Mogadishu attacks stall Ethiopian withdrawal

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Reports from Mogadishu in Somalia say that almost 20 people have been killed and many more injured after a rebel group attacked Somalia ’s capital city Mogadishu.

The attacked region has been under protection from the Ethiopian peacekeeping troops who are scheduled to leave the country soon under a recent peace deal signed between the United Nations and Somalia government and some moderate Islamist groups.

The recent attacks could mean that the Ethiopian troops would have to stay longer even though their presence in Somalia is highly antagonized by the Islamist locals.

Ethiopia sent troops into Somalia to help the transitional government oust Islamists from Mogadishu and surrounding areas. But President Abdullahi Yusuf last week admitted that Islamists now control most of the southern part of the country.

It is also reported that most of the attacks have been by the Islamist groups but the recent attacks have not been attributed to any group yet. The Islamists have not commented on the incident.

Reports indicate that the planned Ethiopian withdrawal from Mogadishu’s residential areas may be stalled following these attacks, the pull-out due to finish on 29 December, may take longer.

The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution imposing sanctions – an assets freeze and travel ban – on anyone threatening peace in Somalia.

The prime goal of this is said to provide a framework to stem the flow of arms into Somalia, which is causing such mayhem there. According to John Sawers, the UN ambassador of the UK, which drafted the resolution, ‘The resolution also mentions anyone disrupting aid deliveries.’

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