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Somali Minister Warns of Attack

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					Somali Minister Warns of Attack

The East African Standard (Nairobi)
September 8, 2005
Posted to the web September 7, 2005


Ken Ramani
Nairobi

The Somalia government is plotting a major military assault on Mogadishu currently
controlled by militia groups, a cabinet minister said yesterday.

Qanyare Affrah, the National Security minister, alleged that President Abdullahi Yusuf
was plotting the attack any time from now.

"There are indications of troop movement from Mustahil in Ethiopia where they have
been training," Affrah told The Standard in Nairobi.

He said over 2,500 armed men had been assembled in Jowhar, 90 km north of
Mogadishu, where Yusuf's government has been operating from since relocating from
the Kenyan capital late May.

Qanyare also alleged that Ethiopia has provided arms to the Somali militia group that is
controlled by the government.

But Information minister Mohamed Hayir said the troop movement was part of his
government's security re-organisation.

"I can confirm there has been troop movements from various parts of Somalia to Jowhar
where the government is based. But nobody is planning to invade Mogadishu as of
now," Hayir said on phone.

The minister said the government was planning a revival of the national security forces
that disintegrated after the fall of dictator Siad Barre in 1991.

Hayir said his government was recruiting and training army and police units to
consolidate gains already made in returning peace to Somalia.

Qanyare said communication network had been jammed in Jowhar and other parts of
Somalia to make it impossible for information on troop movement to filter out.

"The communication network was jammed on Tuesday evening after a large number of
trucks full of army recruits crossed from Mustahil," he said.

Somalia has three mobile telephone service providers, namely National Link, Olympic
Telcom and Hurrmud Telcom.
Qanyare, 64, who is a former warlord, like some other ministers, still controls a militia of
about 1,500 operating in southern Mogadishu.

				
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