Somalia is experiencing "the worst violence" in years, Reuters' Guled Mohamed reported May 4, 2006. "The United States is funding a coalition of Somali warlords fighting hardline Islamic militia in the capital Mogadishu as part of Washington's declared war on terrorism, a Somali government spokesman said. ...
"Some 90 people were killed in March  in battles between fighters linked to the influential Islamic courts and those tied to a self-styled anti-terrorism coalition in Mogadishu, comprising most of the capital's powerful warlords," Mohamed wrote.
Before the civil war began in 1991 , there was substantial interest in getting access to Somalia's potential oilfields by major US Companies -- Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips. . Piracy of foreign ships and oil tankers by somali pirates has been a become a major problem in last few years.
- 1 About Somalia
- 2 The Gulf of Aden: Waterway to Persian Gulf Oil
- 3 Africa's "two non-African issues"
- 4 Somalia as a "failed state"
- 5 Articles and resources
- 6 Related SourceWatch articles
Somalia (Somali Democratic Republic) has a "coastline approximately 3300 km long."  Somalia "forms the area known as the Horn of Africa, bordered on the North by the Gulf of Aden, on the East and South by the Indian Ocean, on the Southwest by Kenya, on the West by Ethiopia, and on the Northwest by Djibouti." 
"Throughout Somalia, animal husbandry and agriculture are the main economic activities. Both fisheries and maritime transport play minor economic roles. There is no oil or gas exploitation, nor is there tourism in the area. Pastoral nomads form the majority of the Somali population, followed by farmers. Coastal population varies seasonally as many nomads, and their flocks, move to the coastal areas after rainfall and retreat to the mountainous hinterland during the dry summer months." 
The Gulf of Aden: Waterway to Persian Gulf Oil
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Indian Ocean and is situated between Yemen on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula and Somalia in Africa.
"The gulf – roughly 900 kilometres long and 500 kilometres wide – is an important waterway for transporting Persian Gulf oil. Together with the Red Sea, which it connects with in the northwest through the Bab el Mandeb sound, it forms an essential oil transport route between Europe and the Far East." 
Africa's "two non-African issues"
"On top of Africa’s internal problems there are also two non-African issues which are hampering efforts to resolve conflicts and to promote better government and economic development," Tom Porteous wrote January 21, 2006. "The first is the industrialised world’s increasing thirst and competition for African oil, which seems to take precedence over pious statements about African development."
"The second non-African problem Africa could do without is the west’s 'war on terrorism'. Increasingly since 9/11, the entire predominantly Muslim belt running from the Horn of Africa through Sudan and the Sahel to West Africa has been regarded as a front in this war," Porteous wrote.
Since the September 11, 2001, "attacks on the United States more than four years ago, Somalis have feared that their lawless country could become the setting for a battle between US-backed anti-terror forces and al-Qaeda sympathisers," the BBC reported March 24, 2006. "Now it seems as though their worst fears may be coming true."
Somalia as a "failed state"
Somalia "appears to be the very definition of what we call a failed state," Andrew Cockburn, wrote in the July 2002 issue of National Geographic. "The last time this desert country possessed anything approaching a normal government, with tax collection, social services, and law enforcement, was under a bloody dictator named Siad Barre. After Barre was driven out by a national rebellion early in 1991, political power over most of Somalia fell into the hands of feuding warlords, who, like grand dukes from the European Middle Ages, deployed their private armies to battle for power even as hundreds of thousands of other Somalis were dying of hunger. Outside intervention, often with good intentions, has done little to help--and has usually made things worse."
In May 2002, the International Crisis Group wrote that "Somalia is one of the world's chief examples of a failed state - a frequently lawless land of chronic, criminally opportunistic, conflict. There is no functioning, nationally-recognised central government. Somalia is unable to control its borders or police its financial sector and has in the past been a safe haven for al Qaeda. Its highly fragmented internal security situation and the competing agendas of its neighbours have raised concerns that it may again become a base for international terrorism."
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT)
- arc of instability
- Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa / Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Headlines and Timeline
- Horn of Africa
- Select Armor, Inc.
- Peter Jon de Vos (1992)
- James K. Bishop - former US Ambassador (1990-91)
- "Somalia", CIA World Fact Book, April 9, 2009. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "CIA" defined multiple times with different content
- Mark Fineman,The Oil Factor in Somalia: Four American petroleum giants had agreements with the African nation before its civil war began. They could reap big rewards if peace is restored", The Times, January 18, 1993.
- Country Profile: Somalia and Timeline: Somalia, BBC, Last Updated April 5, 2006.
- Somalia in the CIA's The World Factbook.
- "Timeline: Ethiopia and Somalia," BBC, January 1, 2007: "Ethiopia is backing the Somali interim government against Somalia's Union of Islamic Courts (UIC). The BBC News website logs the two countries' troubled relationship."
