Home | News    Saturday 26 March 2005

Fighting in southwestern Somalia puts new government at risk


By OSMAN HASSAN, Associated Press Writer

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Mar 26, 2005 (AP) — Heavy fighting between militias led by two lawmakers in Somalia’s new parliament broke out in a major southwestern trading center Saturday, throwing reconciliation efforts and the establishment of a new government into doubt.

The battle had left at least five dead and dozens wounded by Saturday afternoon and was still raging as the sun set, witnesses said.

The fighting in Baidoa was between a clan faction allied to neighboring Ethiopia, commanded by Hassan Mohamed Nur Shargudud, and a group led by Mohamed Ibrahim Habsadeh. The two men have disagreed about where the new government, currently in exile in Kenya, should be established and the role of Ethiopian troops as peacekeepers to protect the interim government.

Habsadeh was leading his troops in Baidoa when the fighting broke out at about 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) and continued throughout the day. Shargudud was in Nairobi, Kenya, where the new parliament has been based since its formation last year.

"I have been attacked by the supporters of Mr. Shargudud," Habsadeh said, when reached by telephone. "They told me that they want to dislodge me from the town forcefully."

He said two of his men had been killed in the initial fighting and four were wounded.

Ethiopian-backed Somali warlords — now lawmakers — and the Ethiopian-backed President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed have suggested setting up the new government in Baidoa and in Jowhar, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Mogadishu because the capital is too dangerous. Yusuf has also called for Ethiopian and other regional peacekeepers to protect the new government.

Habsadeh and other Somali leaders who consider Ethiopia an enemy have rejected both proposals, causing a split among the warlords who took part in the peace process to form the new government. Mediators have said that, while a government was formed, reconciliation efforts have stalled, placing the peace process danger.

Islamic fundamentalists, who make up a small percentage of Somali society, have also opposed the new government.

Shargudud’s militia attempted to organize a public demonstration of support for Yusuf and his proposals in Baidoa when Habsadeh’s men prevented it. The confrontation deteriorated into heavy fighting with rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft guns and small arms on Saturday.

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Sudan’s Bashir is playing a dangerous game 2018-05-23 05:09:04 The attempt of the Sudanese president to engage with rival regional interests in a bid to stay in power might fail. By Ahmed H Adam Sudan's political crisis is sliding into a dangerous phase. (...)

Salva Kiir’s cunning strategy 2018-05-19 07:40:06 By Duop Chak Wuol Salva Kiir likes to preach democracy to confuse people, looks for ways to legitimize his atrocious regime, uses deception to promote his despotism, and calculatingly waits for (...)

Lessons for South Sudan and IGAD-Led peace forum 2018-05-16 23:28:16 James Okuk, PhD “The polis exists to assure the good life” – Aristotle. “For however strong a ruler may be, he will always have need of the goodwill of the inhabitants if he wishes to remain in (...)


Latest Press Releases

The Suspension of Hurriyat Online Newspaper 2018-04-29 07:04:37 Sudan Democracy First Group 28 April 2018 The Sudanese civil and political circles and those concerned with Sudan were shocked by the news that the management of Hurriyat online newspaper has (...)

Petition on the Deteriorating Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in Sudan 2018-04-22 10:01:20 UN Secretary-General, New York African Union Commission, Addis Ababa UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva Petition on the Deteriorating Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in Sudan (...)

Abyei celebrates Mine Awareness Day 2018-04-05 08:52:03 4 April 2018 | Abyei - The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) commemorated the International Day for Mine Awareness and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.