the ‘Mogadishu warlords’, they would be violating international laws.
On June 2006, the ICU took over the last strongholds of the ‘Mogadishu warlords’ and international peacekeeping troops were sent to Somalia after a plea from the transitional government. The ICU, however, opposes international presence in the country, especially coming from Ethiopia. These two countries once went to war (in 1978) over the southern region of Somalia, which now holds Somali refugees that are protected by Ethiopian troops. The Islamist militia launched a ‘jihad’ against Ethiopia on October 2006, and the war broke out on December between the Islamist militia and the Ethiopian coalition alongside the transitional Somali government. After heavy fighting from the Islamist militia’s side, Ethiopia launched a series of air strikes, claiming to be protecting its sovereignty and declaring war against the Islamic Courts.
The United States lent its forces to the transitional government, launching air strikes and sending an aircraft carrier for further assistance. Their target was the terrorist cell ‘al Qaeda’, and the groups responsible for the 1998 American embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. This intervention, which killed dozens of people, has sparked controversy from the international community. Italy has stated that such actions will only further debilitate their former colony while Germany and Norway are concerned by the United State’s military involvement, claiming that “terrorism should be fought in the court room and not with military hardware.”
The United Nations Secretariat is also concerned that Washington’s actions may lead to the escalation of hostilities, for this the organization has begun initiatives to stabilize this war-torn country.