- "Chronology of Somalia's collapse, conflict," Reuters, January 9, 2007.
- "History of Somalia" in the Wikipedia.
- "The Conoco - Somalia Declassification Project," College of DuPage; Last updated January 10, 2006. Maintained by Keith Yearman, Assistant Professor of Geography.
- Thomas R. Yager, "The Mineral Industry of Somalia," U.S.G.S., 2004.
Articles & Commentary
- Jim Davidson, "Somalia and Anarchy," published in Issue #30 (Summer 2001) of Formulations, formerly a publication of the Free Nation Foundation, now published by the Libertarian Nation Foundation.
- Austin Bay, "Somalia: Planet's Foremost Failed State," strategypage.com, January 2002.
- Zoltan Grossman, "New US Military Bases: Side Effects Or Causes Of War?" ZMag, February 5, 2002.
- Dan Connell, "War Clouds Over Somalia," Middle East Report Online, March 22, 2002.
- "Countering Terrorism in a Failed State," International Crisis Group, May 23, 2002.
- Andrew Cockburn, "Somalia. A failed state?" National Geographic, July 2002 (issue).
- Dr. Ali Abdullahi M. Barkadle, "Somalia: Salvaging the Failed State," somalilandnet.com, August 24, 2002.
- Joseph Winter, "Living in Somalia's anarchy," BBC, November 18, 2004: "As Somalia's new government prepares to return to restore order after years of anarchy, [report] from Mogadishu on life with no central control. "
- Joseph Winter, "Somalia - where the gun rules," BBC, February 9, 2005.
- Hassan Barise, "Somalia - where pirates roam free," BBC, November 11, 2005.
- "US firm to fight Somali pirates," BBC, November 25, 2005. re Topcat Marine Security / Peter Casini
- Tom Porteous, "Two Problems Africa Could Do Without," Agence Global, January 21, 2006.
- Adam Mynott, "Drought-hit Somalia's race against time," BBC, March 14, 2006.
- "Fierce Clashes Continue In Somalia," Associated Press (CBS News), March 23, 2006.
- "Global battle plays out in Somalia," BBC, March 24, 2006.
- "Death squads for oil on the Somalian frontier?" GNN.tv Blog, March 29, 2006.
- Emily Wax, "Somali Lawlessness Spills Into the Sea. Modern-Day Pirates Strike for Ransom and Cargo," Washington Post, April 2, 2006.
- Khaled Mahmoud, "US Enlists Mercenaries to Track Down Al Qaeda," Asharq Al-Awsat, April 12, 2006.
- Editorial: "Somalia: Risky business, risking peace. Is the risky business of exploring in anarchic Somalia risking the peace in Puntland?" Garowe Online.com, April 23, 2006. re Range Resources, Ltd.
- Mattias Karen, "Update 1: Somali President Says U.S. Backs Warlords," Associated Press (Forbes), May 3, 2006.
- "Somali criticises US terror moves," BBC, May 4, 2006: "The US is funding a coalition of Somali warlords who earlier this year battled Islamic groups in Mogadishu, Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has said."
- Guled Mohamed, "Somalia blames U.S. for backing Mogadishu warlords," Reuters, May 4, 2006.
- "Somali criticises US terror moves," BBC, May 4, 2006.
- Sue Pleming, "INTERVIEW-US says will work with Somali anti-terror groups," Reuters AlterNet, May 15, 2006.
- Chris Tomlinson, "Foreigners reportedly fighting in Somalia," Associated Press (Seattle Post-Intelligencer), May 17, 2006.
- "US says concerned at al Qaeda in Somalia," Reuters, May 17, 2006.
- William C. Mann, "U.S. won't say if it aids Somali warlords," Associated Press (The Mercury News), May 17, 2006.
- "Killings, beheadings in new Somali violence," Mail & Guardian Online (South Africa), May 17, 2006.
- Emily Wax and Karen DeYoung, "U.S. Secretly Backing Warlords in Somalia," Washington Post, May 17, 2006.
- Emily Wax and Karen DeYoung, "US accused of funding Somali clash," Associated Press The Age (Australia); Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), May 18, 2006.
- Tom Maliti, "Update 8: Fighting Spreads Across Somalian Capital," Associated Press (Forbes), May 25, 2006.
- "Thousands displaced as heavy fighting rages on in Mogadishu," IRIN (Reuters AlertNet), May 25, 2006.
- "Islamic militia, secular warlords resume battle in Somalian capital; 39 killed," Associated Press (CBC News (Canada)), May 25, 2006.
- "Death Toll in Somalia Violence Up to 48," Associated Press (Guardian Unlimited (UK)), May 25, 2006.
- "Fifty dead in renewed Mogadishu fighting," Reuters (Boston Globe), May 25, 2006.
