Somalia celebrate departure of Islamist

AP/Washington Times:

Jubilant Somalis cheered as troops of the U.N.-backed interim government rolled into Mogadishu unopposed yesterday, putting an end to six months of domination of the capital by a radical Islamist movement.
Ethiopian soldiers stopped on the outskirts of town, after providing much of the military might in the offensive that shattered what had seemed an unbeatable Islamist militia. Islamist fighters fled south vowing to continue the battle.
"We are in Mogadishu," Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi declared after meeting with local clan leaders to discuss the peaceful transfer of the city.
A chilling reminder of the chaos Somalia has known came as clan militiamen and criminal groups began looting almost anything they could after the Islamist forces fled. At least four persons were killed in the melee, said one witness, Abdullahi Adow.
President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, whose shaky acting administration has spent the last year in a temporary capital, Baidoa, 150 miles west of Mogadishu, said government troops are not a threat to the city's people.
"The government is committed to solving every problem that may face Somalia through dialogue and peaceful ways," he said.
After starting an offensive against the Islamist forces Sunday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said his army would go home once it defeated the Islamist movement, whose fighters had extended their control over much of southern Somalia in the past six months.
Mr. Meles vowed yesterday not to give up the fight until extremists and foreign fighters supporting the Islamist movement had been crushed.
Speaking in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, he said 2,000 to 3,000 Islamist fighters had been killed and 4,000 to 5,000 wounded. Ethiopia suffered a few hundred casualties, he told reporters.
Islamist militiamen, who had said they would defend Mogadishu to the last man, retreated toward the southern port of Kismayo.
The fighters had gone from door to door in Kismayo recruiting children as young as 12 to make a last stand on behalf of the Islamist movement, according to a confidential U.N. report, citing the families of boys taken to the front line town of Jilib, 65 miles north of Kismayo.
Reports last night indicated the leader of the Islamist was already hiding in Nairobi, Kenya. This while his remaining "men" are rounding up kids who are unfortunate enough to live with their families in Kismayo. Meanwhile their former tribal allies have had a farewell to combat, if not arms, experience and are cutting deals with the transitional government leaders.

At this point the making of a last stand makes no sense. They have lost the war. If they have decided to fight an insurgency, gathering up a bunch of kids is not going to help that cause. They should be disbursing and blending in, not massing kids for a slaughter.


Popular posts from this blog

Should Republicans go ahead and add Supreme Court Justices to head off Democrats

29 % of companies say they are unlikely to keep insurance after Obamacare

Bin Laden's concern about Zarqawi's remains