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Somali Clan Leaders: Pragmatists Switch Sides December 28, 2006

Posted by publicpolitics in Ethiopia.

Clan leaders in Somalia’s capital are considering supporting government forces that are poised to clash with Islamic forces.


According to this report, many clan and other subgroup leaders are trying desperately to avoid a full scale Somali- Ethiopian invasion of Mogadishu and the disastrous number of casualties , both civilian and other, that would inevitably result. The Ethiopians believe that they will be able to take Mogadishu without firing a shot, and they are probably right, especially if local leaders in the capital switch sides from the ruling but certain to be defeated Islamists to the Ethiopian-Somali coalition.

Local clan leaders, previous supporters of the Islamic Courts faction that Ethiopia seeks to weaken, are making the pragmatic decisions of the weak. There is an African proverb to the effect that when elephants fight, the grass gets trampled. The clan leaders have decided that the best way to avoid being trampled by this war is switch sides and at all times lie flat, and this is a realistic duplicity. Clan organizations deal with the business of daily life, and provide the real means of governance . They will and should do whatever it takes to mitigate the catastrophe that even a short spell of determined fighting in the Somali capital would bring to an already fragile population. And while the combined Somali government -Ethiopian forces may win the battle, they could still lose the war. For to the grass, the only good elephant is one that is gone.

Tags: supporting | poised | northern | movement | Leaders | Government | FORCES | FIGHTERS | Clash | Somalia | somali | Politics | Mogadishu | Islamists | ISLAMIC | ethiopia | clan



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