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Somali Islamists flee final stronghold

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Somali Islamists flee final stronghold


Ethiopian forces and Somali-government troops have entered the last stronghold of defeated Islamist fighters. Ten days ago the Union of Islamic Courts was still in charge of the capital and much of southern Somalia. But now its militiamen have fled from their final bastion in the southern port city of Kismayu. It is the intervention and military might of Ethiopia that has turned the situation around.

With the Islamists reportedly heading towards Kenya, the Somali government has urged its neighbour to close the frontier and arrest any militiamen who make it across. Somalia’s Prime Minister wants African Union peacekeepers to be dispatched as soon as possible to help stabilise his trouble-torn nation. Ali Mohamed Ghedi also offered an amnesty to fighters who hand in their weapons. Despite an apparently decisive outcome to the conflict, Somalia’s future remains uncertain. The Islamists are now warning they will start an Iraq-style insurgency.

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