State of emergency in Somalia, post-election protests in Iran.

A state of emergency has been declared in Somalia due to the increasing fighting in and around Mogadishu. The provisional government has clearly not enough military power to hold the al-shahab rebels away. Recent developments involves killing of several high rank politicians such as a minister and members of the parliament. The government has introduced stronger elements of sharia law to appeal to the rebels, including the principle of cutting hands and legs for theft. So far this has not made the rebels to halt its fighting.

The government has then called on the international community, AU and Ethiopia to back up for stronger assistance to restore order. AU will probably increase its presence in Somalia, but should also change its mandate to be more effective. Their mandate has so far only been to use force when attacked otherwise standing as a principally peacekeeping force. Stronger capacity is most likely needed to restore order in Somalia. The provisional government has further received arms from US as a support to fight the rebels.  

The declaration of a State of emergency (equals martial law) has made a change of Somalias political status, from the previous Interim/Uni-Revolutionary to a sole Uni-Recvolutionary status.



For more than a week now massive demonstrations has taken place in Iran as a protest against the official win of Ahmadinejad in the presidential elections. Supporters of opposition candidate Mousavi has staged rallies in a scale not been seen in Iran since the Islamic revolution 1979. There is an obvious miscontent and criticism against the Islamic leadership, especially among the urban, educated and young population. Even though Ahmadinejad has a significant support in the rural districts of Iran and the poorer population, the protests shows a clear division in the country which will make it hard for a continued conservative rule to unite the country again. The demographic of Iran will make the younger generation even more important in the years to come and probably increase the demands for political reforms.

The answer and repression of the Islamic leadership makes international criticism justified. Even though it is clear that some forms of irregularities has taken place in the vote, there has not been any impartial monitors able to determine the election as fraud as a whole. Still the election was monitored and controlled by the Islamic leadership and hence not fully impartial either.

Iran has not been considered either a semi-authoritarian or a limited democratic state. According to the outcome of this election this will probably not change. Unless the protests results in a political change of course.


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