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Somali Warlord Takes Over Baidoa


In Somalia, the town of Baidoa is said to be in the hands of warlord Mohamed Ibrahim Habsadeh. Fighting broke out between militias loyal to Mr. Habsadeh and a rival militia commanded by Hassan Mohamed Nur Shargudud. Both men are members of the transitional parliament, temporarily based in Nairobi. They reportedly disagreed over whether the new government should be relocated from Kenya to the former Somali capital, Mogadishu, or to two cities near it, Baidoa and Jowhar.

Jabril Ibrahim Abdulle is the co-director for the Center for Research and Dialogue, based in Mogadishu. Mr. Abdulle told English to Africa reporter William Eagle that Mr. Habsadeh favors having the Somali capital in Mogadishu. He and others are also against the use of troops from front-line states in stabilizing the country.

Mr. Abdulle says he thinks the occupation of Baidoa will prolong the timetable set for introducing troops from Uganda and Sudan, and for moving the interim government from Kenya to Somalia.

He also says there may be common ground among the country's various militias. For example, he says many would likely support a deadline for establishing security in Mogadishu (April 30). If by then security cannot be established, he says many would probably agree to establish an interim government in more secure towns nearby.

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