Nov 13, 2007

More than 170,000 flee Mogadishu and hundreds dead

There has been deadly clashes between Ethiopian troops and insurgents in the Mogadishu for the past two weeks. Ethiopian troops responded to insurgency attacks and  the killing of seven Ethiopian troops by indiscriminately shelling parts of Mogadishu. Hundreds of civilians were killed and more than 170,000 civilians fled the city.

Ethiopian troops ousted the United Islamic Courts (UIC) and installed the Transitional National Government (TFG) earlier this years. US government approved of Ethiopia's invasion and supplied it with military intelligence. UIC, Al-Shabab and tribal militias - supported by Eritrea - launched fierce Iraqi-style insurgency in Mogadishu. In April, Ethiopian troops indiscriminately shelled parts of Mogadishu killing hundreds of civilians and an estimated 600,000 residents fleeing the city.

Ethiopian atrocities in Mogadishu and the failure of the TFG to start any meaningful reconciliation process have distanced the prospects of a lasting peace in Somalia. This government (TFG) is the 14th attempt to create a functioning government for Somalia, and like the all the previous 13 attempts, this one has also failed.

Daily life for the few residents left in Mogadishu is getting harder with little humanitarian support from the outside world. The tens of thousands who fled Mogadishu need shelter, water and food but, like the half million refugees earlier this years, little aid will reach them.

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