Friday, July 14, 2006

Somalia: Taxes or death

Somalia continues to be deadly:
Several Somali traders have been arrested by Islamist militiamen after a protest over new taxes, in which one person was shot dead.

About 100 people staged the protest in the town of Jowhar, captured by the Union of Islamic Courts last month.
In Jowhar, about 40 young men with plastic bags to collect cash began levying the taxes on the orders of the Islamist administration, reports Reuters news agency.

"I am not in a position to pay the taxes. Whatever I get from my small business, I feed my family with," said trader Fatuma Ahmed, mother of three.

She had been asked to pay 2,000 shillings (14 US cents).

The UIC has been consolidating its grip of the capital, by taking control of the port on Wednesday.

Mogadishu's main port had been closed for the last 15 years, because rival factions failed to agree who should run it.

One week ago the city's main airport was handed to the Islamic courts by militia who previously dug up the runway to resell cheap gravel for other construction work.
Meanwhile, the increasingly irrelevant "President" says the the Islamists cheat, break promises and use foreign fighters. He wants the African Union to come restore order. I hope that he is not holding his breath, because I cannot imagine that they want to step into that hornets nest anytime soon.

Update: More here.

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