Battle of Mogadishu (2006)

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This article is about the May-July 2006 battle. For the 2006 December battle, see Fall of Mogadishu.
Second Battle of Mogadishu
Part of the Advance of the Islamic Courts Union
Somalia&land map.png
Location of Mogadishu in Somalia
Date 7 May – 11 July 2006
Location Mogadishu, Somalia

Decisive Islamic Courts Union victory

  • Effective end of ARPCT
23px Islamic Courts Union Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism
Commanders and leaders
23px Sheikh Sharif Ahmed
23px Hassan Dahir Aweys
Mohamed Qanyare
Musa Sudi Yalahow
Nuur Daqle
unknown unknown
Casualties and losses
Over 350 deaths[1]

The Second Battle of Mogadishu was a battle fought for control of Somalia's capital city, Mogadishu. The opposing forces were the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT), and militia loyal to the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). The conflict began in mid-February 2006, when Somali warlords formed the ARPCT to challenge the ICU's emerging influence. It had been alleged that the United States was funding the ARPCT[2] due to concerns that the ICU had ties to al-Qaeda.[3] The ICU militia won control of Mogadishu and ARPCT forces left the city.


The exact resumption of hostilities is unknown; by 24 March 2006, the BBC was reporting the "most serious clashes for almost a decade" with almost 70 dead.[4]

In May 2006, the fighting intensified between warlords and militia loyal to ICU, which controlled around 80% of the city. On 4 June 2006, the ICU seized Balad, 30 miles north of Mogadishu. Balad had previously been under the control of forces loyal to Musa Sudi Yalahow.[5] By 5 June, at least 350 people, mostly civilians, had been killed.[citation needed]

On 5 June 2006, Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi fired four ministers (who were also clan leaders) whose private armies were involved in the fighting. Gedi fired National Security Minister Mohamed Afrah Qanyare, Commerce Minister Musa Sudi Yalahow, Militia Rehabilitation Minister Botan Ise Alin and Religious Affairs Minister Omar Muhamoud Finnish, according to government spokesman Abdirahman Nur Mohamed Dinari. He also invited the Islamic courts for talks.[6]

On 5 June 2006, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the ICU's chairman, reportedly seized Mogadishu, saying in a radio broadcast: "We won the fight against the enemy of Islam. Mogadishu is under control of its people." [7] The ICU's success has been attributed to the Islamic movement's ability to transcend clan politics.[8]

Following Mogadishu's fall, there were two competing rallies. Mogadishu's largest clan, the Abgals, held a rally in the city's northern part, reportedly drawing about 3000. AP reports the demonstrators shouting “We don't need Islamic deception!” and “We don't want Islamic courts, we want peace!” There was a competing rally in support of the ICU. At that rally, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed is quoted as saying "Until we get the Islamic state, we will continue with the Islamic struggle in Somalia," to a crowd of about 500.[9]

The ARPCT's remaining forces are said to have fled to Jowhar.[10]

On 14 June 2006, following a stand-off that lasted for approximately eight days, the ICU reportedly attacked the remaining ARPCT forces in Jowhar, routing them and seizing the town. Ali Mohamed Gedi has since then requested peacekeeping forces from the African Union, and neighboring states such as Kenya have imposed sanctions on the fleeing warlords, barring them entry into their lands.[11]

United States support for ARPCT

Michael Zorick (the U.S. State Department's political officer for Somalia), who had been stationed in Nairobi, was reassigned to Chad after he sent a cable to Washington criticizing Washington's policy of paying Somali warlords. The Times stated, "The American activities in Somalia have been approved by top officials in Washington and were reaffirmed during a National Security Council meeting about Somalia in March."[12]

On 7 June 2006, the Republic of the Congo's president and current African Union head, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, criticized the United States for its involvement in fighting in Mogadishu following his meeting with President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.[13]

See also


External links