Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's dodgy allies all the way down

Barack Obama believes, as he told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, that if only the US could be free of its historic entanglements in Arab and Islamic countries, then it wouldn't have to worry about having dubious friends like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan anymore. Now consider the almost-under-radar-screen news from a couple of days ago that US forces are on the ground in ... Somalia! --

[Reuters] A U.S. forces in Somalia called in an air strike on Thursday that killed five fighters from the al Qaeda-linked militant group al Shabaab, the latest in a series of U.S. military operations targeting the organization, the Pentagon said. The U.S. forces had been advising Ugandan soldiers with the African Union mission (AMISOM) during an operation against an illegal taxation checkpoint when the Ugandans got into a firefight with 15-20 al Shabaab fighters.

So in this one, the forces are helping our new best friends in Somalia, the Ugandans. Which brings us to the latest news from Kampala --

[Reuters] Ugandan opposition figure Kizza Besigye was charged with treason late on Friday for declaring himself president and challenging the election victory of veteran leader Yoweri Museveni, officials from both camps said. The charge - which carries the death penalty - marked an escalation in recent confrontations between the government and Besigye who has been repeatedly arrested and accused authorities of beatings and intimidation.

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