The Foreign Service Journal, November 2006

is focused not on the pros and cons of recognizing Somaliland’s independence, but on the terri- ble situation in the south of the country. In addition to offering a safe haven for terrorists, Somalia’s extreme lawlessness has spawn- ed an epidemic of piracy off its coastline; all 47 incidents of pira- cy reported for East Africa to the International Maritime Organization in its last five-year report in 2005 have occurred off the Somalian coast. Pirates captured front-page headlines with their November 2005 attack on the luxury cruiseliner Seabourn Spirit and, earlier, on a World Food Program charter bound for Asian tsunami victims. Following the attempted assassination of TFG Prime Minister Gedi that same month, E.U. Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Louis Michel said of Somalia that it was “not a situation for wait and see.” Presidential statements out of the U.N. Security Council in July and November 2005 focus- ed exclusively on initiatives to build bridges and plug holes in what seems an endless flood of bad news out of the south. A year later, following the ICU victory over the warlords, the international community is still focused on a changed but alarming situation in the south. One bad situation is being traded for another, with the consolidation of an Islamic regime that will harbor and support al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations, is anti-Western and seeks to create an Islamic state that includes Somaliland. An August 2006 International Crisis Group report warned that without “urgently need- ed international mediation efforts,” the war in Somalia would spread across borders. F O C U S N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 6 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 33 In the absence of a functioning central government, a radical Islamic regime is consolidating its hold on Somalia. Home Suite Home The next time you’re going to be in DC for an extended stay, make yourself at home at Georgetown Suites. With our discounted monthly rates and large, comfortable suites, you’ll feel right at home. Plus we’re near the State Department. Call today! Georgetown Suites the fun place to stay in DC 1-800-348-7203