Mogadishu: Warlord's house raided by troops

2014-08-15 10:29
AU peacekeepers stand near a cache of weapons recovered from a garage in Mogadishu, Somalia. (Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP)

AU peacekeepers stand near a cache of weapons recovered from a garage in Mogadishu, Somalia. (Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mogadishu - The sounds of warfare rattled Mogadishu residents from their beds early on Friday as government troops launched a dawn attack on a house belonging to a former warlord as part of a disarmament campaign.

Explosions and gunfire were heard as troops battled militiamen loyal to the former warlord. A Somali intelligence official confirmed the operation but insisted on anonymity because he wasn't authorised to speak to the media.

Launched last week, the Somali government's disarmament campaign is an attempt to reduce the number of weapons in the violence-prone city. The government says some 500 guns were recovered during the first four operations. Friday's operation was the fifth.

Fatima Ali, a Mogadishu mother of four, said the battle sent everyone in her house to the ground for safety.

"We are very terrified", she said. "We haven't heard something like this for some time."

Mogadishu, a city that once hosted open weapons markets, is awash in guns, and government officials have said the latest disarmament campaign is an attempt to reduce the number of weapons that could fall into the hands of al-Qaeda-linked fighters

Raids over the last week have netted some 500 guns and hundreds of boxes of ammunition, said Mohamed Yusuf, the spokesperson for Somalia's national security ministry.

The Small Arms Survey, a research project based in Switzerland, says world governments in recent years have covertly delivered "tens of thousands of small arms and light weapons to various armed groups in Somalia despite a long-standing UN arms embargo".

Somali civilians own more than 500 000 guns, the group estimates.

During the early 1990s, US Marines fighting warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid tried to carry out a disarmament campaign. It had only limited success.

Some Somalis believe the campaign is a political witch hunt aimed at weeding out rivals of the country's leadership as the country gears up for a proposed 2016 national election.

A proposed disarmament law has been approved by the government's cabinet but hasn't yet been voted on by parliament.

Read more on:    un  |  al-qaeda  |  somalia  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.