Islamists Take Over Mogadishu Police Stations

Last week, the old, stubborn Somali president resigned, clearing the prime minister to sign a peace agreement with moderate Islamists that represents the last chance for the U.S.-back government to hang onto power.

Taking advantage of the political drama, and the accelerating withdrawal of the war-weary Ethiopian army-of-occupation, one of the two main hardline Islamic groups — the Islamic Courts — advanced into Mogadishu and began taking over vacant police stations. “We have to show commitment to do our part in security, we want to help people feel secure,” Abdirahim Issa Adow, an ICU spokesman, told a reporter.

U.S. Africa Command has announced it’s sending cash to pay for a new Somali police force, but that hybrid force — combining the U.S.- and Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government and the moderate Islamists — could wind up competing with the ICU.

To cap off a busy week for Somalia, two kidnapped Western journalists were released. But it’s not all good news: Two other foreign reporters remain in captivity, and one Somali journalist was gunned down in a street battle outside Mogadsihu.

Originally posted at War is Boring.

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