Internet InfoMedia somalia faces potential conflict with ethiopia in a pivotal year

A 10-year defense and economic deal with Turkey to protect its seacoast and bolster its naval force. An agreement with the United States to construct five military bases for over $100 million. An enhanced defense cooperation accord with Uganda to boost the fight against the terrorist group Al Shabab.

The three security pacts signed by Somalia in recent days underscore the increasing perils the Horn of Africa nation faces both internally and externally.

Internally, the nation confronts the persistent threat of Al Shabab, the Qaeda affiliate that has remained resilient even as the departure date for African Union peacekeeping forces — whose offensives helped put the group on the back foot — looms in December.

Equally worrisome, tensions are growing between Somalia and its western neighbor, Ethiopia, over Somalia’s coastline — the longest in mainland Africa — threatening to set off a new conflict in a vital global shipping route in an increasingly volatile region.

Somalia faces “a pivotal year,” said Omar S. Mahmood, the senior Eastern Africa analyst for the International Crisis Group. “A number of critical timelines linked to both domestic politics and security are coinciding, and the way these are handled will determine the country’s trajectory.”

A group men wearing military fatigues stand on a deck. Two of them are speaking on cellphones.
Members of the elite Danab unit in the Somali army who are advised by U.S. Special Operations forces. The United States plans to build up to five bases for the unit.


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The map of Somalia shows Somaliland and highlights Mogadishu. It also shows neighboring Ethiopia and its capital, Addis Ababa.

Internet InfoMedia 0227 for webSOMALIA SECURITYmap 335

Gulf of Aden

Addis Ababa

Somaliland

ETHIOPIA

SOMALIA

Mogadishu

Africa

Detail

area

Indian Ocean

250 MILES

By The New York Times

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