The Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC) is stepping up its fight against Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Local merchants told Reuters news agency that yesterday (Wednesday) the SCIC began preventing trucks carrying gasoline from leaving the capital Mogadishu on their way to the TFG’s base in Baidoa.
In the past few months the SCIC has gradually gained control over most of south Somalia and has cut off TFG forces from most of the country. The TFG is being helped by Ethiopian soldiers, who were recently dispatched to Baidoa. Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia and the country’s major source of gasoline, came under the Islamists’ rule in June this year.
In the past few days the armed forces of the SCIC have taken control of the main road leading from Mogadishu to Baidoa. They also recaptured on Monday the town of Bur-Hakaba, located next to the road, only a few dozen miles from Baidoa.
The situation in Somalia in escalating on a daily basis and a full-scale war which would involve neighboring countries is very plausible, The Media Line’s experts say. The SCIC has recently recruited at least 3,000 people for what it described as "holy war" against Ethiopia. After a series of denials, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi admitted on Tuesday that his country was "technically" at war with Somalia, after the Islamists declared holy war against Ethiopia. Zenawi also admitted his country had sent a few hundred soldiers into Somalia to support the TFG forces.
As tension builds, the probability of reaching an agreement between the SCIC and the TFG at the third round of talks scheduled for October 30, seems low.
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