Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mogadishu taken over by Islamic militants

Africa: Who are going to turn the place into Taliban the sequel.

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A militia with alleged links to Al Qaeda seized Somalia's capital Monday after weeks of fighting with U.S.-backed secular warlords, raising fears that the country could fall under the sway of Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization. The advance unified the city for the first time in more than a decade and after 15 years of anarchy in this Horn of Africa country. But it also posed a direct challenge to a fledging UN-backed Somali government. "We won the fight against the enemy of Islam. Mogadishu is under control of its people," Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, chairman of the Islamic Courts Union, said in a radio broadcast. The militia, which has formed an alliance that transcends clan, controls a 100-kilometre radius around the capital after fighting off a secular alliance of warlords. The militia is gaining ground just as the UN-backed interim government struggles to assert control outside its base in Baidoa, 250 kilometres from Mogadishu. The prices of weapons soared there Monday as fears grew that the militia could head to Baidoa next. The militia is the first group to consolidate control over all of Mogadishu's neighbourhoods since the last government collapsed in 1991 and warlords took over, dividing this impoverished country of eight million people into a patchwork of rival fiefdoms. Omar Jamal, director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in St. Paul, Minn., said the militia's victory in Mogadishu was a turning point in the country's history. "It is exactly the same thing that happened with the rise to power of the Taliban" in Afghanistan, he said, adding that the extremists are "using the people's weariness of violence, rape and civil war" to gain support for a government based on Islamic law.
In a couple of years we will see the same garbage coming out of here that we saw with the Taliban, the immediate result of this is an increase in refugees adding to the flow of illegal migration which is already a problem. I see nothing good coming from this other than outside forces better be ready to hit this place hard if it becomes all too apparent its is an terrorist playground. No talking, just rain bombs on the place. This is too important a strategic point in Africa to leave alone.

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