back to article Somali rebels threaten mobile banking group

Network operators in Somalia have been given three months to pull the plug on money transfers by mobile phone, or face the consequences. The threat was made in a statement by al-Shabaab, a group apparently inspired by al-Qaida, and gives the three network operators in the region three months to block transactions over the Zaad …

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Boffin

It's all about bribes to al-Shabaab

This has nothing to do with Islam. Local hawaladars have to pay bribes to al-Shabaab, but electronic transactions are beyond al-Shabaab trolls ability to collect bribes.

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Sooo....

Paying locally-run business operations - bad.

Paying a bigger company - good?

al-Shabaab is a de facto government in that part of Somalia, so it's more akin to taxes, than bribes.

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Silver badge

Not really

al-Shabaab is more like the religious fanatics that took over the real government of the country, and the "bribes" are more akin to mob tax that government tax.

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Silver badge

Taxes =?= bribes

Well, I guess it depends on whether it goes to central "government" or to the local official's pockets, or to the central government officials' pockets, doesn't it? I know if I had to give the mayor of my city a pound to transfer some money I would consider it a bribe, not a tax...

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Anonymous Coward

Money, once again the root of all evil

...and for the barbars to claim etransfers "unislamic" deminishes their beliefs further.

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Bronze badge

Why is Somalia Abandoned?

Clearly, the people in al-Shabaab share the same mentality as the evil terrorists of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Why, then, are they suffered to live? Why hasn't a massive force of U.S. troops been moved to the country to crush every last member of that group, so that it will be feared no more?

I suppose the answer is the same as the one to the question of why the U.S. didn't send enough troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to have won there already. People would rather stay at home than be dragged off to fight a war.

I would start with diplomatic recognition for Somaililand. Where peace and stability is achieved, that should be supported, rather than put under pressure. And if we aren't willing to go to Somalia and fight ourselves, how about arming the people of Somalia so they are capable of taking matters into their own hands and wiping al-Shabaab from the face of their country?

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Russia tried it with Afghanistan

and as you know, these weapons were later used against them when the finally decided to attack it.

US didn't attack Afghanistan and Iraq to get rid of terrorists - they attacked them to plant there governments that would treat US preferentially when selling Afghan mineral ores and Iraqi oil.

Somalia doesn't really have much natural resources, so the US won't attack it. End of story.

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I'll give you a clue

it comes from the ground and is black and Somalia doesn't have enough underneath to justify "liberating" them.

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Yep

Reminds me of the "Spitting Image" skit early in the Bosnia-Serbia war, where a couple of Bosnian soldiers under heavy bombardment are busy digging with shovels in the hope of striking oil so that the US would get involved like they did for Kuwait.

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Anonymous Coward

Once bitten

They've already tried it once and it didn't work out too well at all, so it would be a brave politician who tried to sell it to the US public

“Operation Restore Hope” kicked off in December 1992 with a media-friendly amphibious landing by US Marines timed to provide live footage for the US evening news broadcasts. The US withdrew less than a year later, after a major battle with Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid's faction (dramatised in "Black Hawk Down") and the airing of humiliating footage of the body of a US helicopter pilot being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.

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FAIL

RE: I'll give you a clue

I suggest you go get a clue. There is no oil in Afghanistan, for example. Or the former Yugoslavia (where NATO troops fought to the benefit of local Muslims).

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Grenade

Left-wing Solution

Let's just send money to the rebels! They're behaving that way because they're poor. And poor people just need money. Then everything will magically be good again. People will automatically take responsibility for themselves. And learn morals and morality. All they need is money!

Aren't you ashamed you privileged individual? What, you're not committing crimes, abusing people in the streets, physically battering others? You are SO privileged. Give your money away to the violent ones. Do it today!

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FAIL

The right wing solution...

..."small government".

Well, hell, Somalia is the poster child for having a small government. They almost have none at all. Let's see how *that's* working out for them, shall we?

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Boffin

RE: The right wing solution...

Well, I'll think you'll find that Somalia actually has two "governments" - the internationally recognised and UN-backed Transitional Federal Government, and the Al-Shabaab commnders. There is also several other little clans running councils that act as local governments for areas where they have control, so all in all not "small government".

In fact, Somalia is a poster child for the problems of letting Africa sort out its own probelms. Whenever the US or UK starts looking to closely at some dictator, we always hear the anti-war/anti-capitalist/nutters ranting on about how the US/UK is just looking to "exploit another set of poor and coloured people", and that they should be left to sort out their own issues. News flash! The people fighting and oppressing each other in Somalia are (largely) those "poor and coloured people". The US washed its hands of Somalia after a half-hearted attempt at intervention (where the US forces had their hands tied by awful rules of engagement born of political correctness), since then the ball has been in the court of black Africa. The African Union has tried to intervene but has been woefully slow in committing troops to do anything other than assuage a sense of guilt. South Africa has probably the largest and most capable military on the continent but has done nothing for Somalia. Likewise Egypt, which has massive forces, some of it equipped with excellent Western kit. It took large grants from the US and EU to get the neighbouring African nations to get involved, and even then the efforts have been tiny compared to what is required. Instead of lamenting the lack of US or NATO action, maybe you should ask why Africa hasn't done more to sort out African problems.

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"a conspiracy by the west to seize control of the Somalian economy"

Somalia has an economy? That's news to me....

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Coat

Would said Eye-Slammo Turrists have problems if the mobile

cash was addressed to them? Got to doubt it.

Hypocrisy and Religio Fanatics kinda go hand in hand don't they.

Woops guess I'm going to toast in heck for that one.

Note to mods - if you reject this my god will beat up your god (or his dog whichever is easier).

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Would said Eye-Slammo Turrists have problems if the mobile

I love it when people get all, "If you reject this comment, well, there will be consequences". As if it's so intensely controversial that I'll sit here sweating when it comes up in the queue.

I don't have a god, anyway. But thanks!

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Well...

"I don't have a god, anyway. But thanks!"

I could lend you one of mine; I have a few going spare hearabouts.

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