Somalia's new administration says it
would maintain its objective of reconciling the nation and restoring security
despite stiff challenges from hard line Islamic insurgents. This comes after hard line
Islamic insurgents belonging to al-Shabaab Monday captured the town of Mahaday,
the birth place of President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Political observers
say the insurgent takeover of Mahaday, another strategic town north of the
Capital, Mogadishu is an attempt to embarrass the president. Described by
Washington as a terrorist organization with strong ties to Al Qaeda, al-Shabaab
has refused to recognize the new administration.
Ali Mohamud is Somalia's information minister. He told VOA that the new
government will in due course defeat the insurgents.
you know, this government's objective is to reconcile and create peace and
opportunities where it is possible," Ali Mohamud said.
said the hard liners are bent on ensuring that the new Somali government fails
by seizing towns that the insurgents know would produce little or no resistance
from government security forces.
happened yesterday and the day before yesterday was that the insurgents have
captured the town of Jowhar which is 90 kilometers from here. A very decent
farming community with actually no expectation of the on-coming of enemy
forces," he said.
Mohamud said the government is determined to repel the attacks of the
"Our government is from
today on trying to organize a counter-attack in any way we can," Ali Mohamud
He said Mogadishu has set in
motion plans to hold negotiations with those who would help in its efforts to
retake the towns captured by the insurgents.
"First, we will consult with
the locals; we will consult with pro-government Islamists militias who were
there… we would act on that. So, that is our aims to today on Tuesday," he
Ali Mohamud dismissed as
unfounded analysts who suggest the seizure of the birth place of the president
by insurgents was aimed to humiliate him.
"Actually the president is
not embarrassed or shamed in that he is the president of the whole country.
This country has been in a mess for nearly 20 years and the president doesn't
care less on Mahaday which is one of the cities that they have got down
yesterday," Ali Mohamud said.
He expressed confidence that
the new Somali administration would defeat the insurgents.
"We intend to actually save
this country from savagery …caused by al-Shabaab and the foreign allies and
foreign Islamist forces," he said.
Ali Mohamud said the
insurgents aim to cause confusion in the whole horn of Africa.
"They do not only want to
cause havoc across this country, but (also) regionally and globally. They have
this global vision to extend their wicked ideologies and our government will
eventually with the help of our communities and… every district which are
already beside us, we will eventually defeat and beat back al-Shabaab," Ali
He said the government is
sure of victory over the insurgents.
"We are very confident of
that. Either tomorrow or the next day I can't say, but action has already
started and we are very confident that we will win over the al-Shabaab and
their foreign Islamist allies," he said.
Ali Mohamud said the
reported divisions in government seem to be driving the insurgents to
destabilize the country.
"That is one of the ideas
that have given the very first thinking to attack us. It is true that that was
their intention, but we've got the better edge for the time being," Ali Mohamud
Hard liner insurgent
group al Shabaab seized Jowhar close to the capital, Mogadishu on Sunday and
reports say hundreds of gunmen from another insurgent group -- Hizbul Islam --
marched into nearby Mahaday on Monday and took control without firing a shot.
has been without an effective government after the overthrow of former
President Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991 through a coup d'état.