09/07/08 (B455) BBC / Les forces islamistes attaquent Baïdoa, siège du GNT en Somalie / Somali government base attacked (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

_________________________________ Note de l’ARDHD

Même en juin-Juillet 2006, lorsque les tribunaux islamiques avaient pris le contrôle du pays, ils avaient soigneusement évité d’attaquer Baïdoa, laissant au GNT, une sorte d’enclave « libre » pour y héberger ses institutions : Présidence, Primature, Ministères, Assemblée nationale, ….

Les attaques récentes, qui sont signalées contre Baïdoa, montrent que les forces islamiques de résistance ont cessé d’avoir la retenue qu’elles avaient eu en 2006 et qu’elles veulent démontrer que le GNT a cessé d’être « intouchable », en raison probablement de son alliance avec les forces d’occupation éthiopiennes soutenues par les Américains …

Somalia has seen a surge in fighting, despite a ceasefire pact last month

Insurgents in Somalia have launched a rocket and mortar attack on the southern town of Baidoa, seat of the transitional parliament.

It was the first time Baidoa, the only town fully under government control, had been attacked since late 2006.

A soldier was killed and six people wounded in the attack on the airport and presidential palace, witnesses say.

Al-Shabab, a radical wing of the Islamist Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia, claimed responsibility.

The attack comes on the eve of the coming into effect of a ceasefire signed by the government and one Islamist leader last week.

Al-Shabab refuses to abide by the ceasefire, until Ethiopian troops leave the country.

Ethiopia helped the government oust Islamists from Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia in 2006.

A military official said insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns had been fought off with anti-aircraft guns at checkpoints in the north and south of the city.

There will not be a ceasefire and we will not negotiate with any side while Allah’s enemy [Ethiopia] is on our soil

« It is the heaviest we have witnessed for many years, the fighting sent flash lights over the city and rocked us, we kept ducking for nearly an hour, » said resident Sahra Ali.

Al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow told reporters his men had been behind the attack.

« Our fighters have attacked Baidoa and inflicted heavy losses to the so-called government soldiers and the Ethiopians, » he said.

« This was a signal showing that Baidoa is no longer safe. »

The al-Shabab spokesman also said that a ceasefire signed last month between the government and opposition groups « would never go into effect ».

« There will not be a ceasefire and we will not negotiate with any side while Allah’s enemy [Ethiopia] is on our soil, and as long as the puppet regime of [President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed] claims leadership, » he said.

The three-month ceasefire pact was signed by a top Islamist leader, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and Prime Minister Nur Adde.

But another prominent Islamist leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, rejected the deal.

Mr Aweys is a founder of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) that ruled much of Somalia in 2006, before being ousted by Ethiopian forces backed by Somali government troops.

Al-Shabab is the UIC’s youth wing, whose fighters have been behind much of the violence against the Ethiopian and Somali troops.

Somalia has experienced almost constant civil conflict since the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime in January 1991.

Political violence has surged in recent months.

Last week, gunmen killed the head of the UN Development Programme as he left a mosque in the capital, Mogadishu.

Insurgents also launched lethal attacks against government and Ethiopian troops in the capital and the centre of the country.

The UN has warned that nearly half of Somalia’s population is likely to require aid later this year.