See also:
» 01.03.2010 - Somalia’s TFG hailed after one year in power
» 23.02.2010 - Journalist abducted in Somalia
» 17.02.2010 - US restrictions hamper aid distribution in Somalia
» 17.02.2010 - Somali refugees moved to Ethiopia
» 08.02.2010 - Kenya dismiss reports on Somali army training
» 02.02.2010 - Somali militant group declares affiliation to al Qaeda
» 26.01.2010 - Official condemns Mogadishu bombing
» 20.01.2010 - Tighten controls on military assistance to Somalia - AI

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Society | Politics | Human rights

Somalis rejoice after Al-shabab’s defeat

afrol News, 12 January - Somalis are rejoicing following the defeat of the radical Islamic militant group Al-Shabab after heavy fighting that killed about 30 people in the town of Guriel in Central Somalia yesterday.

The fighting in Guriel, 500 kilometers north of the capital Mogadishu, involved the hardliners group al-Shabab and a local militia, Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca, according to witnesses.

Witnesses said houses were burnt yesterday when the insurgents shelled residential areas with mortars. However, residents say the town is calm and businesses have been re-opened after yesterday’s clash.

Some witnesses of Sunday's clashes between al-Shabab and Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca say at least 20 people, mostly fighters of al-Shabab, were killed.

Local news reports said there has been a power struggle between Islamist factions since Ethiopia announced plans to withdraw its troops from Somalia. Ethiopian troops arrived in Somalia in 2006 to help the interim government oust Islamists from the capital.

Ethiopia which has begun to withdraw from Somalia, said it has done its part in ensuring stability in Somalia, claiming that international community has been aloof from Somali crisis, which gave them a challenge in battling insurgency in Somali.

Analysts have however indicated that Ethiopia's withdrawal in war torn Somalia, is likely to worsen the humanitarian situation.

Report said Al-Shabaab, which had occupied a larger part of Somalia before 2006 and opposes a peace deal with Somalia's transitional government, has been trying to take control of areas vacated by the Ethiopian troops.

About 3,400 Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers from the African Union in Somalia are taking up positions vacated by the Ethiopians in an effort to stem the violence.

Somalia has been marred by constant conflict since the ouster of its former dictator Siad Barre was in the early 1990's.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in the fighting and hundreds of thousands have fled the capital. More than 2 million people are dependent on food aid in Somalia, and control of aid often has provoked fighting among Somalia's clan-based warlords.

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