Ethiopian forces and Somali Islamists’ clash sparks protests

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This weekend, heavy fighting broke out in Somalia leaving 28 dead and many more wounded after clashes erupted between Islamists militia groups and Ethiopian forces in Gureil, close to Mogadishu, reports claim.

According to reports, Friday, there were mortar shelling by Ethiopian forces in Mogadishu which left at least 16 residents dead. On Saturday, the opposing groups shot at each other, bringing businesses to a standstill and forcing residents to take shelter.

According to a Mogadishu resident, the fightings were heavy, and a barrage of mortar bombs were seen hitting many parts of the town, killing people and causing heavy damages of buildings.

Somalia was considered a threat to Ethiopia after it (Somalia) descended into anarchy 15 years ago. The country was divided into armed militias and ruled by warlords.

Ethiopia invaded Somalia two years ago to expel Islamist forces who had conquered Mogadishu. The history of Somalia and Ethiopia is marred by distrust, animosity and war.

Suspicions of neighbouring expansionism and political extremism are deeply rooted in both states.

Reports that Ethiopian troops have crossed Somalia’s border and setup camp in Baidoa, home to the weak Somali transitional government, has severed the stormy relationship between the Horn of Africa rivals.

Somalia’s Ethiopian-backed deputy prime minister, Ahmed Abdul-Salam is yet to verify the recent attacks.

Meanwhile, demonstrations to protest against the war have been held in the conflict areas.

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