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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Somali troops enter Mogadishu

Reported here, the collapse of the UIC forces and the return of the officially recognized goverrnment:
Government troops in Somalia have marched into parts of Mogadishu, hours after Islamist forces abandoned the capital they had held for six months.
"We are in Mogadishu," Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Ghedi said. "We are co-ordinating our forces to take control of Mogadishu."

Some residents cheered the troops, but others feared a return to lawlessness.

It was not clear whether Ethiopian troops, who had backed the government forces, were also entering the city.
Islamist fighters fled towards the port city of Kismayo, their last remaining stronghold, 500km (300 miles) to the south.

Senior UIC official Omar Idris told the BBC: "We know what happened in Iraq... I think this is very, very early to say that the Islamic Court forces were defeated."
UPDATE: Interesting comment at the end of this LA Times piece:
Somalian government officials said they had no immediate plans to use heavy force to take the capital, a campaign they said could inflict heavy civilian deaths on the city of 2 million people. Instead, Ethiopians and transitional government troops encircled Mogadishu, shut down the seaport and airport, and pressured Islamic leaders to give up.

"We are cutting off the roads and begging them to lay down their weapons," said Abdikarim Farah, the transitional government's ambassador to Ethiopia.

He said the United States was among the countries helping to seal off access along the Indian Ocean coastline. (emphasis added)
Which, if it is true that the U.S. Navy is doing its thing off Somalia, is a very good thing indeed.

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