The Times of London notes the defeat of the Islamist Union of Islamic Courts in Somalia at the hands of Ethiopian forces. The Ethiopians were able to push back the al-Qaeda linked UIC in rapid time, mainly because they were unafraid of using whatever force was necessary to dislodge them. The Ethiopian government had no interest in seeing Somalia degenerate into a petri dish for regional terrorism, and their actions may have prevented a major worldwide crisis.
In Mogadishu, some freedoms have already returned.
There was not a hijab or niqab in sight as clubbers at the Global Dance Hall worked up a sweat to gangsta rap and Kenyan hip-hop. Instead, women shook their hair and stole glances at the men lining the wall.
Quite what Mogadishu’s Union of Islamic Courts would have made of the occasional flash of ankle beneath the long dresses is anyone’s guess. But no one cared as they celebrated their new freedom.
The victory in Somalia is an important one, even if it was ignored by the Western media. Al-Qaeda has been long looking towards Africa as a new base of operations, and their loss in Somalia is a decisive one. The current situation may remain fragile, but the Ethiopians have given us an important victory in the global war on terror, and one that further weakens al-Qaeda’s strategic interests in spreading their hateful ideology.