The US President has spoken of his concern that Somalia could become a safe haven for terrorists. His remarks came after an Islamist militia took control of the lawless Somalian capital, Mogadishu, ousting a group of warlords.
The Union of Islamic Courts seized the city on Monday, to the delight of hundreds of supporters, after a three-month battle, which cost the lives of at least 350 people, mainly civilians. George W Bush said: “There is instability in Somalia. The first concern, of course, is to ensure that Somalia does not become an al-Qaeda safe haven. That it does not become a place where terrorists can plot and plan.”
Somalia has had no functioning government since 1991. The interim prime minister has congratulated the Islamic side on their victory over the warlords – who are said to be bankrolled by the US. Meanwhile, a Somali warlord has been arrested and deported from Kenya. Nairobi said it would no longer host those who, as the government put it, destabilise its east African neighbour. Kenya has played host to Somali peace talks over the past three years.