CIA man Mogadishu's mayor
Press TV | May 05, 2007
Mohamed Dheere, new mayor of Somalia's capital has pledged to crack down on insurgents and stabilize the situation in the strife-torn city.
Dheere, who spent 16 years as a warlord struggling for power in this Horn of Africa nation, was named mayor this week, AP reported.
The move satisfied his clan - and that may have as much to do with the calm of recent days as any victory over insurgents, who the government calls terrorists.
Clan rivalries and the insurgency by militants have fueled Mogadishu's recent bloodshed, which aid groups say killed 1,670 people between March 12 and April 26 and sent over 340,000 of the city's 2 million residents fleeing for safety.
As a member of a powerful clan that had complained of being ignored by the interim government, Dheere will be able to urge fellow clansmen to pacify Mogadishu.
"We will crack down on terrorists and bandits in the capital," he said.
Dheere, who has long cooperated with the CIA in grabbing Al-Qaeda operatives in the capital, promised that the "time of terrorists is over," saying he would keep the city quiet by using 20 police vehicles to patrol the streets "day and night."
"These police forces will arrest every suspected terrorist or bandits," he said.
While his readiness to fight Islamic militants makes him appealing to the United States and neighboring Ethiopia, which back the acting Somali government, his use of clan warfare and indiscriminate violence while a warlord makes him unpopular with many Somalis.
The Somali government is now trying to reunite the capital, but is struggling to overcome an insurgency that has sparked some of the worst fighting in 15 years.
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