Mon, Oct 09, 2006 - Page 6 News List

Protests continue in Somalian port over `outsiders'

AP , BAIDOA, SOMALIA

Dozens of protesters in a key Somali seaport held a second day of demonstrations against a local administration set up by the Islamic militia that has seized control of much of the country's south.

Several hundred protesters gathered on Saturday in Kismayo, the country's third largest city, to complain that the administration, including a new mayor and security chief, was made up largely of outsiders.

"We are not well represented in the new administration, so we want justice and equality. We oppose tyranny and dictatorship," said Buraale Qadir Ahmed, one of the protesters.

The Islamists, who control the capital and much of southern Somalia, took the seaport of Kismayo without a fight on Sept. 24.

Ahmed said he was happy with the Islamists' presence in Kismayo, but he said they had failed to form an administration representative of all the area's clans.

Islamic militiamen driving pickups mounted with machine guns fired into the air on Saturday to disperse dozens of people who gathered to continue the previous night's protests, witnesses said. One person was injured.

Abdu-Kadir Ahmed, the officer in charge of security in the city, said about 100 people had been arrested.

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