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"Legitimate government", hmm. Depends on what your grounds for legitimacy are.

The Transitional Federal Government was formed in exile as a part of a reconciliation preocess that not all fighting factions wanted part of.

Wikipedia states:

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was formed in October–November 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya with the adoption of the following Transitional Federal Institutions (TFI), all accomplished by the end of the sessions:
  • Selection of 275 Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) members
  • Approval of the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC)
  • Election of Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed as President by the Parliament (October 10) as head of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and appointment of the Council of Ministers, including Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi (November 4).[19]

Wiki article

Being backed by traditional enemy Ethiopia was not unanimously supported either.

Following the success of the Supreme Islamic Courts Council in taking Mogadishu, and the alleged entry of Ethiopian troops into Somalia, members of the transitional government started to resign.

Wiki article

Of course you can view a selected parliament in exile as legitimate. It certainly had support of some foreign nations. But then I have to ask what your grounds for legitimacy is?

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by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jan 20th, 2007 at 08:22:21 AM EST
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I agree with what you've pointed out.  When moving  from a situation where there has been no government to a transitional one there were bound to be disagreements, but I wouldn't go so far as to label the transitional government a "figurehead" and practically brand it a puppet of the US's quest for oil.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Jan 20th, 2007 at 11:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since I disagree with the notion that the US is one of the main players I agree that the transitional government is not US puppet. I think it is in many ways Ethiopias puppet.

To clarify, I think the transitional governement is now in a position where they are completedly dependent on ethiopian troops to defend them, which makes inable to act contrary to ethiopian interests. Which is what "puppet" often means. However, things were not always such. They were formed in exile from different groups in Somalia and thus held support from those groups. I think that the resignations signifies groups droping out of this coalition. Which would mean that their legitimacy on the ground is very weak.

And to clarify even further, the ethiopian government is a pretty ruthless dictatorship but is not a puppet of the US even though they have succedeed in positioning themselves as allies to the US. That gives Ethiopia guns, and the US some say in Ethiopias actions. The Ethiopian involvement in the Somali civil war predates their US support.

("Ethiopia" is here used to signify the ruling clique of Ethiopia, that is Meles and his crowd.)

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by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jan 20th, 2007 at 02:05:07 PM EST
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