News / Africa

Al-Shabab Militants Retreat from Mogadishu

Somali government soldier mans a positions near northern Mogadishu's Yaqshid district headquarters after Islamist insurgents pulled out of the area on August 6, 2011
Somali government soldier mans a positions near northern Mogadishu's Yaqshid district headquarters after Islamist insurgents pulled out of the area on August 6, 2011

Somalia's transitional federal government has announced that al-Shabab militants have retreated from Mogadishu, leaving the African Union-backed government in control of the capital.  

Somali officials said successful military operations this week by government and African Union forces drove the al-Qaida-linked militant group out of the capital city.

“The government forces and AMISOM together they fought very strong and every encounter they defeated Shabab and that's why retreat, retreat, retreat at the end.  So, I think three months ago it started - the beginning of the end of Shabab,” said Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Ahmed Noor.

Noor adds that government forces will continue to pursue militants in other parts of Somalia.

An al-Shabab spokesman said the group began leaving its positions in Mogadishu late Friday but he called it a strategic move and said al-Shabab was holding its positions outside the capital.

Al-Shabab has been fighting to overthrow Somalia's government for the past several years and controls large areas of Somalia, including those that are worst-affected by drought and famine.  

Somali Prime Minister Abidweli Mohamed Ali said in a statement Saturday that the al-Shabab insurgency is a “fundamental cause of the famine.”

The group has tightly controlled the delivery of aid to famine victims and has banned access for many Western aid agencies altogether.

The government has said the group also posed a threat to internally displaced people who had fled to Mogadishu.

But Mayor Noor says the removal of al-Shabab does not eliminate the risk to IDPs.

“It was not Shabab that was causing trouble within the IDPs: it was an enemy within here, so we have to deal with them more than we are dealing with Shabab,” he said.

Noor says that even with al-Shabab out of the picture, refugees in Mogadishu are still threatened by other militias, warlords seeking political power and war profiteers who scam vulnerable civilians.

The United Nations declared last week that famine exists among the internally displaced populations of Mogadishu and the Afgoye corridor to the west of the capital.

Overall, the U.N. says five districts of Somalia are in famine and more than three million people are in need of immediate live-saving assistance.



You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid