16/05/09 (B499) Nouvelles de Somalie : les populations fuient de nouveau la capitale. Le Président se prépare au combat pour se maintenir face à une opposition islamiste armée et organisée. (8 articles en Français et en Anglais)

_______________________ 8 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Des récents combats sont signalés dans le centre de la Somalie. // Fresh fighting starts in central Somalia

Fresh fighting between forces loyal to the Islamist group of Al-shabab and ICU has broken out in Mahas town in Hiran region in central Somalia, witnesses told Shabelle radio on Saturday.

Sources said that the fighting is very heavy and it is spreading to the other villages near the town as both sides are using heavy weapons.

The sound of heavy gunfire could be heard in and around the town but no casualty about the fighting has been reported so far.

We shall keep updating you for any further details about the fighting as soon as possible as it is covered from the warring zone.

_______________________ 7 – Romandie News (Suisse) avec AFP

Mogadiscio: 103 morts, 18.000 déplacés en une semaine

Les combats entre forces pro-gouvernementales somaliennes et insurgés islamistes ont fait 103 morts, 420 blessés et 18.000 déplacés à Mogadiscio depuis le jeudi 7 mai, a déclaré vendredi le ministre somalien de la Communication, Farhan Ali Mohamoud.

“Les combats ont fait environ 103 morts et 420 blessés et environ 18.000 personnes ont fui leurs habitations jusque présent”, a déclaré le ministre à la presse.

Des habitants continuaient vendredi de fuir la capitale, où aucun affrontement n’était signalé, a constaté un correspondant de l’AFP.

Jeudi, les insurgés se sont déployés à proximité du palais présidentiel et d’institutions publiques, dans un face à face tendu avec les forces gouvernementales et celles de la mission de paix de l’Union africaine (UA) en Somalie (Amisom).

Face à cette progression des insurgés, le gouvernement de transition somalien a nommé un nouveau commandant en chef de l’armée, a annoncé le ministre.

Le commandant de l’armée, Said Mohamed Hirsi, a été remplacé par le commandant en second de la police, Yusuf Osman Dhumal, a-t-il indiqué.

“Yusuf Osman Dhumal a été nommé commandant en chef, il commandera les opérations miliaires dans la capitale et son prédécesseur a été nommé chef de la sécurité du palais présidentiel”, a-t-il expliqué.

Des habitants continuaient vendredi de fuir la capitale, où aucun affrontement n’était signalé, a constaté un correspondant de l’AFP.

Jeudi, les insurgés se sont déployés à proximité du palais présidentiel et d’institutions publiques, dans un face à face tendu avec les forces gouvernementales et celles de la mission de paix de l’Union africaine (UA) en Somalie (Amisom).

Les insurgés ont lancé le 7 mai dans la capitale une offensive sans précédent contre le président Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, un islamiste modéré, pour le chasser du pouvoir. La Somalie est en guerre civile depuis 1991.

_______________ 6 – Reuters (En Anglais)

Les combats en Somalie entre les milices islamistes rebelles et les forces pro-gouvernementales ont provoqué la mort de 139 civils. // Clashes in Somalia kill 139 civilians

Islamist rebels and Somalia’s western-backed government and allies exchanged mortar and small arms fire on Thursday in the seventh day of clashes in the capital Mogadishu that have killed 139 civilians.

Years of conflict in Somalia have killed tens of thousands, displaced millions more, defied 15 attempts to establish central rule and created one of the world’s worst aid crises.

“Twenty-six civilians died and 98 were injured on Wednesday and Thursday,” said Yasin Ali Gedi, vice chairman of the Mogadishu-based Elman Peace and Human Rights group.

“Thousands have also evacuated in this period, because fighting has spread to new districts,” he said.

The militant al Shabaab and forces loyal to President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed continued to battle in Mogadishu. Pockmarked buildings near the presidential palace shook from the latest bout of clashes, which have plagued the country since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.

Residents accused African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) of shelling insurgent strongholds. Like most guerrilla wars, rebels stage hit-and-run attacks and hide amongst the populace.

“I saw them transporting 10 dead bodies and dozens of injured in mini-buses,” resident Abdi Hussein said.

“They were all opposition, because they were masked. Government soldiers also died, but I could count only three. I’m sure there are more. We were running from the shelling of AMISOM,” he said.

AU spokesman Barigye Ba-Hoku said: “We are neither involved in fighting nor shelling … The opposition blames shelling on us as an excuse to attack our bases.”
DESTROY

Influential opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys accused U.N. envoy Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah of trying to destroy Somalia by his support for the transitional government and dismissed any talks with Ahmed’s administration

“It is a surprise to see Ould-Abdallah destroying Somalia when he, as a Muslim, has an obligation of being honest of what he has to do for Somalis,” Aweys told Reuters.

