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AHeneen
04-13-2009, 11:47 AM
US politician targeted in Somalia
BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7996795.stm)

A US congressman has had a narrow escape on a visit to Mogadishu after Somali insurgents fired mortars towards his plane as it was about to take off.

Airport officials told the BBC one mortar had landed at the airport as Donald Payne's plane was due to fly and five others as his plane departed.

Mr Payne had just met leaders of Somalia's government in the capital.

He had discussed ways that the international community might be able to help war-torn Somalia.
The BBC's Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says Mr Payne had just held a half-hour news conference at the presidential palace in the capital when the attack happened, according to airport officials.

Abukar Hassan, a police officer at Mogadishu airport, told Reuters news agency: "One mortar landed at the airport when Payne's plane was due to fly and five others after he left and no-one was hurt."

Three people were wounded when one of the mortars hit a nearby neighbourhood, residents told Reuters.

Mr Payne had met President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, among other Somali officials.

The New Jersey Democrat said it was his first visit to Somalia since the early 1990s, when the country last had a stable government.

Fragile government

During his brief stop in the world's most dangerous city, Mr Payne was escorted by African Union (AU) soldiers, who are deployed in Somalia on a peacekeeping mission.

Radical Islamist guerrillas committed to toppling the fragile transitional federal government control much of the capital and much of central and southern Somalia.

Seventy-four-year-old Mr Payne is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee's subcommittee on Africa and global health and a former head of the Congressional Black Caucus.

[snip]

Odysseus
04-14-2009, 10:47 AM
US politician targeted in Somalia
BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7996795.stm)

A US congressman has had a narrow escape on a visit to Mogadishu after Somali insurgents fired mortars towards his plane as it was about to take off.
Airport officials told the BBC one mortar had landed at the airport as Donald Payne's plane was due to fly and five others as his plane departed.
Mr Payne had just met leaders of Somalia's government in the capital.

Somalia has a government?

How did that happen? Did they just empower the biggest thug?

noonwitch
04-14-2009, 11:51 AM
Somalia has a government?

How did that happen? Did they just empower the biggest thug?


Today, this guy is the president. Who knows what tomorrow holds?

AHeneen
04-14-2009, 05:26 PM
There are two regional governments in northern Somalia which operate like independent countries. The south and center of the country are ruled by warring warlords which effectively amounts to anarchy. HOWEVER, the UN has tried to install a government in Somalia for over a decade. This is the gov't which the congressman met with. It has practically no control over the country, except for a handful of cities (NOT including Mogadishu).