Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006

Islamist Takeover in Somalia

After months of fighting, Islamist militants in June defeated the warlords in capital city Mogadishu and now control most of southern Somalia. The country, which has not had a functioning central government since 1991, has become "the largest potential safe haven for al Qaeda in Africa," according to the International Crisis Group. This fall a U.N. report detailed how Iran and other countries were smuggling arms to the Islamists and how some 700 Somali fighters were sent to Lebanon to fight alongside Hizballah. Amid all the bloodshed, humanitarian workers are struggling to deliver aid to Somalis, who, after enduring a severe drought, are now dealing with massive flooding.