Somalis living the capital, Mogadishu are reportedly
condemning Monday night's Islamist insurgent attacks on African Union (AU)
forces that led to a loss of lives and property. The insurgents reportedly said
artillery and rocket propelled grenades were fired into Mogadishu's
southern quarter where Ugandan troops from the AU peacekeeping force are based.
residents in the capital are calling on the transitional government to live up
to its responsibilities and protect Somalis who have recently come under heavy
attacks from Islamic insurgents. From the capital, Mogadishu, Somali political
analyst Abdurrahman Mahmoud Tamele tells reporter Peter Clottey that the
transitional government (TFG) seems to be powerless against the Islamic
"There have been attacks and
counterattacks between the African Union forces, which are backing the Transitional
Federal Government, and the Islamists, who are opposing the African Union
forces, as well as the Ethiopian forces. So, the situation is day by day taking
a different turn and getting worse because the main problem is a big problem of
leadership or the lack thereof," Tamele pointed out.
He said the lack of unity
among the arms of the federal government is creating a problem in the capital,
which he claims is being exploited by the insurgents.
"There is a crisis within
the Transitional Federal Government and it looks like the national institutions
are going to be paralyzed to the opposition forces. These negative forces are
seeing that the government is weak, so they are making or attacking to prove to
everybody, including the international community, that they are strong and a
force to reckon with in Somalia," he said.
Tamele said Somalis have
unanimously condemned the insurgent attacks on the African Union forces.
"Truly speaking, the people
are condemning these attacks coming from the Islamists on the African Union. So
the people are really fed up with the ongoing violence because it looks like no
one has the ability to defeat the other one. So it is the ordinary people who
are suffering from the escalated violence. The government is accusing the
opposition forces, but the opposition forces are claiming they are liberating
the people," Tamele noted.
He reiterated that the lack
of co-ordination between the various arms of the transitional government is an
enabling environment for the Islamic insurgents to exploit to the detriment of
the ordinary Somalis.
"The transitional government
cannot protect the people because it is in a very confused situation. There are
problems between the Somali parliament and the presidency as well as the
cabinet, so the government has no effective role at this moment in time to meet
its obligations, which are at this point to protect ordinary Somalis. So the
government seems to be paralyzed and unable to protect the people who are being
attacked by the insurgents. So the hopes of the people are somewhat being
dashed because the government is weak and ineffective to protect them against
the attacks of the opposition forces," he said.
Tamele said Ethiopian forces
have been trying to maintain peace and security in the capital as well as in
other surrounding areas.
"Now, the Ethiopian forces
are normalizing conditions. The people are seeing that the Ethiopians are
backing the transitional government and the president, but now they are backing
the system as whole to ensure that there is some sort of peace and security in
the country," Tamele pointed out.
aid groups have scaled down operations in Somalia because of the growing
insecurity. It is largely blamed on
Islamist militants who have waged a guerilla war since they were ousted last
year by a joint Somali-Ethiopian offensive.
Somalia has been without an effective
government since the 1991 ouster of President Mohamed
Siad Barre, which reportedly touched off bloodletting that has defied
several attempts to restore stability and return the country to constitutional