Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Yemen problem, an overview

In the whack a mole game a player must thump a mole, groundhog or similar underground dweller as its head randomly pops up out of multiple holes. Now imagine the game played on a global scale with armed fanatics taking the place of the moles: hit them as they pop up out of one hole and they just pop up someplace else, endlessly, unless you can do the impossible in thumping every last one of them. Thump them in Afghanistan and they pop up in Pakistan. Look out, behind you, they're in Sudan. And Lebanon. Then Somalia. Damn, this is worse than wrestling an octopus.

The centre of attention of those waging God's war is currently Yemen, which makes it tempting to simply shrug the shoulders - like with Somalia - and say "It's only Yemen, really, who cares?" Yeah, like ignoring the Somali fanatics has worked out really well - actually it has worked well for Kenyans with upmarket property to sell:

Property prices in Nairobi are soaring, and Somali pirates are getting the blame.

The hike in real estate prices in the Kenyan capital has prompted a public outcry and a government investigation this month into property owned by foreigners. The investigation follows allegations that millions of dollars in ransom money paid to Somali pirates are being invested in Kenya, Somalia's southern neighbor and East Africa's largest economy.

Anyway, unrest in Yemen isn't likely to end any time soon and could have distinctly unpleasant consequences.


Via Theo Spark


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