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.

 

Rouhani seizes opportunity to get closer to Qatar

New crown prince widely welcomed in Saudi Arabia

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

Iraq forces battle deep into devastated Old Mosul

Prime time for Ramadan on Gulf fashion calendar

Mali activists call for referendum to be abandoned

Iraqi forces control two thirds of Mosul Old City

Assad leads Eid prayers in Syria’s Hama

Lone-wolf attacks raise concern about new trend in terror

Erdogan slams Saudi demands of Qatar as illegal

Sudan making 'positive' steps on meeting US sanctions terms

Mecca suicide bombing injures six

Gulf crisis heats up as Qatar receives list of demands

Suicide attacks kill at least three people in Mosul

Civilians killed in Iraq suicide bomb attacks

UN warns Yemen cholera outbreak could infect 300,000 by September

Putin launches deep-water phase of TurkStream pipeline

Berlin warns Ankara against meddling in religious affairs

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa

Egyptian fuel helps restart Gaza power station

Rights groups say Morocco protest leader 'severely beaten' during arrest

5 killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

UN experts urge Egypt to halt executions after 'flawed trials'

Qatar emir congratulates newly-appointed Saudi crown prince

Kushner hails 'productive' Palestine-Israel talks

Macron says removing Assad no longer priority in Syria

Turkey sends first aid ship to isolated ally Qatar

Iraq PM says IS admitting defeat in Mosul

Egypt delivers fuel to ease Gaza electricity shortage

Saudi Arabia named after ruling dynasty

Turkey detains catering boss after army food poisoning

Israel says will unleash 'unimaginable power' in future Lebanon war

Brussels nail bomber identified as Moroccan

Saudi stock market bullish on new heir

Lebanon's Salame to be new UN Libya envoy

New Saudi heir is king's agent of change

Turkish President accused of influencing courts