Radical Islamists have given up their last stronghold in Somalia, chased out by the Ethiopian Army that has spent the last two weeks crushing them. The Ethiopians and the Somialian transitional government liberated Kismayo as the Islamists beat a hasty retreat towards Kenya:
Somali government troops backed by Ethiopian tanks and fighter jets captured the last major stronghold of a militant Islamic movement Monday, while hundreds of Islamic fighters — many of them Arabs and South Asians — fled the town.
To cheering and waving crowds, well-armed troops drove into Kismayo after clearing roads laced with land mines that had been left by an estimated 3,000 hard-line Islamic fighters fleeing a 13-day military onslaught by government troops backed by Ethiopian tanks and MiG fighter jets.
“We have entered and captured the city,” Maj. Gen. Ahmed Musa told The Associated Press while riding aboard a truck into Kismayo, where the Islamic fighters had vowed to make a last stand but melted away under artillery fire.
Hundreds of gunmen, who apparently deserted from the Islamic movement, began looting warehouses where the Council of Islamic Courts had stored supplies, including weapons and ammunition.
Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi proclaimed the victory as an end to the warlord era in Somalia, and offered an olive branch to the Islamist fighters. He offered them amnesty, but did not include the leaders of the UIC as part of that offer. Gedi wants to disarm Somalis as a way to end the chaos and division of the past 15 years, and finding paths to reconciliation will be an absolute necessity.
Gedi wants some backup, and he will likely receive it. Besides the Ethiopian troops that helped him recapture Somalia from the Islamists, Gedi has requested troops from the African Union. Uganda has responded with a pledge of 1,000 troops, and more may come from other neighbors of Somalia tired of its chaos.
The Islamists can expect no peace, however. The Ethiopian air force scoured the coast for Islamists attempting to reach the harbors of Kenya, specifically Ras Kamboni, where they have a center of operations. The collapse of their hold in Somalia has punctured the myth of invincibility of these supposed holy warriors and exposed as lies their pledges to fight to the death to hold the ummah. Now that they have shown their true colors, the armies of Kenya and Ethiopia will have little trouble wiping up what’s left of the terrorist and tyrranous Arab and South Asian militias.
Once again, this shows the West how to properly square off against Islamist forces. Only by conducting a true war with massive, overwhelming force will these terrorists be destroyed.