Ethiopian Troops Among Those Entering Mogadishu Troops loyal to Somalia's transitional government -- along with some forces from Ethiopia -- have entered the capital city of Mogadishu, where near-total anarchy rules. The Islamist fighters of the Islamic Courts Union have fled, leaving their guns in the hands of local militias and warlords.
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Ethiopian Troops Among Those Entering Mogadishu

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Ethiopian Troops Among Those Entering Mogadishu

Ethiopian Troops Among Those Entering Mogadishu

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Troops loyal to Somalia's transitional government along with some forces from Ethiopia have entered the capital city of Mogadishu and they've come into a scene of near total anarchy. The Islamist fighters of the Islamic Courts Union have fled or disbanded, leaving their guns in the hands of local militias and warlords who've taken to the streets. There are reports of robbery and looting and a number of killings.

The head of the transitional government is meeting with local clan leaders in a town outside the capital trying to negotiate a deal to turn over Mogadishu. But inside the capital, the situation is dire. Abukar Albadri is special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times in Mogadishu.

Mr. ABUKAR ALBADRI (Los Angeles Times): The situation in the Somali capital is very bad. There are three militias and the former militias of the warlords are now in the city. They are now echoing far on the sky. They are killing the people, all the businesses are closed and the district is also very violent. The militia are robbing the people for their mobile phones, mostly, and only today they killed more than seven people in the city. One of them was a woman and another (unintelligible).

SIEGEL: Given the situation that you describe in Mogadishu, it sounds terribly lawless. Can the government forces, or the Ethiopians, for that matter, restore order to the capital city?

Mr. ALBADRI: Really, we can't say that they can restore the law and order in the city because it was one of the tactics for the Union of Islamic Courts to give the arms back to the clans and the three militias, and it will be very difficult for the government to disarm these militia.

SIEGEL: From what you're saying, it sounds as though the Islamic Courts Union in the manner in which they have left Mogadishu have said to the transitional government okay, you have the capital city but we're going to see to it that it is a city in a state of anarchy and chaos once again.

Mr. ALBADRI: It was like that, because you can see for two days the people started to kill themselves, each other. They kill seven people. And the situation is very bad. All the schools are closed down. The public transport is not functioning. The price of the daily food is doubling. The inflation already hit the market. People are trying to run away from the city. People are fed up.

SIEGEL: That's Abukar Albadri, who is reporting from Mogadishu for the Los Angeles Times.

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