YLE news 8:30 broadcast: A-Studio journalist Ari Lahdenmäki who has just returned from Ethiopia and Somalia :
Question: How have the citizens in Mogadishu reacted to the Ethiopian troops being in the city?
AL: Eh.. very cautiously, you can even say angrily, due to the fact that Somalia and Ethiopia have long been enemies, having fought two wars, they are not seen as being liberators, rather as the fomenters of the current chaos and unrest.
Q: What are the Ethiopians objectives?
AL: Ethiopia doesn’t want to see a strong Somalia, especially an Islamist Somalia, so they intend to destabilize Somalia so the Islamist control couldn’t become strengthened.
Q: UN supported the FTG two years ago, how soon before they begin to take control of Somalia?
AL: Presently there is little sign of that possibility, they have tried two years to exert their control, and to stabilize Somalia, they need the Islamists to take help bring stability.
Q: SO it doesn’t look promising
AL: Correct, nobody knows who is going to get Mogadishu under control.
Q: You were able to see how things were while Mogadishu was still under the control of the Islamists
AL: Yes, the experiences were rather perplexing. There were a lot of people to be seen from Europe and elsewhere after hearing that things there had settled down and was peaceful. Schools were open, so were stores and coffee shops, people were able to move in areas that were before impossible, even football was being played on the beaches. There was a real feeling of peace. But now it’s gone…..
Eh…so all was paradise in the land of Somali Islamism, no mention of forced prayers (5 times a day) at the pain of death, public whippings, executions and all kinds of other sharia “fun inspired” cruelties ect. But they did get to play football. I guess the cries from the whippings or the screams from the amputations never made it to his hotel window. That must be the reason why Ari Lahdenmäki said life in Mogadishu under the Islamist Courts Union was… “peaceful”. *L* KGS