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.

 

Extremist groups capture last major regime holdout in northwest Syria

Deadly fighting rages in Yemen southern towns

‘Islamic State’ suicide bombers target Iraq-Jordan crossing

Four Egypt Islamists killed while preparing bombs

France opens preliminary probe into forced labour allegations in Qatar

‘Islamic State’ kills Iraq senior officers in Anbar province

Entrepreneurs encourage people to ‘buy Syrian’

Over 100 children killed in Yemen since March 26

Libya militia alliance 'carries out air raids' against IS

UN 'confident' rebels will sign Mali peace deal

Petraeus gets two years probation for info leak

Iranian ships turn back from Yemen

Palestinians mourn as Jews celebrate

UN chief set to appoint Mauritanian diplomat as Yemen envoy

Obama takes 'full responsibility' for deaths of Qaeda hostages in US operation

Turkey warns Austria over decision to condemn ‘Armenian genocide’

Yemen conflict poses dangers across Gulf of Aden

Hopes for final deal on second day of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna

Security tightened at Saudi shopping malls

US returns stolen Egypt artifacts

EU mulls military action against human traffickers in Libya

Libyan journalist shot dead in Benghazi

Arms experts warn of 'Faustian bargain' with Iran

Fresh Saudi-led air strikes target Yemen rebels

Rebel-IS clashes in Syria kill at least 42 fighters in 24 hours

Who’s more dangerous: Jihadists who left their countries or those staying at home?

France foils 'imminent' attack by jihadist sympathiser

Algeria army kills three armed Islamists west of capital

Israel removes Palestinian teen's name from memorial wall

Egyptian businessman testifies at Al-Jazeera retrial

Kenya asks donors to save world’s largest refugee camp

Sanctions, possible Congress intervention to dominate fresh nuclear talks

Arab army chiefs kick off work on building regional force

One year after agreement, Palestinian reconciliation hits rock bottom

Arab coalition resumes airstrikes against Huthi rebels

UN member states urged to protect Iraqi cultural sites

London mulls ways to help Europe's refugee crisis

Finalising of Iran nuclear deal set to begin

Saudi–led coalition declares end to Yemen air war

Palestine teenager inscribed on Israel memorial wall

Deadly attack targets busy restaurant in Somalia capital

War in Yemen raises profile of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Libya condemns 'death smugglers' after shipwreck

Sudan security agents detain opposition activist

Main Kurdish party vows to be 'sultan' Erdogan's nightmare