Ethiopian departure leaves power vacuum to Islamists in Somalia

01/22/2009 | Washington Post, The

The departure of the U.S.-backed Ethiopian occupation forces from Somalia has created a dramatic power vacuum in Mogadishu, one that may potentially be filled by a worse sort of Islamist faction than the forces even intended to expel. Groups such as the brutal Islamist movement al-Shabab waged an insurgency that killed 10,000 and displaced 1 million, forcing U.S. and Ethiopian authorities to accept the relatively moderate political Islamist movement that they intended to deter from power originally. Political Islamist groups must now contend with al-Shabab and rival organizations like Juba Valley Resistance Movement, who are all jockeying for authority.

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