MOGADISHU, Somalia Dec 26 (Garowe Online) - As Ethiopian and allied Somali government forces take town after town from the Islamic Courts militia, former warlord-rulers are being returned to power.
On Tuesday, Islamist militias abandoned many frontline towns, including Dhusamareb, the hometown of Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.
The fighting in parts of central Galgaduud region is led by former Mogadishu warlord Col. Abdi Qeybdiid.
The Islamists also left their positions in Bay region after a week of bloody fighting against allied Somali and Ethiopian forces.
The Islamists refer to the nation-wide retreat a “tactical move” but promised to continue the war against the “invading” Ethiopian troops.
Further south in Hiran region, Ethiopian troops and allied Somali militias captured more towns and residents listened to speeches delivered by officials like Mohamed “Dhere” Omar Habeb, the former warlord-governor of Middle Shabelle region.
In Jalalaqsi town on Tuesday, Mohamed Dhere urged residents to uphold the peace and signaled that his goal was to reach his former stronghold of Jowhar, the Middle Shabelle regional capital.
Yusuf Dabaged was returned to power yesterday in Beletwein, Hiran region, and stated that locals were now “liberated” and allowed to do things previously banned under the Islamist administration, including the sale and use of popular narcotic khat.
Ethiopian fighter planes continued launching air raids on Islamist militia positions for the 3rd straight day, hitting locations in Lower Shabelle region.
The United Nations Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting on the worsening violence in Somalia.
Garowe Online News