Talk:Battle of Baidoa

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Relation to Somali Civil War (2006-present)[edit]

Relation to Somali Civil War (2006-present) as well as Ethiopian involvement in the Somali Civil War should be clearly established and information apportioned appropriately. I was glad to see that much of what I had written in the former article was lifted directly onto this page. However, I did not keep the events of December 20-21 in synch between the two articles. I've been focusing mostly on the Somali Civil War page.

I've also put a pointer from "Ethiopian Involvement" to the Somali Civil War page, rather than to here directly, hoping that people will read the central article first before coming to this subnode of the information cluster.

Since many of my day-to-day entries for the war are getting rather long and extensive, I'd be fine if, after perhaps a few days, the more detailed information currently on the main war page might move to this battle-related page.

Before we do such a radical redo of the pages, what do others think?

--Petercorless 19:32, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

answered on your talk page. Let's concentrate on the specific event, rather than context. --TheFEARgod (Ч) 19:40, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

What's a "technical"? 22:26, 21 December 2006 (UTC)Fronzel

A pick-up truck with a machine gun mounted on the back. Battle Ape 08:24, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

To me the causalities mentioned in the article and the causalities shown under the right info box labeled "casualties" are really different. Can some one check it out?



Is anyone aware that the acronym "TFG" is not specified? (As in, what it means is not told to the reader)

I have taken to add the TFG acronym at the top of the page. I would also suggest that we use "TFG" (Transitional Federal Government) rather than "TFP" (Transitional Federal Parliament) as this seems to be the common name being used in all news reports and even the TFG's own press releases. q.v. Somalia: Goverment press release - war situation --Petercorless 04:12, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
I've changed the name "Transitional Federal Parliament" to "Transitional Federal Government" in the caption box. The TFG acronym should be placed on the other article pages relating to this conflict as well, since it is heavily confusing for a reader without any prior knowledge to understand which sides are in conflict. Also, there seems to be a lot of overlapping in the articles such as the Somali Civil War, Battle of Baidoa and the Ethiopian Intervention in the Somali Conflict - is there someway we can make certain demarcations to resolve this? Because at this rate, we'll have to synchronise much of what we've written in one article with the information in another. Right now I see a discrepency in casualty numbers between two articles, which requires updating. - Permafrost 07:09, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree. As you can see by my note at the top, we need to consider how to parse the news across the different pages. It had been that purely Somali-involved events were on the Somali Civil War (2006-present) page, and those that involved the Ethiopians on the Ethiopian involvement in the Somali Civil War‎ page. Now we also have a "Battle of Baidoa" with events involving all parties to the conflict. I'd suggest only putting "major" events on the main Ethiopian and Somali Civil War page, at least, until matters around Baidoa resolve into a new equilibrium. The Ethiopian page is best for events in the Second Front in Mudug --Petercorless 07:19, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
So far I've identified these articles that have overlapped in information or need updating to synch with the others. The Somali Civil War (2006-present) article, the Baidoa article, the Battle of Baidoa article, the Ethiopian involvement in the Somali Civil War article and the Military of Somalia article. Permafrost 10:08, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Battle Map Added[edit]

Just finished the map for the battle to date. Please check it out and let me know if I have placed towns like Iidale and Buulo Jadid in the right area. I was unable to find them located on other maps I have access to, and have no Lat/Long coordinates, but placed them in the approximate location of where they have been reported. I also converted all fonts to outlines of the text, to avoid font rendering problems with SVG. --Petercorless 01:43, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Thank you for adding that map. It helps put the battle into perspective. Richard Cane 05:25, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I had just updated the battle map for Dec 26 when I saw the airstrike on Leego. I will update presently. --Petercorless 15:42, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Some emotion[edit]

This is horrible... I can't believe there's gonna be another war over Christmas. Last year was bad enough. Brutannica 07:23, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, since Somalis are 99% Muslim and most Ethiopian Christians are Orthodox (and therefore celebrate Christmas on January 7th), it's possible that there won't be fighting over Christmas for those involved (if tensions decrease in the next two weeks, though I'm not holding my breath). — ዮም | (Yom) | TalkcontribsEthiopia 07:45, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

The jihadists have shot themselves in their foot by saying that Somali parts of Ethiopia should be part of Somalia. They could not expect the Ethiopians to just cross their arms and let the jihadists with support from arab militas and Eriteans get closer and closer to Ethiopia.

