December 12, 2008

US worried about terror safe haven in Somalia

Middle East News | December 9, 2008
Admiral Michael Mullen rules out US intervention in Somalia if Islamists take over violence-torn country.
WASHINGTON - The chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff Admiral Michael Mullen said Wednesday he was "extremely worried" about potential safe havens for terrorists in Somalia and Yemen.

"A significant objective in Afghanistan and Pakistan is to not have a safe haven, and I am concerned about the potential for a safe haven in Somalia as I am in Yemen," Mullen said at a Pentagon press conference.

"I try to pay a lot of attention to the evolution of potential safe havens, these two in particular," said Mullen, the highest-ranking US military officer and the top military adviser to the president.

"So I'm extremely concerned about that," adding that he believes the United States and the international community needs "to do all we can to impede the arrival of more safe havens out of which we can be threatened."

Ethiopia sent troops to Somalia in 2006 to oust the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a radical group which had conquered most of the country and was imposing a strict form of Sharia law.

Ethiopian troops were meant to prop up the embattled transitional federal government, but the internationally-backed authorities never succeeded in asserting their power on the restive country.

The Islamist Shebab militant group has since waged a bruising guerrilla war against Somali government troops and Ethiopian forces.

Ethiopia announced it would pull out its troops by year's end, though officials recently said it could extend its deployment by "a few days" to allow African Union peacekeepers meant to replace them to settle in.

Mullen however ruled out US intervention in Somalia if the Islamists take over the country. "It wouldn't be the US military," he said.

Separately, more than 100 ships sailing off the Somali coast have been attacked by Somali pirates since the beginning of the year. Pirates are holding at least fifteen ships and more than 300 crew members hostage.

In recent months poverty-stricken Yemen has seen a series of assaults on security services and oil installations claimed by groups linked to the Al-Qaeda terror network.

On September 17, an attack claimed by Al-Qaeda targeted the US embassy in Sanaa, leaving 19 dead, including seven attackers and civilians, in the second strike on the high-security compound in six months.
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ነጻ ፓትርያርክ ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ ማንን ይመርጡ ነበር? እንበልና ሁሉም ነገር ሥርዓቱን ጠብቆ የተከናወነ የእጩዎች ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ አሁን የምናነሣቸው ጉድለቶች ባይኖሩ ኖሮ፣ 6ኛው ፓትርያርክ እንዲሆን የምትመርጡት ማንን ነበር? (ማሳሰቢያ፦ አሁን ያለው ክፍፍል እና የመንግሥት ተጽዕኖ ባይኖር ኖሮ ተብሎ የሚመለስ ጥያቄ ነው። የምን “ባይኖር ኖሮ ነው” የሚል አስተያየት ካለዎትም እናከብራለን።)