Somali Islamic leader Sheik Hassan ahir Aweys claimed that the nation is in a “state of war…against Ethiopia” contradicting his earlier pledge to return to peace talks with the government and is now asking “All Somalis” to “take part in struggle.” Government troops backed by Ethiopian troops have been fighting Islamic rebels in three days of intensive fighting that has left more than 100 people dead.
Ethiopia says that its troops are not fighting the Islamists though it acknowledges having deployed hundreds of military trainers to support the transitional government in Somalia. It also accuses the Islamists of “warmongering” and claimed to have “exerted efforts” that will result in “peaceful resolution of the problem in Somalia.”
The Islamic group that controls Mogadishu says that it has killed 70 Government troops and that most of them are Ethiopians including a Colonel. They say that the transitional government is choosing Somalia over Ethiopia. Even though the fighting has come to a bloody standstill, Islamic groups want to make the whole nation Islamic government by the Koran. The Somali Government says that its forces have killed 600 Islamic fighters while the Islamists say that they have killed 400 Ethiopians and government fighters sparking large scale exodus of villagers from Islamist held areas abandoning their homes, crops, and livestock.
Reports from the strategic seaport Kismayo say that several foreign Arab fighters were seen getting off ships prompting speculation that this is an organized conflict involving radical Islamic groups. The UN Security Council called feuding parties “to draw back from conflict, recommit to dialogue” and to “refrain from any actions that could provoke or perpetuate violence and violations of human rights."