Islamists control Mogadishu port

The Islamic Courts Council has taken control of the sea port in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

    A government minister handed the port to Islamist forces

    A junior minister in Somalia’s interim government handed the port to the Supreme Islamic Courts Council after days of negotiations.

    The Islamic group strengthened its hold on Mogadishu on Tuesday when it defeated hundreds of fighters loyal to US-backed militia commanders who had opposed them.

    The group now controls the port despite regional leaders saying last month that all armed groups must hand over ports and airports, and other national assets, to the government.

    Mogadishu's port and airport have been closed for 15 years because rival armed groups have been unable to agree who should run them. 

    Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, one of the leaders of the Islamist group: "We are happy and would like to see all other government infrastructure be handed over like this."

    Intense fighting

    Hundreds of people have returned to their homes in the capital after two days of intense fighting which left more than 70 people dead and 150 wounded.

    The Islamic Courts took most of the capital from rival warlords last month.

    Somalia has not had an effective central government since opposition leaders removed Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. The interim government was set up with the help of the United Nations but is virtually powerless outside its base in Baidoa.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.