Mogadishu is quickly heading back to the clan-based anarchy that consumed it for the past 15 years – before the radical Islamists seized power.
Last week, The New York Times said bands of armed thugs were running through the market places, shooting at people, smashing things and stealing at will.
Mogadishu has one of the most heavily armed civilian populations in the world and the government is trying to find ways to disarm them. The prime minister has demanded that Somali warlords and their soldiers turn in military-style weapons and has threatened to search homes.
One of the clans surrendered a pickup truck with an anti-aircraft gun and two dozen of the clan’s young fighters turned over their rifles and small arms.
The Islamists and clan elders had banded together to get rid of the war lords – and then lost public support when they went to war against the transitional government and the Ethiopian soldiers protecting it.
The US Central Command has responsibility for our military interests in Africa and I have tried to stay on top of events in Somalia, the Horn of Africa, and the Sudan for the last couple of years because the continent is so important to the Global War on Terror.