Mogadishu, 29 Sept. (AKI) - Yemen is the only Arab League nation to have so far responded to an appeal by Somalia's government for humanitarian assistance for the drought and conflict wracked east African country. Yemen this week sent two planeloads of humanitarian aid, the local Ayaamaha newspaper reports.
The planes- containing foodstuffs - landed at the airport of the provincial city of Baidoa - seat of Somalia's weak interim government, 250 kilometers north of the capital, Mogadishu.
Despite peace talks underway between the interim government and the Islamist Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), fighting has continued. Islamist militiamen on Monday seized control of the southern port city of Kisimayo - the last port in the south of the country to fall to the Union of Islamic Courts which now administers most strategic areas in the country, including the capital, Mogadishu.
The Islamic Courts leader Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys on Thursday vowed to establish an Islamic state in Somalia. The country has been without an effective government since 1991 when dictator Siad Barre was overthrown, and power has resided with local tribal warlords.