Somali Islamists Urge Holy War After AU Forces Kill 39 Civilians

Witnesses Say Ethiopians Are Back in Somalia

In the wake of a roadside bombing, African Union (AU) forces from Uganda opened fire on a crowd of innocent civilians in southern Mogadishu, killing 39 of them. One of the AU vehicles was damaged by the bomb which provoked the attack.

Outraged over the killings, the al-Shabaab movement’s spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansoor urged “the Somali people and the insurgents to attack the African Union troops, who massacred our people.” He also urged the AU forces to leave the country immediately. The Islamic Courts Union, whose former leader just recently took over the presidency of Somalia, also condemned the killings, saying they would not be tolerated in the future.

Complicating matters, the Ethiopian forces who had recently withdrawn from the nation in defeat have been sighted in the border town of Kalabeyrka. The Ethiopian government denied having re-entered the nation, but truckers are reporting that the Ethiopian forces have been demanding that they pay some sort of tax.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.