Your NPR news source

Somalia: Rising Violence and Deaths

SHARE Somalia: Rising Violence and Deaths
Somalia: Rising Violence and Deaths

Off the coat of Somalia , four ships were seized by gunmen in 48 hours last week, making it the busiest period ever for the pirates who make the region one of the world's most dangerous for shipping.

The hijackings coincided with a violent week on the mainland. Islamists seized a key port that left 100 dead according to U.N. estimates, and fighting raged in the capital Mogadishu , where two Western journalists were kidnapped.

So far 28 humanitarian workers have been killed since January.

This comes as Somalia 's President and Prime Minister signed a deal yesterday to work together after a weeks-long rift that threatened to wreck their interim government. Somalia has lacked an effective government since the 1991 ousting of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Also this week, the Transitional Federal Government signed a peace deal with the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia, which represents one faction of the Islamist movement. The deal called for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops, which prop up the government – and the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers.

Ahmed Samatar is the James Wallace Professor and Dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship at Macalester College in St. Paul , Minnesota...

More From This Show