From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Dec 03 2008 - 16:24:45 EST
Somalia:Clashes erupt around Somali presidential palace
MOGADIHSU (Mareeg) - At least six soldiers died and five were injured when clashes erupted between Somali government soldiers around the presidential palace on Wednesday, witnesses and officials said.
The fighting started when the presidential security guards fired to a convoy escorting the Governor of Banidr Region,Mohamed Osman Ali (DhgahTur), around the Somali National theatre near the presidential palace.
Dahir Mohamed Hersi, Somali military spokesman told shabelle that the clashes started when the security guards of the governor suspected.
"A mentaly ill man threw a stone to the governor's convey and they fired to the security guards of the presidential palace near by," Mr. Hersi said.
Sources close to the presidential palace suggest that four of the presidential palace security died.
The commander of the Somali police forces General Abdi Hasan Awalle arrived the scene to solve the matter
The car of the Somali police spokesman, Abdullahi Hassan Barise, was also targeted by the security forces of the presidential palace. He told Shabelle that one of his security guards was killed but declined to comment more about the incident.
The Somali presidential palace, Villa Somalia, is under the protection of AMISOM peace keepers and Ethiopian troops.
By:Ahmednor Mohamed Farah
Somalia: AU peacekeepers in Somalia not enough, says commander
Officials of the African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] have said they do not have enough troops to replace positions vacated by Ethiopian troops in Somalia.
AMISOM commander in Somalia, Francis Okello, speaking to Mareeg online on Wednesday, said AMISOM troops cannot fill the gap for peacekeepers in Somalia, if Ethiopian troops, expected withdraw, go ahead and pull out.
Okello said AMISOM troops in Somalia are less than 8,000 and, therefore, it is not possible for them to fill the gap that is to be left by Ethiopian troops.
The commander was asked when the additional AMISOM troops are expected to be deployed, he said that he was not certain when that is likely to happen, since the troops will be coming from different countries.
The statement by the AMISOM commander comes at a time when there has been talk of AMISOM troops withdrawing from Somalia as Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, also announced that he will soon withdraw his troops from Somalia.
By: Abdi Guled
----[This List to be used for Eritrea Related News Only]----