July 4, 2007

Backlash Brewing in Mogadishu

Mogadishu’s transitional government, backed by Ethiopian troops, is credited with pushing out the hard-line Union of Islamic Courts. But residents say the new mayor’s harsh tactics have made life even more unbearable than before.

More than 1,500 government critics have been detained, many without charges, the Los Angeles Times reports, while longtime “squatters shopkeepers” have been violently evicted, and the streets clear for fear of muggings after 5 p.m., despite house-to-house searches and the destruction of thousands of weapons.

This is seen as creating sympathy for the Islamists, but Mogadishu mayor Mohammed Dheere, a militia leader credited with reducing crime in his home city of Jawhar, denies that his tactics are creating terrorists.

His citywide disarmament program, backed by a 1,200-member police force, is meant to enforce “law and order,” he told the Times.

Source:

“Somalia’s rough tactics seen backfiring”
Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2007

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