Aug. 6 After Islamic militants are driven out of Mogadishu, Somalia's president declares victory. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Leaving Mogadishu. Government and Africa Union forces in Somalia take control of areas that were under the control of Islamist militants fighting to topple Somalia's Western-backed government. African peacekeepers and Somali government forces have been steadily wrestling control of the rubble-strewn capital from the militants this year. Al Shabaab has never before entirely abandoned Mogadishu during the course of a four-year insurgency that has killed tens of thousands of people. President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed is declaring victory over the Islamist rebels SOUNDBITE: President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, saying (Somali): "The Somali government welcomes the success attained by the Somali government forces backed by AMISOM (peacekeepers) who defeated the enemy of al Shabaab. We have declared to fight our main enemies who cause insecurity in our country." An al Shabaab's spokesman, said their retreat was tactical only and that they were holding their positions elsewhere in the country. Famine is already gripping parts of southern Somalia, with with the entire south likely to be declared a famine zone within the next six weeks according to the UN. Last year al Shabaab Islamist militants banned food aid and kicked many aid groups out of the region. The Horn of Africa country has been without an effective central government for 20 years ago. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters