AFRICA: Shifting Sands on the Horn

Guns and geopolitics in the desert

The flag of the Somali Democratic Republic—at the Horn of Africa—proudly bears a five-pointed star: one point for each of the five regions in which the predominantly nomadic Somalis live. The problem is that only two of these five regions are inside the borders of the republic. The other three belong to Somalia's neighbors—Ethiopia, Kenya and the newly independent state of Djibouti—and Somalia has designs on all of them. Last week, after 16 years of sporadic fighting, it looked as if the Somalis might be on the...

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