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Somalia: Islamists disappearing in the capital
Wed. December 27, 2006 10:28 am.


Mohamed Abdi Farah

(SomaliNet) Here in Mogadishu, it is within hours of mess and disorder, and no one rules the capital right now as the people began to worry about what is next. Once powerful Islamic Courts� men but just weak seem to be disappearing.

It is now the end of eight months rule by the Islamic Courts Union in central and southern Somalia, despite the ICU hardliners vowed to launch hit and run attack in Somalia.

The traffic in the city is much smaller than days before, what the ordinary people eager to hear is an immediate change with stability and security but feel more anxiety that the advancing Ethiopian backed interim government forces clash with the remnants of the ICU fighters who retreated to the capital, their last stronghold besides southern port city of Kismayo. Ethiopian forces are now advancing toward Kismayo and it is feared to fall out of hand in the coming hours.

Now Mogadishu is the main target of the Ethiopian forces along with the government troops led by some of the former warlords.

The powerful forces are coming into two directions heading to the capital in the next hours, notably the capital will be under the control of the government tomorrow, said Mohamed Dhere, a former warlord in northern Jowhar city some 90 km to the capital of Mogadishu.

Some of the residents in the capital already began fleeing their home heading to near by regions in southern Somalia.

�I would suggest the Islamic Courts officials not to order their fighters to fight inside the capital if they are doing favor for the civilians because we don�t want any more blood shed,� Abdirisak Bakistan, a local teacher in the capital said. �The Islamist officials have still chance to flee and seek refuge in the Arab world if not they should surrender to the interim government.

Despite people in Mogadishu now fear of air raids by the Ethiopian forces, Somalia Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi said that there is no intension to bomb the capital.

�We don�t absolutely intend to attack Mogadishu but my government is confident that it will be welcomed by the its people in the capital,� said Gedi. �what we are hunting down is the foreign insurgents in Somalia and will crush them until their end, the Islamists made the country base for international terrorists,�

The capital is now in anarchy condition amid Islamist soldiers changing their uniform after facing sizable defeat in the clashes with the Ethiopian backed interim government forces in central and southern Somalia.

In north Mogadishu, self arranged local militia took the control of the area with the Islamic fighters handed their weapons to their clans to get save and refuge.

When I visited the north of the capital just half an hour ago, I could see that the Khat leafy, which was already banned by the Islamists, is being sold publicly. Cinemas also began to open for viewing.

All the khat dealers and consumers seem to feel relief. Some are happy to get back to their normal life.

�I am very happy that Islamists go away and the government came in because the Islamists made the life difficulty and blocked me to get access for my daily life and feed my children as they banned the sale of Khat leafs,� Amina Haji, one of female khat dealer told SomaliNet.

Here Mogadishu, no one knows whereabouts of the leaders of ICU including Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and others.

News Category: Somalia
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