Somalia -

Somalia

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When the world held its breath.... It is 25 years since the end of the Cold War, now a generation old. It began over 75 years ago, in 1944 long before the last shots of the Second World War had echoed across the wastelands of Eastern Europe with the brutal Greek Civil War. The battle lines are no longer drawn, but they linger on, unwittingly or not, in conflict zones such as Iraq, Somalia and Ukraine. In an era of mass-produced AK-47s and ICBMs, one such flashpoint was, and is, the Horn of Africa. Few countries in Africa have had such powerful links with both the Soviet Union and United States each for several years at a stretch as Somalia. From a quiet Indian Ocean backwater that had once been an Italian colony, it remained aloof from the kind of power struggles that beset countries like Ghana, the Congo, Guinea, Algeria and others in the 1970s. Overnight, that all changed in 1969 when the army, led by Major General Siad Barre, grabbed power. For more than a decade thereafter conditions within Somalia deteriorated. Various tribal leaders established themselves as 'war lords', some with Soviet support, others getting succor from Western sources. It got so bad that in 1992 the United Nations eventually stepped in with Operation Restore Hope, a multinational force created for conducting humanitarian operations in Somalia. The move was always controversial with many tribal leaders retaining either clandestine Soviet links or receiving aid from radical Arab forces that included al-Qaeda. Though the United Nations and the African Union (AU) both maintain a strong presence in the country, hostilities and killings go on. AUTHOR: Al J. Venter is a specialist military writer and has had 50 books published. He started his career with Geneva's Interavia Group, then owners of International Defence Review, to cover military and related developments in the Middle East and Africa. Venter has been writing on these and related issues such as guerrilla warfare, insurgency, the Middle East and conflict in general for half a century. He was involved with Jane's Information Group for more than 30 years and was a stringer for the BBC, NBC News (New York) as well as London's Daily Express and Sunday Express.

Product code: 9781526707949

ISBN 9781526707949
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H234xW156
No. Of Pages 128
Publisher Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Al-Qaeda, through its surrogate insurgent force al-Shabaab remains a major player in Somalia, receiving its support from Iran, today a close ally of the Russians