Fresh fatalities in Somali clash

April 19th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

BBC | April 18 2007

Fresh clashes between Woyane troops and insurgents have left seven people dead and more than 50 injured in the Somali capital, hospital sources say.

A spokesman for Mogadishu’s dominant Hawiye clan said tension is high but the ceasefire agreement still holds.

The cabinet is meeting to discuss security and may approve the sacking of ministers opposed to the government.

Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Aideed says the [Woyane] have committed genocide since arriving in December.

Zenawi had dismissed Mr Aideed’s comments as absolute fabrication.

[Woyane Soldiers] arrived at the request of the transitional government, to oust the Union of Islamic Courts that was then in control.

The UN refugee agency says hundreds of residents have been killed and some 200,000 others have fled Mogadishu as government and Woyane soldiers battle insurgents – both Islamists and Hawiye fighters.

Sharp divisions

Heavy shelling and mortars landed on residential areas in the south of Mogadishu on Tuesday night as Woyane-backed government forces battled with militants.

I saw three bodies pulled out of a house,? Abdirahman Bile, a resident of Towfiq neighbourhood told Reuters news Agency.

Hawiye clan elders and commanders from [Woyane forces] agreed a tentative ceasefire earlier this month.

Mr Aideed, a former war lord and an influential member of the Hawiye clan, has called on Woyane forces to leave Somalia signalling sharp divisions within the interim administration.

On Tuesday, a meeting of the Somali parliament in Baidoa voted to expel 31 members of parliament.

Among them was the former parliament speaker, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan.

He, along with Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, is staying in neighbouring Eritrea – Ethiopia’s regional rival.

Mr Adan opposed Ethiopia’s intervention and has called for peace talks with the Islamists.

Zenawi says it has started to withdraw some of its troops from Somalia and will gradually handover responsibilities to the African Union force.

So far only 1,200 Ugandans have arrived, of the planned 8,000-strong force.

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