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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 January 2008
Somalia has been without government since 1991. A transitional government was established in 2004 under the presidency of Abdullahi Yusuf, with the backing of the United Nations, the African Union (AU), the Arab League and the Inter-governmental Agency for Development (IGAD). The Government sat in Baidoa in southern Somalia from June 2005 until December 2006. In June 2006 the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) took control of much of southern and central Somalia, including the capital, Mogadishu, but not Puntland and Somaliland. They declared and tried to establish an Islamic State. Somalis were told to comply with stringent Islamic rules or face harsh punishment. In the meantime, efforts to achieve national reconciliation were ongoing under the auspices of IGAD, though without much success. It was reported that on 20 July 2006 Ethiopian troops crossed into Somalia. Ethiopia only admitted to having military trainers to help the Somali Government (estimated to be 400 military personnel). On 21 July, the UIC declared a ‘holy war’ against Ethiopia. In September 2006 the Somali interim President survived an assassination attempt in Baidoa. On 25 October 2006 Ethiopia said that it was ‘technically at war’ with the Islamic Courts. After few days the UIC claimed to have ambushed and killed Ethiopian troops near the Ethiopian border.1
1 ‘Timeline Ethiopia-Somalia’, BBC News (1 01 2007) at <http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr//1/hi/world/africa/6159735.stm>>Google Scholar; UN Security-Council Resolution 1724/2006 (29 11 2006)Google Scholar; on the nature of the UIC see, eg, Ryu, A, ‘Former Members of Radical Somali Group Give Details of Their Group’ VoA (6 01 2007).Google Scholar Shabbab (a radical Muslim group secretly established by UIC leaders) members disclosed that the purpose of their organization was to fight the enemies of Islam; they were given ‘detailed instructions on how to make roadside bombs, car bombs, and suicide vests, using explosives material cannibalized from various weapon systems’.
2 ‘Security Council Approves African Protection Force in Somalia’ UN News Service (6 12 2006); Security Council Resolution 1725/2006.Google Scholar
3 PM Zenawi of Ethiopia, Press Conference (n 28).
8 See Arab League's statement (n 39).
10 Lynch, C, ‘UN Report Cites Outside Military Aid to Somalia's Islamic Forces’ Washington Post (15 11 2006) A13Google Scholar; see also ‘Who Supports Who’ BBC News (28 12 2006) at <http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/africa/5092586.stm>; for the involvement of foreign fighters and Ethiopian rebels see (n 17); see also UN Panel Report (n 50).;+for+the+involvement+of+foreign+fighters+and+Ethiopian+rebels+see+(n+17);+see+also+UN+Panel+Report+(n+50).>Google Scholar
11 See (n 23).
14 In Res 1744/2007 for instance the UN SC reiterated its support for the Federal Transitional Government of Somalia; for the AU's position see (n 32); the EU also supported the Federal Government since its inception, see <http://ec.europa.eu/development/body/country/country_ home_en.cfm?cid=so>.
15 For the facts see Shinn, D, ‘Stabilizing Somalia and Ethiopia's Role: Key Points’ (2 01 2007) at <http://www.ethiopiafirst.com>>Google Scholar; see also ‘SOMALIA: Ethiopian Troops Roll In’ (2006) 43 Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series (ARB-PSCS) 16723B–16725AGoogle Scholar; see also ‘SOMALIA: Fight For The Capital’ (2006) 43 ARB-PSCS 16635A–16636C.Google Scholar
16 See Brownlie, I, Principles of International Law (6th edn, OUP, Oxford, 2006) 708; see also Cassese (n 12) 368ff.Google Scholar
17 ‘Terrorists from Canada, UK, and Pakistan Captured in Somalia: Zenawi’ The Associated Press (9 01 2007)Google Scholar; see also Gettleman, J, ‘Eight Eritreans Captured Carrying Briefcases Packed with Cash’ New York Times (3 01 2007); see Ryu (n 1): ‘Hassan (former Shabbab member) says about 25 Arabs fought alongside him and other Shabbab members there’.Google Scholar
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25 Shinn (n 15).
26 McCrummen, S, ‘Many Ethiopians see PM's talk of war as ploy to tighten grip’ Washington Post (20 12 2006).Google Scholar
27 Shinn (n 15).
28 Gettleman, J, ‘Ethiopia Hits Somali Targets, Declaring War’ International Herald Tribune (24 12 2006).Google Scholar
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38 A England, ‘Ethiopia ‘holding suspects’ after US Air Strike’ Financial Times (10 01 2007).Google Scholar
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42 Yusuf, AO, ‘Djibouti Urges Ethiopia to Pull Its Troops Out’ Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu) NEWS (8 01 2007).Google Scholar
43 See, eg, SC Res 1725/2006.
44 See for the facts Shinn (n 15).
45 Dinstein (n 18) 205–6.Google Scholar It is noted that terrorist attacks ‘may amount to an armed attack within the meaning of Art. 51 of the UN Charter’, and the exercise of self-defence against such attacks ‘have to take place in the territory of a state where the attackers are headquartered or have taken refuge’; for detailed discussion on the terrorism versus the use of force see Cassese (n 12) 463–81.Google Scholar
47 See, eg, Shinn (n 15).
49 ‘UN Report Says 10 Nations Violating Arms Embargo in Somalia, Potential High for War’ Associated Press (15 11 2006)Google Scholar; see also notes 10 & 17; see in particular Ryu (n 1), Abdi (Shabbab member) says ‘he and several hundred other standout students were flown to Eritrea and given an additional two-month advance training in explosives and guerrilla war fighting tactics’; he added that his instructors for making roadside bombs, car bombs, and suicide vests, etc ‘were a mix of Somali and Eritreans’.
54 Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Merits)  ICJ Rep 103.Google Scholar
55 ibid 65; yet the ICTY adopted a lower threshold for the element of ‘control’ in Prosecutor v Tadić Judgment, ICTY Case No IT–94–1–A, Appeals Chamber, 1999, 38, 1545.Google ScholarNow see Application of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide  ICJ Rep, paras 396–401, reaffirming the Nicaragua judgment (n 54).Google Scholar
56 (n 50) para 25; see also paras 43, 32 and 28 of the same Report; Sheikh Aweys was both the spiritual and operational leader of the UIC.
57 Ago, as quoted by Dinstein (n 18) 240, rightly underlined that: ‘it would be mistaken…to think that there must be proportionality between the conduct constituting the armed attack and the opposing conduct…What matters…is the result to be achieved by the “defensive” action, and not the forms, substance and strength of the action itself’.
58 See preambular paragraphs of the Resolution.
63 See (n 34); see also ‘AU Calls for Urgent Funding for Peace Mission’ The Ethiopian Herald (1 03 2007).Google Scholar
65 ‘SOMALIA: A tortuous road ahead in search of peace’ IRIN (12 03 2007)Google Scholar, a government official confirmed that the remaining troops ‘will be out in a very short time’; ‘Somalia AU plane “catches fire”’ BBC News (9 03 2007)Google Scholar, eg ‘reports from Kismayo say some 2,000 Ethiopian soldiers withdrew from the port city on Thursday and were seen heading to Baidoa’; see also ‘Ethiopia Starts Somalia Pull-out, BBC News (23 01 2007).Google Scholar
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