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Berita : Rusuhan bangkang serah senjata di Mogadishu

Somalia: Anti-Disarmament Demonstration Rages in Mogadishu
Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)
January 6, 2007
Aweys Osman Yusuf

Violent protests against the government's plan to disarm people in Mogadishu are taking place in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday.

Hundreds of people, most of them women and young people, have burnt tires and have thrown stones at the cars passing by the streets where the demonstrators staged their protest.

The demonstrations are taking place at "21 October Square" known as Tribunka and KM4 junction at the center of the capital. Many schools that were supposed to be opened today are still closed in fear of violence and insecurity.

Protestors chanted anti-Ethiopian slogans. Most of the people in Mogadishu have been angered by the government's disarmament plan after nearly 1,000 Somali troops from the semi-autonomous regional government of Puntland were reported to be taking part in the disarmament.

Ali Abdi, one of the protestors in Mogadishu, said he will never allow to be disarmed by forces from Puntland. "How can one Somali tribe disarm another? We find that unfair. The government should disarm all Somalis in every corner of Somalia fairly and at one time or it should not begin disarming at all," he said.

The spokesperson of the Somali government Abdirahman Dinari told Shabelle Radio by the phone that the disarmament plan was delayed indefinitely. "After local tribal elders and intellectuals have met Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi over the disarmament plan, the government decided to delay the plan," he said.

Dinari stopped short to say when the government would begin the disarming the civilian population. "He said people have worries and they need security guarantees from the government and they have right to demand a full security," he said.

American diplomat to arrive in Mogadishu

The first American diplomat, assistant secretary of State for African affairs, is due to arrive in Mogadishu on Sunday. She will be the first high-ranking American diplomat to visit Somalia after more than a decade.

US officials said she would stay for four hours in Somalia and meet government officials and intellectuals.

Somalia has been without a central government since 1991 when warlords toppled former president Mohammed Siad Barre

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