Ethiopia completes pullout from Somalia.



Wouldn't it be nice if the New York Times stopped calling the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia "islamists"? But of course, what else should one expect from The Paper Of Record For Global White Supremacy (see, you don't like it either guys, huh? tell you what, you stop calling them islamists and I'll stop calling you the P.O.R.F.G.W.S.)

Apart from that though, you'll remember we posted a story here a few weeks ago (link) predicting that the ICU would retake Somalia after the failed efforts of the U.S./Ethiopia team to prop up a puppet government. I'm glad to see things worked out the way we thought they would (insert Dennis Green "they are who we thought they were" rant here)


(NY Times) Islamists Overrun Somalia City as Ethiopians Leave: Islamist insurgents took over the city that houses Somalia’s Parliament on Monday, just hours after Ethiopian troops withdrew and formally ended a failed two-year effort to defeat Islamist militants in the country.

Witnesses reached by telephone in the city of Baidoa said that Islamist militias were patrolling the streets and that government offices in the city had been ransacked. There were no immediate reports of clashes with residents.

“The Islamists have taken control of the town this afternoon,” said Xaaji Isaaq, a traditional elder.

Ethiopia began withdrawing its troops earlier this month, leaving a power vacuum that the Islamists rushed to fill — with little to no opposition from the government.

The country now faces a new period of uncertainty. Baidoa had been the seat of Parliament since 2006, and was one of the last cities in Somalia where the government had any significant presence. In the capital, Mogadishu, the government controls only a few city blocks, while Islamist factions control most of the southern regions of the country.

In an effort to stabilize the nation, the government reached a power-sharing deal with moderate Islamists last October, hoping to pave the way for a national unity government. Since the Ethiopians began withdrawing, some parts of the country had come under the control of moderate Islamist militias loyal to the government.

Most lawmakers had, in fact, left Baidoa for Djibouti, to the north of Somalia, over the weekend to begin incorporating members of the moderate Islamist opposition into Parliament, leaving the city largely empty of its leadership when the insurgents stormed in.

The change in Baidoa came as the last of the Ethiopians completed their withdrawal from the country, leaving fractious Islamist factions to compete among one another for control.

On Saturday, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives near an African Union peacekeepers’ base here, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens.

There had been some speculation over whether the Ethiopian troops had merely moved to border areas. But Reuters quoted a government spokesman, Abdi Haji Gobdon, as saying Monday: “The Ethiopians have fulfilled their promise. Their last troops crossed the border this morning.”

International mediators have urged Somali leaders to overcome their divisions in talks in Djibouti this week.

Parliament is supposed to select a new president to replace Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who resigned in late December. Many Somalis, Western diplomats and aid officials have crossed their fingers in the hope that moderate Islamists and transitional government figures would work together to pick a new, unifying leader.

Mr. Yusuf, a former warlord, had been widely criticized for trying to thwart peace negotiations. One of the leading contenders to replace him is a moderate Islamic cleric. (source)