“The troops who came to keep Muslim leaders away from the leadership have to leave the country. (Then) we are granting every Somali that there will be no fighting. We will sit together and solve everything through dialogue,” he said.

Aid organisations warned on Thursday that Somalia’s worst fighting in months was aggravating an already dire humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa nation .

Once famed for its open cafes and safe streets where residents took nightly strolls — known as “passagiato” from the former colonial rulers, Italy — Mogadishu is now synonymous with anarchy and evokes images of militias atop battle wagons.

A respite from more than a decade of violence following a takeover by the Islamic Courts Union in 2006 was short-lived, and battles erupted again when Ethiopian tanks and troops crushed the sharia courts movement later that year.

An Islamist-led insurgency since early 2007 has killed some 17,700 people and wounded almost 30,000 others, Elman says.


_______________ 5 – All Africa avec Garowe (En Anglais)


Au moins 10 morts et 30 blessés dans les combats permanents à Mogadiscio. Le responsable militaire est remplacé. // Somalia: 10 Killed in Continued Mogadishu Clashes, Military Chief Replaced

At least 10 people were killed and 30 others wounded on the eighth straight day of fighting in the Somali capital Mogadishu, as the government replaced the current military chief, Radio Garowe reports.

Most of Thursday’s fighting was concentrated in northern Mogadishu, with fighting reported in the districts of Yaaqshiid, Kaaraan and Wardhigley.

Residents said the Islamist rebels and government forces fought over control of strategic roads and checkpoints, and the fighting had spread out to relatively calmer districts like Bondhere and Shibis.

“I saw seven dead bodies…three of the bodies were civilians killed in a mortar explosion,” said a witness, adding that the fighting was spreading to new neighborhoods.

Hundreds of people were fleeing their homes as the warring sides used heavy weapons, including mortars that hit far-away neighborhoods.

Among the wounded people were two reporters working for Capital FM and Sahan FM radio stations in Mogadishu who were wounded during the clashes and were receiving medical treatment at a local hospital, the radio owners reported.

The districts in northern Mogadishu have been under government control and the Islamist rebels’ are advancing and continue to capture new areas from government forces.

New military chief

Gen. Said “Dheere” Mohamed who was appointed as military chief in 2008 by then-Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has been officially replaced during a Thursday vote by the Council of Ministers, a government official said.

Information Minister Farhan Ali Mohamud told a Mogadishu press conference that Gen. Yusuf Osman “Dhumal” has been appointed the country’s new military chief.

Minister Mohamud did not provide any details as to Gen. Said Dheere’s replacement.

But Gen. Dhumal was previously a senior police commander in charge of investigations and has now been switched to lead the government’s war campaign.

Gen. Said Dheere, who hails from the stable northern region of Puntland, confirmed that he has been replaced and is now “national security advisor” to the Somali president, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.

“The fighting in Mogadishu [since 7 May] has lead to 130 deaths, 420 wounded persons and more than 18,000 displaced civilians,” the Information Minister said.

Islamist hardliners, like Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, have spearheaded an armed campaign to overthrow Somalia’s U.N.-recognized interim government.

______________________________ 4 – AFP

Mogadiscio se prépare à une bataille suite aux menaces d’un chef islamiste

Les forces pro-gouvernementales somaliennes soutenues par le contingent africain et les insurgés islamistes se préparaient à une bataille décisive à Mogadiscio, où un chef des islamistes a exhorté jeudi le chef de l’Etat à démissionner pour éviter un nouveau bain de sang.

Des dizaines de personnes ont été tuées dans la capitale depuis le lancement le 7 mai d’une offensive contre le président Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, un islamiste modéré, par les insurgés islamistes radicaux, avec à leur tête les combattants de cheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys M. Aweys et le groupe des shebab.

“J’appelle cheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed à abandonner son poste autoproclamé de président afin d’épargner les vies des Somaliens”, a déclaré par téléphone à l’AFP cheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.

“Nous n’avons pour ainsi dire pas de vrai gouvernement, mais des marionnettes étrangères qui se proclament responsables de la Somalie”, a-t-il ajouté.

Ce chef islamiste radical, qui entretient des liens avec Al-Qaïda d’après Washington, a été en outre accusé mercredi par l’envoyé spécial de l’ONU pour la Somalie, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, d’avoir mené “une tentative de coup d’Etat” ces derniers jours.

Le gouvernement contrôle uniquement quelques rues et immeubles de Mogadiscio, ainsi que des points stratégiques comme la présidence, des bâtiments administratifs, le port et l’aéroport.

Jeudi, les insurgés, avec dans leurs rangs de très jeunes adolescents, se sont déployés à proximité du palais présidentiel et d’institutions publiques, dans un face à face tendu avec les forces gouvernementales et la mission de paix de l’Union africaine (UA) en Somalie (Amisom).