- Ugne Tornau, "CNN Effect: Power or Mean? A Study of Media Influence on Foreign Policy Decision - Making Comparative Analysis of Two Humanitarian Disasters: Ethiopia (1984 – 1985) and Somalia (1992)", Master of Comparative History, Utrecht University, August 2006.
- "Somalia Update I," The Agonist, December 20, 2006.
- "Somalia Update II," The Agonist, December 24, 2006.
- Karen Allen, "Fragile peace fuels Somalia fears," BBC, January 2, 2007.
- "African press frets about Somalia," BBC, January 3, 2007.
- "Bloggers fear Somali insurgency," BBC, January 4, 2007: "Members of the international blogging community have given their reaction to the role of Ethiopian troops in Somalia where Islamic militias have been defeated."
- "Q&A: Somali conflict," BBC, January 5, 2007: "Somali government forces and their Ethiopian allies have overpowered the Islamist group that controlled much of southern Somalia for the last six months."
- "Somali fighters: We'll heed al Qaeda's call," Associated Press (CNN), January 6, 2007.
- Sahal Abdulle and Guled Mohamed, "Anti-Ethiopian protests rock Somali capital," Reuters (Washington Post), January 6, 2007.
- "Formers Members of Radical Somali Group Give Details of Their Group," Voice of America News (RedBolivia.com), January 6, 2007.
- Mwende Mwinzi, "Africa: U.S. Forays in Africa Raise More Questions," allAfrica.com, January 7, 2007.
- "Somalia 'key' in war on terror," news24.com (South Africa), January 7, 2007.
- C. Bryson Hull, "The road to Mogadishu, via chopper and cow field," Reuters (UK), January 8, 2007.
- Donald Mogeni, Opinion: "Kenya: After Defeat of the Islamists, a Dangerous Vaccum Possible," allAfrica.com, January 8, 2007.
- Salim Lone, "Destabilizing The Horn," TomPaine.com (AlterNet), January 8, 2007: "The Bush administration, undeterred by the horrors and setbacks in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, has opened another battlefront in this oil-rich quarter of the Muslim world."
- Chris Tomlinson, "Analysis: Somalia May Fall Back to Chaos," Associated Press (Guardian Unlimited (UK); Forbes), January 8, 2007.
- "U.S. hits Somalia al-Qaida sites," UPI (Washington Times), January 8, 2007.
- Karen DeYoung, "U.S. Strike in Somalia Targets Al-Qaeda Figure," Washington Post, January 9, 2007.
- "Pentagon official: U.S. attacks al Qaeda suspects in Somalia," CNN, January 9, 2007.
- "More U.S. strikes target Somali Islamists," UPI (Washington Times), January 9, 2007.
- Mohamed Olad Hassan, "U.S. Launches 2 Airstrikes in Somalia. U.S. airstrike in Somalia targets al-Qaida cell wanted for 2 1998 U.S. embassy bombings," Associated Press (CBS News), January 9, 2007.
- "U.S. airstrikes target al-Qaida in Somalia. Top East Africa operative reportedly killed; more strikes reported Tuesday," MSNBC and news service reports, January 9, 2007.
- "UK terrorists captured in Somalia," Guardian Unlimited (UK), January 9, 2007.
- "US Somali air strikes 'kill many'," BBC, January 9, 2007.
- Alisha Ryu, "Somalia: US Warplanes Strike Suspected al-Qaida Hideouts," Voice of America News, January 9, 2007.
- "Why US fears Somali 'terror' ties," BBC, January 9, 2007: "The US has intervened militarily in Somalia for the first time since its disastrous mission in the 1990s."
- Bay Fang, "U.S. in, but how deep?" Chicago Tribune (Newsday), January 9, 2007.
- Jonathan Clayton, "Analysis: US airstrikes could backfire," Times Online (UK), January 9, 2007.
- Paul Reynolds, "Twin US aims in Somalia," BBC, January 9, 2007.
- "America's return to Somalia brings memories of past debacles," Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), January 9, 2007.
- Sally B. Donnelly, "The Somalia Raid: Part of a Wider War," TIME Magazine, January 9, 2007.
- "U.S. Launches Targeted Assassination Air Strikes in Somalia, Many Reported Killed," Democracy Now!, January 9, 2007.
- Larisa Alexandrovna, "Hunting Al Qaeda Where?" at-Largely, January 9, 2007.
- Karen DeYoung, "US shells village in hunt for al-Qaeda," Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), January 10, 2007.
- Anne Penketh and Steve Bloomfield, "US strikes on al-Qa'ida chiefs kill nomads," The Independent (UK), January 13, 2007.
- Robert Burns, "U.S. Launches New Airstrike in Somalia," Associated Press (Washington Post), January 24, 2007.
- Thomas Mountain, "Angel of Mercy or Angel of Death? World Food Program in Somalia", Counterpunch, August 2, 2011.