Mid-Ramadan in Mogadishu is Just Another Bloody Day

It is the eve of the 15th night of the holy month of fasting in the Islamic calendar, but the families of at least 33 people killed in Tuesday’s attack will be mourning rather than feasting.

Al-Shabab gunmen disguised as government forces stormed the Muna hotel close to the presidential palace and opened fire. One of attackers then blew himself up inside the hotel killing at least 33 people including six MPs.

The AU deputy special representative for Somalia, Wafula Wamunyinyi, announced on Monday that hundreds of additional troops began arriving on Friday to bolster the 6,000 AU forces that supports the Somali government.

This latest surge in troops was met with the new offensive from Al-Shabab after a spokesperson said on Monday the group was declaring a "massive war" on the AU force, describing its 6,000 troops as "invaders".

According to health officials, at least 53 people were killed in the fighting and more than 130 wounded, with shells fired into residential areas.

Whatever the political motives, the majority of the people dying on an almost daily basis are undeniably the civilians. The same civilians the rebels are fighting to liberate from “invaders”. They are the same civilians the government and its allies are also claiming to protect and serve.

The country has been in a perpetual state of conflict since the collapse of its central government in 1991. The government is reliant on the AU troops for its very existence without which it would be likely to collapse. The presence of troops however fuels the rebels who see them as an occupying force.If this political catch 22 is not resolved soon, then Somalis will continue to witness one bloody day after another.