Added Eritrea, Jihadists[edit]

Based on reports of 500 Eritreans being committed to Bur Hakaba, and the capture and suicide of jihadists, I have put both on the list of combatants supporting the ICU. --Petercorless 08:08, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I see this as a bad idea, mostly because the word "jihadist" has no encyclopedia value. It seems that whenever an international group of muslim fighters acts in a way opposed by the US they are refered to as "jihadists", while when they act favorably they are called "Mujahideen." Is there any more informative and neutral way to express that forign fighters, islamic in ideology, are fighting in somalia?-- 01:34, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I did an update on the Mujahideen article noting the term beginning to be used in Somalia. Prior to this week, the term "jihadist" was used predominantly in the reporting:

  • "This is why the world should not take lightly the threats coming from another megalomaniac such as Colonel Hassan Dahir Aweys and his gun trotting jihadist brigades." --Somalia Islamists Should Be Stopped, Washington Post

--Petercorless 02:47, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

War is Spreading Beyond Baidoa[edit]

It's now entered the Mudug region which involves Puntland.[1] Should the name of this article be changed or should Puntland's involvement get its own article? Richard Cane 12:05, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I would classify the new location of conflict different to the Battle of Baidoa. There are different theatres within a war, and these must be separated accordingly. Baidoa and Puntland can be integrated in the larger Ethiopian intervention in the Somali Civil War, however.

Muslim/Christian Conflict[edit]

(Separated out comments)

Ethiopia has now offically entered the war. Now they kick the jihadists out of the area and win this crusade. Don't worry, the will kick them out of Puntland too. Also happy to see that the int. media mentions that the islamists are backed by arabs and eriteans. Interesting to see that Eritea is a Christian country but it is willing to help the enemy of its enemy. But Kenya supports the transitional government though unofficially because it does not want to antagonize its muslim population of mombassa and other regions.

As for the comment posted by the user above, it isn't our place here to take sides in this war. Save the debate for a forum. And might I also mention that precisely the reason why history is so important is that it often repeats itself and provides clues as to why these conflicts happen today. - Permafrost 14:25, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Eritrea is not a "Christian country" nor is it a Muslim one, the government is secular and the population is evenly split between the two religions. Also the depth (and existence) of Eritrean involvement is highly disputed. It would do you better to look at this conflict not through the eyes of current world politics (Islam vs West), but in the context of regional (Horn of African) history and ethnic demographics. Mesfin 14:39, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Eritea is still viewed as a Christian country. It just happen to have large Muslim populations of whom some don't have Eritean citizenship since they are considered refugees. But the government consists mainly of Christians and majority are still Christians according to CIA Worldfact book. As for Ethiopia-Somali conflict it is viewed as Muslim vs. Christian conflcit. Why do you think arab militias are helping the Somalis? Malaysia, Kazakhstan, UAE and Albania have large Christian populations yet they are generally viewed as Muslim nations and not 'Muslim' nations so same argument should be used for Eritea for now. Eritea is Christian and not 'Christian'.

According to Wikipedia, Ethiopia is majority Muslim, not Christian, regardless of tradition. Although it might be traditionally Christian, some 50% of the population is supposedly Muslim.

