Thursday, December 21, 2006

Somalia


The leader of Somalia's Islamic courts Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys and other radical Somalian Islamists are currently at war with Ethiopia and the Somali government, which hardliners say is sympathetic to Ethiopia.

NAIROBI, 21 December (IRIN) - The number of people fleeing the southern Somalia towns of Baidoa and Buur Hakaba swelled on Thursday as fighting between forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) entered a second day, sources told IRIN.
"Yesterday [Wednesday] we had people coming from the Daynuunay area [epicenter of the fighting]. Today, many Buur residents are leaving their homes," Mukhtar Atosh, a resident of Buur Hakaba, said...


Death toll rises: Medical sources told IRIN that the "death toll on both sides could be as high as 50". "Both sides are not bringing their dead to hospitals, but the number of wounded which we estimate to be between 150 to 200, indicate that there is a high number of fatalities on both sides," said a doctor in Mogadishu currently in touch with medical personnel in Buur Hakaba and Baidoa.

The UIC are keeping their wounded in Buur Hakaba, and the TFG are taking their wounded to Baidoa, said the Doctor. The TFG was installed in late 2004 in an effort to bring peace and security to the Horn of Africa country which has been without an effective government for 16 years. In June this year, the UIC defeated the warlords who had controlled Mogadishu since 1991, after the collapse of the regime led by Muhammad Siyad Barre. The UIC has since extended its authority to large areas in the south and central regions of the country. More

+ Dec 21 (Reuters) - Hardline Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys on Thursday said his powerful military movement was at war with Ethiopian soldiers in Somalia.
Witnesses says Ethiopian troops are helping the interim Somali government fight Aweys' Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) near the government stronghold of Baidoa in the most sustained combat so far between the rival Somali factions.

+ Somalia on brink of civil war
+ 'Somalis should take part in this struggle' by Salad Duhul, Mogadishu



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