The Ethiopians are withdrawing without having broken the power of what Prime Minister Meles Zenawi described in 2006 as the leaders of the jihadist movement, responsible for "terrorist outrages".But the Ethiopian departure also marks a reverse for US President George W Bush's policy in the Horn of Africa.It was the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by al-Qaeda in 1998 - attacks that left hundreds dead and thousands wounded - that transformed Washington's approach towards the Horn of Africa.America was convinced that Somalia, having been without a government since 1991, was an ideal conduit through which al-Qaeda could advance into the region from the Arabian peninsular.
Troops 'Arrest' Former Mogadishu Mayor
Ethiopian troops have led an operation to arrest the former mayor of Somalia's national capital, Ex-Mayor Mohamed "Dheere" Omar was detained near KM4 junction, where African Union peacekeepers are stationed.Ahmed Tahliil, one of Mohamed Dheere's deputies, was with him when a joint security force of Ethiopian and Somali soldiers stormed in."There was a conversation between Mohamed Dheere and the Ethiopian commander, then he [Mohamed Dheere] was detained," said a witness who did not want to be named.The deputy, Ahmed Tahliil, was not arrested. It was not immediately clear why Mogadishu's former mayor was arrested or where he was taken.But the arrest comes a day after Ethiopian troops ransacked through Mohamed Dheere's Mogadishu home, with reports saying Prime Minister Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein issued the order.
For months, Mohamed Dheere has refused the Prime Minister's order to surrender his weapons and transfer his home to Mogadishu's new mayor, Mohamed Osman "Dhagahtur."
But the situation changed after M r. Abdullahi Yusuf, Mohamed Dheere's close ally, resigned as Somali president on Monday
Somalia's care taker president says new leader to be named soon
MOGADISHU, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Somalia's caretaker President Sheik Aden Madoobe, who is also the speaker of parliament, on Thursday pledged to organize the selection of a president within the thirty-day deadline set by the transitional federal charter. Madoobe, who took over the presidency after Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed resigned as president on Monday, spoke in the Parliament in the southern town of Baidoa for the first time as the country's caretaker President, telling lawmakers that a committee will be set up to organize the selection of a new president "as soon as possible". "I will work to uphold the national charter and we will form a committee to organize the selection of the president within the thirty-day duration stipulated by our charter," Madoobe told lawmakers. more..http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-01/01/content_10589523.htm