Saturday, September 19, 2009

More terrifying news from Somalia

Alertnet is reporting that the Somali al Shabaab insurgents have stolen UN vehicles and are priming them as suicide bombs.

Somali govt says rebels have more car bombs ready

By Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Somalia's al Shabaab insurgents have six more stolen United Nations vehicles primed as suicide bombs, the government said on Friday.

President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's administration says it will not be bowed by twin suicide car bombs that hit the African Union's (AU) main base in Mogadishu on Thursday, killing 17 AU peacekeepers including the AMISOM force's deputy commander.

But the audacious attack by two U.N.-marked cars on the heart of the peacekeeping mission raises serious questions about the credibility of the deeply divided government, which controls little more than a few districts of the capital. (Click the link above for the full article.)

This is absolutely terrifying. To take a UN vehicle, something that symbolises so much, and use it to target who knows what is an absolute disgrace. Somalia is hands down at the top of my "no go list," and I admire beyond words the aid workers who risk everything to try to help the Somali people. There's a woman I know here who spent three years in Somalia, I'll have to ask her opinion on this.

How can a bombing possibly be averted, when UN vehicles are protected against any sort of searches (and rightly so)? By publicising the number plates of the stolen vehicles, so if any of them approach anything people will be able to check it against the list they're carrying around with them and know to get the hell out of there? Obviously not.

The state minister for defence, Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Siad, seems to have a good plan: "People will see what we'll do to them. They are not Muslims ... We know each other. Let's wait and see what happens next."

Yeah, wait and see, that sounds like a great idea...

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