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ICC NOTE: The murder of a transitional government leader, and the riots that followed further proves that the Islamic Courts Union are producing, not decreasing the amount of violence in Somalia. The Islamic leaders talk of peace has not taken hold as promised.

Riots as Somali minister killed

For the full article go to: BBC News

July 28 2006

Riots have broken out in the Somali town of Baidoa after a minister in the transitional government was shot dead. Minister Abdallah Isaaq Deerow was killed outside a mosque in Baidoa, where the government is based.

On Thursday, at least 19 members of the transitional government – which controls only a small area – resigned.

In another development, a second cargo plane has landed in Mogadishu , fuelling allegations that the Islamic forces who control the city are receiving arms.

Mr Deerow, minister of constitutional affairs, was killed after Friday prayers at the mosque.

Later on Friday, hundreds of people took to the streets of Baidoa in protest at his killing, burning tyres and looting shops.

Mr Deerow was not among the group of ministers who resigned on Thursday.

Obstacle

The resignations were prompted by some ministers’ dissatisfaction that Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Ghedi had failed to make progress in talks with the Union of Islamic Courts, which controls Mogadishu .

Public Works Minister Osman Ali Atto said he came back from the capital to the government’s base with an agreement from the Islamic courts that fresh talks be held.

But he said that Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Ghedi was “an obstacle to progress” and had refused to listen.

Some MPs are planning a motion of no confidence in the government.

They are opposed to the deployment of foreign peacekeepers and the presence of Ethiopian troops who are in Baidoa with the blessing of the transitional goverment.

More resignations are expected and observers say that the transitional government is looking increasingly fragile.

President Abdullahi Yusuf’s government has little influence outside its base in Baidoa, but has the diplomatic support of the United Nations and the African Union (AU) and the strong backing of neighbouring Ethiopia .

Many Somalis, including the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) which controls much of southern Somalia , are opposed to the presence of Ethiopian troops on Somali soil.