Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Update from Mogadishu

I actually read somewhere that the US was crowing about the "success" in Mogadishu and how it would be a model for future anti-Islamist actions.

Well, things are not so rosy. Via Corriere della Sera:

Firefight in Mogadishu: 3 dead

MOGADISHU (SOMALIA) – A surprise attack by a Somali who opened fire on a group of Ethiopian soldiers led to a violent reaction in which three were killed and dozens wounded. It all started in the Huruà quarter in north Mogadishu, where a huge abandoned pasta plant looms over the capital's most dangerous neighborhood, also the location of an Italian cemetery.

The dynamics of the incident recall those of July 2nd, 1993, when Italian troops participating in the UNOSOM contingent were involved in a neighborhood sweep. This time the Ethiopians were conducting a house-to-house search and had just arrested two persons when someone opened fire on them. The reply was immediate, despite the fact that Somali women had gathered to form a human shield to protect the shooter. Three Somalis were killed [obviously, the women] and twenty wounded. The streets were abandoned as people fled for their lives. It was only after the Ethiopian troops left that the neighborhood organized a demonstration against the Ethiopian occupation.

Meanwhile, in Kenya, a leader of the Islamic Courts, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, is under house arrest in Nairobi, where he declares he is ready to enter into national reconciliation talks. [This is being reported in the US as an "arrest" but it is obviously some other status].

Uganda and Malawi have indicated their availability to participate in a peacekeeping force sponsored by the UN. But the EU Commissioner for Development, Louis Michel, let it be known that the EU would contribute nothing without the start of national conciliation talks, the abolition of martial law and the lifting of the state of emergency.

In Mogadishu authorities prepare to pass legislation to muzzle the press.


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