[JURIST] The transitional government of Somalia [JURIST news archive] has agreed to cooperate with a UN probe into alleged human rights violations that occurred during recent fighting in the country's capital, according to UN emergency relief co-ordinator John Holmes [UN profile] Monday. Despite that, the Somali government maintains that no abuses took place. Recent fighting [Wikipedia backgrounder] between warlords and government-backed troops, most of whom come from Ethiopia, have left about 1,600 people dead in Mogadishu. Former deputy Prime Minister Hussein Aideed [AP profile] says that Ethiopian soldiers have been carrying out a campaign of genocide against Somalis since their arrival, but the government has defended their use as necessary to reinstate law and order after 16 years of chaos.
In January, the transitional government began imposing martial law [JURIST report] over areas under the government's control, two weeks after martial law was approved by parliament [JURIST report]. Somalia has endured a lengthy civil war and several rounds of failed peace talks [timeline] since the collapse of its last civil government in 1991. In late March Human Rights Watch claimed that the US, Kenya, and Ethiopia were cooperating with the transitional government of Somalia to secretly detain people [JURIST report] who fled the conflict there. BBC News has more.