“Nous savons qu’ils (les insurgés) ont déployé beaucoup de combattants et qu’ils se préparent à leur attaque finale, mais ils ne gagneront jamais”, a déclaré à l’AFP le colonel Ahmed Dahir, des forces gouvernementales.

L’Amisom, forte de 4.000 soldats ougandais et burundais et qui dispose de matériel lourd – chars, artillerie -, affichait également sa confiance.

“Leurs intentions sont claires, ils ne veulent pas la paix et la violence est leur mode de vie. Mais ils ne réussiront pas”, a assuré à l’AFP le porte-parole de l’Amisom, Bahuko Baridgye.

Ces derniers jours, l’Amisom a renforcé ses positions d’artillerie dans la ville, selon des habitants qui, terrorisés à l’idée d’une nouvelle bataille au canon, continuent de fuir la capitale, détruite par 18 ans de guerre.

“Il n’y a pas d’espoir de paix à Mogadiscio. Nous voyons que les islamistes préparent une attaque contre le palais et j’ai vu les soldats de l’Amisom déployer des renforts et de l’artillerie”, témoignait Farah Sahal, père de deux enfants, avant de quitter la ville avec quelques effets personnels.

Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR) s’est déclaré “profondément inquiet” du sort des civils.

“Les Somaliens ont de nouveau été sujets à des souffrances insupportables”, a souligné le chef de délégation du CICR en Somalie, Pascal Mauchle.

Dans l’interminable guerre civile marquée par d’incessants renversements d’alliances, cheikh Aweys et l’actuel président étaient alliés lorsqu’il dirigeaient les tribunaux islamiques, qui contrôlaient au second semestre 2006 la majeure partie du sud et du centre de la Somalie, dont Mogadiscio, avant d’être mis en déroute par l’armée éthiopienne début 2007.

M. Ahmed avait ensuite rejoint le processus de réconciliation supervisé par l’ONU, et a été élu en janvier président. M. Aweys a toujours rejeté ce processus et promis de combattre jusqu’au départ de l’Amisom.

______________________________ 3 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Des religieux somalis achèvent une rencontre de deux jours à Djibouit. // Somali clerics conclude two days meeting in Djibouti

The Somali clerics have concluded two days meeting in Djibouti overnight on the role of the Somali clerics for the restoration of the peace and solution in Somalia, officials told Shabelle radio on Friday.

Sheik Ahmed Abdi known as (Dhi’isow), a member of the Somali clerics who attended the meeting told Shabelle radio the many Somali religious mullahs from the abroad and inside the country had attended the meeting in Djibouti adding that it was talked more about how the Somali clerics could play crucial role for the restoring peace and stability of Somalia.

Asked about whether the meeting was talked about what caused the failure of the previous agreements reached by the sides of the Somalis, Sheik Dhi’isow replied that it was not discussed in the two days meeting in Djibouti.

It is not known whether the meeting of the Somali clerics in Djibouti can change anything about the current conflicts in Somalia thought most of the Somali clerics’ decisions are not accepted by those who are against in the country.

_______________________________ 2 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Le calme est revenu jeudi à Mogadiscio, tandis que l’exode des populations continue et que certaines routes restent coupées à la circulation. // Calm returns to Mogadishu

Calm has returned in the warring zones of the Somali capital Mogadishu on Thursday as the movement of the traffic and people restarted in the main road of Wadnaha in the capital.

Wadnaha road was closed for the result of the last three days fighting in the Mogadishu but bus drivers told Shabelle radio that the use of road restarted this morning as the people have the fear of another fighting that breaks out in the capital once again.

Many people are displacing from many neighborhoods like Suqna’ad, Sinay, and other districts in the Mogadishu for the fear of the another fighting that starts in Mogadishu

Reports say that there is no any business in Suqba’ad, Manabolyo market in Yaqshid and Shibis districts in Mogadishu after the heavy fighting affected those areas and it is unclear how the situation of the capital will remain thought there is no any mediation between both the rival forces.

_______________________________ 1 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

L’exode des habitants continue sur une large échelle. // Large displacement still continue in Mogadishu

Large displacement is still continuing in the warring zones of Wardhigley and Yaqshid districts in the Somali Capital Mogadishu as heavy fighting is going on for the 8th day in Mogadishu.

More than 100 people died in Mogadishu fighting injuring 400 others most of them were civilians while thousands of civilians displaced from their houses for the result of heavy shelling and gunfire in the capital Mogadishu.

Reports say that the fighting is spreading more other districts in the Somali capital.

Thousands of displaced people including children carrying their belongings on their head could be seen leaving from the neighborhoods in Mogadishu.

Residents said that it is the first time that such large displacement happens in the capital since the Ethiopian troops left the country after two years of ill-fated occupation.

Some of the displaced people told Shabelle radio that they were very frightened as mortars were falling on their residences.

The displacement comes as heavy fighting between Islamists insurgents and government soldiers is continuing the 8th day in the Somali capital Mogadishu.