Fighting Continues in Somalia
- View SourceSomalia fighting continues for the fifth day as five are killed Monday
Aweys Osman Yusuf
Mogadishu 23, April.07 ( Sh.M.Network) Fighting between Ethiopian
troops along with government forces and Islamic insurgents backed by
clan militias continues in the Somali capital Mogadishu for the fifth
straight day. Ethiopian military forces have been firing rockets from
the presidential palace, and former army compound in south of the
capital targeting neighborhoods in north of Mogadishu, insurgent
At least five civilians were killed and more than 10 were wounded in
Shibis and Suq Ba'ad neighborhoods in north of the capital early
Monday morning. According to witnesses, the victims were fleeing the
areas when they were hit by stray bullets.
Somalia Deputy Defense Minister, Salad Alai Jelle, told local
journalists on Sunday that the Somali transitional government was
determined to pacify the gun-infested capital, calling on civilians
remaining in areas where the battle rages to leave their homes.
The fighting continues despite the government's lack of efforts to
assist thousands of families who are lingering under the trees of
southern provinces of the country and on the outskirts of the capital
after they fled the war going on in hot-blooded city.
Torrential artilleries and mortar rounds are landing at Jamhuriah
neighborhood, north of the capital, as the deafening sounds of the
explosions could be throughout the city on Monday.
Hawiye clan political leader, Abdulahi Sheik Ismail, told Shabelle
Monday morning that there was ongoing ceasefire agreement being
brokered by the clan leaders and Ethiopian officers in the country, so
far fighting continues in the capital.
Shelling traps Somalis in capital
The fighting has raged for six days
Shabelle Media Network Somalia
Heavy shelling is taking place as Ethiopian-backed government forces
battle insurgents in Somalia's capital.
Ethiopian tanks have been pursuing Islamists and local militias into
their stronghold in the north of Mogadishu.
The United Nations refugee agency says many residents are trapped in
the fighting as roads leading out of Mogadishu have been blocked.
Some 250 people have been killed during the last six days of fighting
and thousands are fleeing the capital.
Somalia's deputy defence minister Salad Ali Jelle has asked people
living near insurgent strongholds to move out before a planned attack
on the rebels.
Ethiopian forces have been in Mogadishu since December last year after
helping Somalia's transitional government oust the Union of Islamic
The insurgents are believed to be a mixture of Islamists and
militiamen from the Hawiye clan - the largest in Mogadishu.
Many bodies are lying around Mogadishu and hundreds of people are
fleeing towards the Kenyan border, says the BBC Swahili reporter
Khadra Mohammed said.
Some have serious injuries and need urgent medical attention, she says.
Only people with money are able to move out of the capital on public
transport vans, most of the dead are poor people, our correspondent says.
UNHCR spokesperson Catherine Weibel has told the BBC they are now
providing relief supplies to about 20,000 displaced people out of the
more than 300,000 who have fled the violence.
Eritrea which is accused of supporting insurgents opposed to the
Somalia's transitional government has suspended its membership from
the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), the East
African regional body that brokered the Somali peace process.
The withdrawal from the seven-member Igad group was the latest sign of
deteriorating relations between Asmara and regional countries over
"It's a temporary withdrawal. We feel that it's not responsible to
stay in that organisation when decisions are being made that are not
legally or morally acceptable," Information Minister Ali Abdu told
Reuters News Agency.
An Eritrean representative at the recent Igad meeting held in Kenya's
capital, Nairobi, clashed with his Ethiopian counterpart over their
presence in Somalia.
Eritrea has denied accusations from Ethiopia and America that it is
supplying arms to insurgents opposed to the transitional government.
Somalia has not had a functional government since 1991. A transitional
government was formed in 2004, but has so far failed to take full
control of the country.
Ethiopian troops have started to withdraw, to be replaced by an
African Union peacekeeping force, but only 1,200 of the 8,000 troops
the AU says it needs have been deployed.
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