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Former Somali Foreign Minister Says Mogadishu Violence Stabilizing

The former foreign minister of Somalia who is now minister of education says the violence in Mogadishu does not reflect the reality in the rest of the country. Ismael Mohamoud Hurreh says the rest of Somalia is moving away from statelessness and chaos toward stability.

From Baidoa, the seat of the transitional federal parliament, Hurreh told VOA transitional government forces have been conducting mopping up operations in Mogadishu in recent days.

“The current situation in Mogadishu is stabilizing. Definitely the Islamists did try to somehow make a come back, and in the last three four days the government forces were busy flushing them out. And the situation is now returning to normal,” he said.

Hurreh said the Islamists have chosen violence over the government’s offer of reconciliation.

“That’s exactly what we have offered; that’s exactly what the government stands for, and that’s exactly what the reconciliation congress that took place in Mogadishu decided. But it looks that the Islamists did not take this thing seriously and they think that they can achieve political supremacy or run over the country by using the barrel of a gun,” Hurreh said.

He said the rest of Somalia was stable and that the transitional federal government was in the process of nominating a new prime minister later this month who would have the task of returning the country to normalcy.

Hurreh rejected claims by some that the violence in Mogadishu might have been prompted by the failure of the recent reconciliation conference.

“The important thing is that what you hear about in Mogadishu is not the reality in all of Somalia. The rest of the country is moving forward in terms of stability and formation of civil administration at the district and regional levels,” Hurreh said.

He agreed that what happens in Mogadishu as the administrative center of the federal transitional government might impact the entire country. But he said the government is in the process of cleaning up Mogadishu as quickly as possible.

Hurreh said the peacefulness in Baidoa is an example of how Somalia is moving from chaos to stability.

“When the government was not here, Baidoa has experienced some of the most violent actions in Somalia. But since the parliament moved here, I think a lot has been done and stability has returned. So I think what’s happening Baidoa in Baidoa is a very clear example of exactly how the country is moving from statelessness and chaos to stability,” Hurreh said.