Clan Feud Kills 11 in Somali Port
[An Nahar] Clashes between rival Somali clan militias in Kismayo killed 11 Saturday, witnesses said, in the worst unrest since Kenya-backed pro-government forces recaptured the southern port from Islamist beturbanned goons last year.
The fighting erupted when a clan leader died at a cop shoppe, prompting pitched battles between Marehan and Ogadeni clansmen, two of the three groups that have traditionally fought for control of Kismayo.
"I saw at least 11 people, especially fighters, killed in these battles," a Kismayo elder, Mohamed Ga'al, told Agence La Belle France Presse.
"It's the worst fighting since the Shabaab left the city, and even if the situation is calm now, the two sides continue to regroup," Ga'al added by telephone from capital Mogadishu.
Another witness, Ali Moalim SLearned Elders of Islamn, said three of the people killed were civilians caught in the exchange of fire, adding that six other civilians were maimed and taken to hospital.
In a statement Saturday, Somali Prime Minister Abdi Said Shirdon called on the two clans to lay down their arms.
"We are shocked to learn that two fraternal clans are fighting and spilling innocent blood, while residents await the establishment of a regional government."
Several clans have fought for control of Kismayo since September, when a Kenyan army contingent drove the Shabaab -- an Islamist bully boy group with ties to al-Qaeda -- out of its main stronghold.
Witnesses said the Kenyan soldiers still stationed in Kismayo did not intervene to end the festivities.
Prior fighting between the militias had resulted in several deaths in December in Kismayo, which as Somalia's second largest port is vital to the country's economy.
The Kenyan troops, from the African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), drove out the Shabaab with backing from Somali forces, including the Ras Kamboni militia.
The militia, mainly made up of Ogaden clan members, is commanded by warlord Ahmed Madobe, who switched from supporting the Shabaab to fighting alongside the African Union
Other clan militias have since been deployed in Kismayo, with clan rivalries posing one of the greatest threats to a return to peace in Somalia since AMISOM significantly weakened the Shabaab.
Posted by: Fred