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Home >> World
UPDATED: 16:46, April 12, 2007
Somali ambassador says Mogadishu becomes peaceful in 16 years
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Somali Ambassador to Ethiopia Abdikarin Farah has said the capital Mogadishu is currently peaceful for the first time in 16 years.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Farah said no gunfire, mortar shelling or convoy attack have occurred over the past 10 days.

Calm has been restored in Mogadishu as remnants of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) have been defeated by the forces of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Ethiopia.

The UIC was driven out of Mogadishu last December by an alliance of the TFG and Ethiopia.

More importantly, he said, with the increasing control of the TFG in Mogadishu, Hawiye elders are re-establishing their authority because the TFG 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 TFG Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi last week, now seem prepared to participate in TFG's upcoming national reconciliation conference, said Farah.

Farah further said the mid-April national reconciliation conference has been delayed not for security reasons, as suggested, but just because the organizing committees are currently in Kenyan capital Nairobi looking for soliciting funds for the conference.

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

Despite allegations, the TFG is made up of Somalis from all the major clans without exception, he said.

The TFG totally deplore any and all loss of civilian lives in Mogadishu and elsewhere in Somalia, but neither the TFG nor the Ethiopian allies, bear responsibility for the recent fighting.

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

The remnants of the UIC have been targeting the supporters of the transitional 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.

At present, African Union (AU) troops are supposed to be replacing the Ethiopian soldiers but so far only 1,200 Ugandans have arrived, of the planned 8,000-strong force.

Source: Xinhua

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