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Somali Warlords Flee Capital

In Somalia, Islamic Militia leaders say the last remaining warlords have fled the capital, Mogadishu, following their defeat by the Islamic Courts militia. If the reports are true, the departure of the two men, Musa Sudi Yalahwo and Bashir Raghe, will effectively rid Mogadishu of warlords; they were among a group of brutal faction chiefs who have ruled the lawless capital since the fall of Mahamed Siad Barre in 1991. Voice of America English to Africa reporter Douglas Mpuga spoke with Mohamed Dare, a news editor with RadioAfrik in Mogadishu, about whether warlords are gone.

"The warlords left last night, they escaped by boat," he said. Dare said the warlords' destination was not known but their followers were gathering to discuss moving forward and to announce a new Islamic party for the clan of Musa Sudi, one of the warlords.

Mohamed Dare confirmed that with their departure, Mogadishu is now free of warlords. He said the Islamic militias welcomed the development because they think the departure of the warlords will bring peace and stability.

Mohamed Dare said that Ethiopian forces had gathered at the border and some had actually entered the country and clashed with residents. Although Ethiopian officials admit their troops are deployed along the border, they deny reports of conflict with civilians. Dare said residents at the border had seen the Ethiopian troops, but could not estimate how many there were. He said the Islamic Courts Militia have vowed to fight any foreign force that enters Somalia.

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