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From owner-imap@chumbly.math.missouri.edu Wed Dec 12 08:01:22 2001
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 23:23:44 -0600 (CST)
From: Marpessa Kupendua <nattyreb1@home.com>
Subject: !*SOMALIA: Fear of US Strikes Grips Somalia
Article: 131871
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

From: Pan-African News Wire <ac6123@wayne.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 11:22 AM

Fear of US strikes grips Somalia

Pan-African News Wire, Tuesday 11 December 2001, 11:22 AM

NOTE from Sis.—A white house correspondent on The Beltway Boys last night forcefully asserted that he was certain that there were covert actions already underway in Somalia.

NAIROBI, 11 December (IRIN)—Fears of an imminent American air strike is gripping Somalia after reports that military aircraft have been conducting surveillance flights over the country, local sources told IRIN on Tuesday.

The first sighting of military aircraft was reportedly last week, according to Abdulkadir Isse, a Mogadishu resident said. Over the past week we had to listen to their droning sound every night, he said.

People are really terrified to sleep at night.

However, the UN security officer for Somalia, Wayne Long, told IRIN he had received no reports of military planes overflying the country. Neither had he received any requests for the establishment of no fly zones, he said. A regional analyst told IRIN it was unlikely the US would attack Somalia.

It is much more likely that they are sending a message to Usama Bin-Ladin and Al-Qaeda that Somalia is no sanctuary, the analyst said.

The European Union’s special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Rino Serri, warned against air strikes on Somalia, arguing that a stable government was the key to combating the threat of terrorism in the country. The Italian news agency ANZA quoted Serri as saying air strikes would be pointless as there is absolutely nothing there to destroy. Serri, speaking at a UN-organised conference on Somalia, said that Somalia isn’t Afghanistan and has no Taliban regime to topple.

Meanwhile, the US deputy secretary of defence Paul Wolfowitz told a press briefing at the defence department that the US was trying to observe, survey possible escape routes, possible sanctuaries, but he refused to speculate about future operations.