First Published: 2006-06-05

 
Somalia PM sacks US-backed warlords
 

Gedi invites Islamic courts to take part in dialogue with view to ending deadly clashes.

 

Middle East Online

At least 347 killed since armed clashes started in February

MOGADISHU - Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi has sacked four ministers, also warlords, who were involved in deadly clashes with Islamic courts militia over control of the lawless capital and its northern outskirts, officials said on Monday.

Gedi fired national security minister Mohamed Afrah Qanyare, commerce minister Musa Sudi Yalahow, militia rehabilitation minister Issa Botan Alin and religious affairs minister Omar Muhamoud Finnish, a government spokesman said.

"The prime minister, chairing the council of ministers, has sacked all the cabinet members who have been involved in the fighting," Abdirahman Nur Mohamed Dinari said.

The four warlords, members of the US-backed Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT), had defied several orders to stop fighting with Mogadishu's increasingly powerful 11 Islamic courts since February.

In the latest clashes on Sunday, the Islamic gunmen seized control of the strategic town of Balad township, around 30 kilometers (19 miles) north of Mogadishu, as the alliance fighters fled to the regional town of Jowhar, about 60 kilometers to the north.

The seizure of Balad, a strategic supply town for the warlords, put the Islamic courts within striking distance of Jowhar, which is controlled by warlord and leading alliance member, Mohamed Omar Habeb, and home to several aid agencies.

In addition, Gedi invited the Islamic courts to take part in dialogue with a view to ending the clashes that erupted in February and have so far claimed at least 347 lives and injured more than 1,500 others, many of them civilians.

"The prime minister has invited the Islamic courts for dialogue," Dinari said.

The largely powerless Somali transitional government is based in the regional town of Baidoa, about 250 kilometres, northwest of the capital.

The ARPCT, formed in February, has reportedly received financial and intelligence support from the United States to help fight the Islamic courts, accused of harbouring foreign fighters and having links with extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda.

The courts, which have declared a holy war against the alliance, deny the accusations and claim the warlords are fighting for the "enemy of Islam". The United States has refused to confirm or deny its support for the ARPCT.

 

Israel shells Gaza just hours after truce

Libya jihadists declare Benghazi ‘Islamic emirate’

Morocco king deplores unequal wealth distribution

US plans largest ever sale of lethal missiles to Iraq

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer

Baghdad bomb blasts kill at least ten

Identification of Air Algerie crash victims ‘could take years’

Philippines prepares to evacuate 13,000 citizens from Libya

Jihadists fight on more than one front in Syria

Sudan Christian woman chooses US as final destination to settle down

France moves to disband violent Jewish group

Chief of Iran Quds Force ridicules calls to disarm Hamas

US supports Israel with weapons, Gaza with sweet words

Syria Kurds battle jihadists killing nearly 50

West watches post-Gathafi Libya descend in chaos

Carnage in Gaza Strip as death toll passes 1,300

Mosul’s residents rise up against jihadists

Militants fire at Tunisia army helicopter

Islamists capture key Benghazi army base

16 killed in Israeli shelling of UN school in Gaza

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council