50 people have died and many more injured in Mogadishu as Islamist groups and government forces enter the fourth day of fighting. The Western-backed transitional government of Somalia said the Islamist hard-liners had no interest in ending the violence and wanted to take over Somalia by force.
“You see that the opposition is using the violence and killing and bloodshed, they don’t want the violence in Somalia to end and the objective is to take the country by force. We are trying to complete setting up the Somali armed forces which is under way now. We need to pass this difficult stage,” said transitional Somali president Mr. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who took office in January 2009, after UN-brokered peace talk.
The fighting began on Thursday and lasted through the weekend up until Monday, in a district close to the presidential palace. Reports claim that residents are fleeing with their belongings in the streets filled with dead civilians, after a mortar shell landed in northern Mogadishu.
The week interim government of Somalia is in the dark about what the radical Islamist groups really want as they continue to do battle with them in a long-running violence which has killed thousands of people since 2006.
According to Mohammed Ould Abdullah, the United Nations’ special representative to Somalia, efforts to negotiate peace were complicated due to the constantly shifting array of factions.
Despite introducing the Sharia law in the country just to appease the Islamist groups who battle pro-government forces and African Union troops in the capital almost every day, the radical guerrillas have refused to give peace a chance.
Somalia, a nation of about eight million people, has experienced almost constant conflict since the collapse of its central government in January 1991.