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Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Somali town captured
Military training for a new security force
The transitional government has little control
The southern Somali town of Baidoa is reported to have fallen to forces loyal to Colonel Hassan Mohamed Nur Shatigudud.


Somali chaos

  • No central authority since 1991
  • Transitional government only controls parts of Mogadishu
  • Rivals clans and factions battle for territory
  • Peace talks due soon in Kenya


The Ethiopian-backed warlord's forces have been battling with the fighters of his former deputies in the Rahanwein Resistance Army, Sheikh Adan Madobeh and Mohamed Ibrahim Habsadeh.

The BBC's Hassan Barise in Somalia says that hundreds of armed troops pulled out of town this morning and the fighting has now stopped.

Since President Siad Barre was ousted in 1991, most of Somalia has been a chaotic patchwork of small and occasionally warring fiefdoms.

A Transitional National Government was established in 2000 - but it has little authority outside the capital, Mogadishu.

Once a supporter of the TNG, Colonel Shatigudud became a strong opponent of the interim administration in October 2001, which caused a split in the RRA.

The militiamen have used anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars during the fighting, destroying many civilian homes.

Colonel Hassan Mohamed Nur Shatigudud
Colonel Shatigudud fell out with his deputies
At least 12 people were killed on Wednesday.

Aid agencies have pulled out of Baidoa because of the insecurity in what was once the country's breadbasket.

Since fighting for control of Baidoa began a month ago, more than 110 people have died and some 200 injured - many of them civilians.

Many of the towns main businesses have shut down and almost 80% of the population have fled to other towns and villages.


Politics

Terrorist haven?

RESOURCES
See also:

31 Jul 02 | Africa
29 May 02 | Africa
25 May 02 | Africa
24 May 02 | Africa
24 Jan 02 | Africa
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