Don't cite Wikipedia, but no, according to Wikipedia, Ethiopia is 62% Christian and 33% Muslim, not 50-50. The CIA factbook says 50-50 but it's inaccurate (see Talk:Ethiopia). The above data may actually be from the 1984 census and not the 1994 one, actually, as Jon Abbink cites the 1984 census as saying 32.9% Muslim and the 1994 one as 28.7% Muslim Jstor link (pdf). — ዮም | (Yom) | TalkcontribsEthiopia 21:28, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Regardless on how Eritrea is "viewed" it is not a Christian country in any sense of the word. Unless you have conflicting data, the Christian (like the Islamic) population is exactly 50% (the CIA worldfact book does not dispute this); the current ruling political party (PFDJ) is not Christian nor Muslim but was formed from a quasi-Marxist liberation front (EPLF) and has many high raking officials that hail from both groups; citizenship is given to all those who are either born in the country, or who have at least one Eritrean parent and no refugees from either the current or previous conflicts can be legally denied citizenship (I would like to see proof of the contrary); also the legal system is a secular one for criminal cases but has dual Secular and Sharia courts for civil law. The countries that you list "Malaysia, Kazakhstan, UAE and Albania" all have a Muslim majority something that Eritrea does not have for any religion, thus your comparison is flawed.
As for the Ethiopia-Somali conflict it could be portrayed as a Muslim vs Christian conflict, but only to those who either have a vested interest to do so (like the ICU) or those who are overly dismissive of the Horn of Africa region's history in regards to Demographics, Ethiopian ethnic fueled conflicts, regional separatism, Somali ethnic nationalism, colonial border placings, and previous governmental handeling of such issues. Somalia is in itself a politically complicated place however when you put it in context with it's colonial and post-colonial history, its neighbors, THEIR colonial and post-colonial history, and finally the population's weariness of political anarchy and infighting, you get a fuller picture.
This is not to erase the religious angle of the current conflict, but to put it in context more with regional history and not current world politics. Mesfin 23:34, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

We will just have to agree to disagree on Eritea. I consider it to be a Christian for the high ranking officails, the power rests in hands of Chrisitans jsut like power rests in hands of sunnis in Iraq under Saddam. but in Eritea's case over 50& of its popualtion are Christians. No reliable census has been conducted recently for fear of civil unrest between these 2 communities.

Also it is about time we stopped blaming a nation's colonial past for its present troubles. Somalia's troubles should be blamed mostly on the Somalis. These troubles have been aggravated by Eritean, Arab nations and Ethiopian interference. Again, I believe that the conflict is a Christian vs. Muslim one. the islamists ocurts are funded by arab nations to be able to get back Ogaden which is under Etiopian i.e Christian hands. By the way I saw that Chad is 50% Muslim population. So is it a Muslim country to to you??? If you say no then I think that you are not biased my Muslim friend.

While we might opinionate about our own beliefs, the important thing to establish is how the leaders and participants in the conflict view the war. According to the Islamist supporters and leaders of the ICU, this is a "jihad," a war against non-Muslims. Regardless of how it is treated by other parties, this has become a religious war to at least one side of the conflict. Ethiopia is maintaining, officially, that this is a war fought for political security of Ethiopia by establishing stability in Somalia, and does not play into Christian themes of crusade. While that might be a popular (or unpopular) personal assertion. "Crusade," as in conquest of land to bring it under Christian domination, is not official Ethiopian government policy as far as can be established. If someone can make such a direct attribution, then by all means include it in the article. As far as I can find, the only one who is calling it a "crusade," and that to whip up anti-Western/anti-Ethiopian sentiment, is Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda: U.N. peacekeeper move "adds fuel" to Ethiopia-Somalia row In other words, this is an attempt to frame the war as a Muslim-vs.-Christian war. While that must be recognized, it must also be neutrally stated as an assertion of one party in the war. --Petercorless 16:30, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, we will have to disagree on the subject of Eritrea, but you have not provided any proof to your claims that Eritrea has undergone a demographic shift towards a Christian majority or massive Christian governmental dominance. As for the present troubles in Somalia, blame isn't even a factor as 'blaming' is very POV. However, colonial history is greatly relevant to issues like the Somaliland/Somalia split, historical Ethiopian territorial annexation of neighboring lands, Eritrea/Ethiopia animosity, and current border placement. All issues that fuel the current and previous wars in the horn of Africa, in learning the lengthy histories of these countries we can better understand the nature of the current problems (this can be done without assigning blame). As for the off topic question of the Islamic nature of Chad, according to the CIA world factbook Muslims made up 51% of the population and are by far the largest single religious group in the country.
As for your small off topic comment about my own religious beliefs, you are incorrect in assuming that I am a Muslim. Mesfin 18:03, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

