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11 Feb 2007 description

Ken Menkhaus

When 2006 dawned in Somalia, the war-torn Horn of Africa nation had been without a functioning central government for 15 years. The main claimant to the title, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) formed in 2004, was unable to extend its authority beyond a small portion of the countryside. An uneasy coalition of Islamists and clan-based militia leaders -- the "Mogadishu group" -- held sway in the capital and opposed the TFG.