About a third of Mogadishus population
fled during the fighting, but now some of those 360,000 refugees are returning.
The two weeks of fighting caused about 4,000 casualties, including some 1,200
dead. Most were civilians, caught in the crossfire. The Islamic Courts
militias, who led the resistance, often took cover among civilians. This is a
common Somalis combat tactic, at least when fighting foreigners. It didn't work
against the Ethiopians.
May 1, 2007:
AU peacekeepers began patrols in Mogadishu. The 1,600 Ugandan
peacekeepers had stayed in their camp during the two weeks of violence. April
30, 2007: Once more, the government is
demanding that civilians disarm, or at least give up anything larger than a
pistol or rifle (like machine-guns, RPGs and mortars). After two weeks of
fighting, the Mogadishu clans that backed the Islamic Courts are in no position
to resist again. Some Islamic militants, however, are insisting that they will
resist. That, and attempts to stop looters, apparently explains the occasional
gunfire still heard in the city.
April 29, 2007:
Foreign aid workers are complaining that, while the new government
stopped the looting and extortion that the Islamic Courts were committing
against aid operations, the government is now making its own demands. Aid
groups are being told they must give a portion, of the aid they bring in, to
the government. This is considered a "tax", and refusal to pay will
cause aid operations to be shut down.
April 28, 2007:
As the gunfire declined, the looters came out, many of them wearing
uniforms and driving their goodies away in military trucks.
April 26, 2007:
The government says the Islamic Courts and rebellious clans have been
defeated, and the government, with the help of Ethiopian troops, are in control
of the entire city of Mogadishu. There is still some gunfire, but it's pretty
clear who won the ten day long battle. Ethiopian tanks and artillery, and
better trained infantry, methodically wiped out the clan militiamen who tried
to take control of some Mogadishu neighborhoods.