2011 - The Year We Take Back Congress and Make Obama's Life Hell!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Shhh,...! Don't Look Now, but,...

Some Islamofascists got their noses bloodied, and the US wasn't involved!

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia's beleaguered capital fell today to Ethiopian and Somalian government troops who marched quietly into the city before dawn and took control without firing a shot.

An Islamic alliance that had controlled Mogadishu and much of the country evaporated yesterday after a string of military losses, and in the security vacuum, violent looting broke out in the capital. Residents awoke this morning to find the Ethiopians and troops of Somalia's U.N.-backed transitional government taking positions.

The transitional government was formed in 2004 to give the Horn of Africa country its first effective, nationwide administration since 1991, but today was the first time its troops were able to enter Mogadishu.

"The fighting is over," Ali Mohammed Gedi, prime minister of the transitional government, declared late yesterday, shortly before hundreds of troops began pouring into the city.

Officials of the government spent most of yesterday meeting with clan leaders to ensure that there would be no remnants of the Islamic forces hiding in Mogadishu when they entered, and that the local population would welcome their soldiers.

Mogadishu temporarily reverted to its familiar clan-based chaos as the Islamic Courts Union disintegrated and former warlords tried to resume their positions of power. Angry youths rampaged in the streets, stealing mobile phones, looting houses, and setting up checkpoints. Clan militias reclaimed their old neighborhoods. Offices and homes of the leaders of the former Islamic alliance bore the brunt of the looting.

It was unclear whether the weak transitional government and its small military force could impose order on Mogadishu, much less the rest of Somalia. Officials of neighboring Ethiopia, who provided most of the firepower to oust the Islamic alliance, said they would help but would not remain in Somalia for long.


Gedi called for the looting and violence to end. "Anybody found disturbing the security will be met with swift punishment," he said.

U.S. and Ethiopian officials accused the Islamists of plotting to establish a Taliban-style regime and use Somalia as a base to launch terror attacks. The Islamists said they were merely trying to restore peace and stability to Somalia. Over the last six months they had seized Mogadishu and most of southern Somalia.

Yesterday, after days of military losses that had left it bottled up in Mogadishu, the Islamic Courts Union officially disbanded. As he left Mogadishu, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the chairman of the courts, said Islamists were leaving to avoid a battle that might have killed civilians.

Some extremist elements of the courts union were reportedly refusing to give up and were seen heading south toward the port city of Kismayo, where they may try to regroup or escape. As many as 4,000 fighters, including the fundamentalist Shabab faction, which is accused of killing an Italian nun in September, have refused to give up, officials said.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said his soldiers were in hot pursuit of the fighters, who he said included Eritreans and other foreigners.

Meles said his troops would assist the transitional government restore peace in Mogadishu.


"We don't believe it is our mission to reconstruct Somalia militarily, politically or otherwise," Meles said. "What Somalia needs is beyond our capacity now. What Somalia needs now is massive humanitarian assistance. We cannot provide that."


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