The official government of Somalia, backed by Ethiopian forces has recaptured the country’s capital Mogadishu, according to media reports from the area.
The leaders of the Islamist alliance that held most of the country until this week have resigned, SomaliNet news agency reported. “Since the Islamists came to power in Somalia, they did a lot of significant acts for the people, particularly in terms of security, justice, development, improving internal and foreign politics, reopening the air and sea ports and so on,” the outgoing leadership said in the statement.
Islamist fighters are said to have handed their weaponry to warlords in the Mogadishu area.
Earlier, the Ethiopian army and the military forces of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) took two more major cities – Jouba and Jawhar.
The Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC) has retreated from much of the territory it seized over the past 10 months. Somali Ambassador to Ethiopia ‘Abd Al-Karim Farih told the London-based daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat the government forces and Ethiopia’s army would not invade Mogadishu.
"We will not fight to control Mogadishu so as to avoid civilian casualties. Our forces will lay siege to Mogadishu until they [the SCIC] surrender," Farih added.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council again failed to agree on a statement calling on Ethiopian troops to leave Somalia. Qatar, which is one of the 15-nation Security Council, was the only country to insist on Ethiopia’s retreat from Somalia.
"The solution to the Somalia problem is going to require a broader perspective and approach that will include direct negotiations between the transitional government authorities… and the SCIC," U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Alejandro Wolff told Reuters.
The African Union and the Arab League have issued a joint statement condemning Ethiopia’s involvement in the conflict.
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