Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Somali envoy says Mogadishu peaceful for first time in 16 years

Ethiopian News Agency
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Addis Ababa, April 12 (ENA) Somali Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union (AU) Abdikarin Farah says Mogadishu is currently peaceful for the first time in 16 years.

He told a news conference here Wednesday that no gunfire, mortar shelling, association or convoy attack had occurred over the past 10 days.

He said calm had been restored in Mogadishu as the government successfully responded to the attacks launched by remnants of the extremists and as a significant number of extremists had been killed during a counter attack launched by the forces of Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and Ethiopia.

More importantly, he said, with the increasing control of the government in Mogadishu, Hawiye elders are re-establishing their authority because the government created an environment where they can talk now and they are no longer targets of assassination.

In fact, the Hawiye clan leaders, after a series of meetings with the TFG prime Minister last week, now seem prepared to participate in the government’s national reconciliation conference.

Farah added that the national reconciliation conference had been delayed not for security reasons, as suggested, but because the organizing committees were currently in Nairobi looking soliciting funds for the conference.

The conference will succeed in its primary aim of real clan and national reconciliation, he added.

Despite allegations, the government of Somalia is made up of Somalis and by Somalis from all the major clans without exception, he said.

The Somali government totally deplores any and all loss of civilian lives in Mogadishu, and elsewhere in Somali but neither the TFG nor Ethiopia’s allies, bear responsibility for the recent fighting.

"The so called young Mujahideen movement claimed responsibility for all the recent attacks in Mogadishu city, causing over 100 deaths," he said.

The remnants of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) have been targeting the supporters of the government, intellectuals, business community, women associations, and former military members.

Some international media outlets are reporting negatively, saying the government does not have support in Mogadishu, he said.

“My government has been fighting an enemy that has no respect for any human rights, and it even prepared to desecrate the human dead,” he said.

The ambassador said some of the journalists reporting from Nairobi might have noticed this. Pro-UIC elements sometimes appear to have gained a monopoly of access to the international media there, he added.

Source: ENA, April 12, 2007


Click here