So when Eritea has little more than 50% of its population who are Christians it is not a Christian nation but when Chad has around 50% of its population who are Muslims, the country is Muslim? Shows how biased you are. I wonder if you would come up with such an argument if you were not Muslim. Are you sad that you lost East Timor, Nakorno Karabakh, Singapore, Israel and republic of Serpska to non muslims? Perhaps this drives you stark raving mad.

I don't care if you are Muslim or not but you should try and have more balance views. Anyway if you are an administrator for this page then good for you. I respect for wikipedia and its administrators. I will eventually start contributing more myself to various topics and create an account too. -J.J

I am no longer interested in debating the differences between Eritrea and Chad. I must remind you that personal attacks are not allowed in Wikipedia. You, like everyone else, are greatly welcomed to contribute to Wikipedia in every way you can. Mesfin 21:26, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Eritrea is Christian in the same way that Ethiopia is (except percentage-wise it's about 10% less Christian). Although there is a high percentage of Muslims, most of them live in the arid lowlands and have less political power compared to their highland Christian (mainly Tigrinya in Eritrea) counterparts. The Eritrean secession movement did not become a serious possibility until the 1970s when highland Christians began to join the movement. the 10-15 years prior when it was primarily led by the ELF (a Muslim group) and supported mainly by the Muslim lowlands, it was largely unsuccessful. It was in the 1970s with the support of Christians that the tide began to turn. Issayas's alliance with the ICU is simply him considering the enemy of his enemy (Meles Zenawi) being his friend. — ዮም | (Yom) | TalkcontribsEthiopia 02:15, 26 December 2006 (UTC)


Guys, concentrate only on events in and around Baidoa. There's no place here for other fronts. --TheFEARgod (Ч) 16:02, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

You could create new pages for other fronts, anyway --TheFEARgod (Ч) 16:10, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Yea, the Battle of Baidoa is but one battle in the larger war. ~Rangeley (talk) 04:02, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
The Ethiopian drive through Beledweyne, which has now reached Buuloburde, would likely constitute an eastern flank of the Battle of Baidoa. It depends on how this affects the front in Tiyoglow and Bur Hakaba. I have also made mention of the air strike on Bali-Dogle, considering it is in the rear area of the ICU for this battle. --Petercorless 16:18, 25 December 2006 (UTC) --Petercorless 16:18, 25 December 2006 (UTC)


Did Eritrean Army involve or just muslim volunteers are joinig to ICU?Soulviver 19:26, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

This is a good question, as the extent of Eritrea's involvement in the war is not really known. The UN and the US has stood firmly by their figure of 2000 troops. However, Eritrea strongly denies that any troops are in the country, but this doesn't guarantee that they are not involved. The TFG of Somalia is strongly adamant that Eritrean troops are helping the ICU (they have claimed up to 3000), but to date there hasn't been a single sighting of any Eritreans in Somalia. This is in strong contrast to Ethiopia which, since the rise of the ICU, has played a very visible role in the conflict supporting the TFG (although they have stayed away from any direct fighting until recently).
If Eritrea is in fact involved they must be providing small arms to the ICU or some basic military training to the group, otherwise more hard evidence of their presence would be found instead of quiet rumours. Mesfin 21:43, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Al Jazeera (English Edition) has said that hundreds of Arab volunteers have come to Somalia to help the ICU. There is no doubt that the ICU gets outside help though samething can be said for transitional government. It is clear that the Ethiopians are helping transitional government but the Kenyans (the ICU claims parts of Kenya for Somalia) may also help them albeit in a more discreet way. Eritea may help ICU but maybe not as much as arab volunteers and money from arab governments. More info on who is helping these 2 sides can be found on wikipedia's page on 'Islamic Courts Union'.


It looks like a lot of what is on this page should go in