By Daniel Ooko

NAIROBI, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The Somali transitional government on Wednesday sought an urgent international community intervention in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation to enable the fledgling government flush out insurgents in the country.

Speaking in Nairobi, Somali Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmake also called on the Somalia's neighbors to urgently enforce its resolutions reached in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last month by imposing a blockade on airstrips and seaports to prevent Islamists from getting weapons and fighters.

Sharmake said a recent upsurge in fighting in his country which had killed hundreds of people and forced thousands from their homes has been sparked by an influx of foreign armed aggressors who have invaded Somalia.

"We want the IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) and the Africa Union to protect Somalia by imposing sanctions and a blockade on airstrips and seaports that are being used by Al-Shabaab to launch their attacks in Somalia," Sharmake told journalists after holding a meeting with Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetang'ula in Nairobi.

"We hope to see the IGAD enforcing its resolutions reached last month in Ethiopia and which were also endorsed by the AU for UN Security Council to adopt. There is a lot of inflow of foreign fighters in Somalia," he said.

The Somali PM whose UN-backed administration has come under increasingly attack from members of the Al-Shabaab militia expressed optimism that normalcy would soon be restored in the Horn of Africa nation.

"We hope to see peace prevail in Somalia in the coming weeks. We are gaining ground if what happened last night (Tuesday) is anything to go by and very soon hope to capture entire Mogadishu and areas which were taken over by Al-Shabaab," Sharmake said.

During its emergency meeting of last month, the six-nation regional mediating body, the IGAD also called for sanctions to be imposed on Eritrea, which denies charges it arms Islamist forces.

Speaking during the meeting, Wetang'ula said the Islamist-controlled ports of Kismayo and Merca should be subject to a blockade "to prevent the further in-flow of arms and foreign fighters."

The Kenyan minister also wants flights halted to the numerous air strips under Islamist control.

He said IGAD will dispatch its team to New York next week to seek audience with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over the proposed sanctions on Somalia militia and Eritrea.

The minister also criticized the conduct of Eritrean government, accusing Asmara of aiding the aggression in the Horn of Africa nation. Eritrea withdrew its membership from IGAD and could now be barred from the African Union.

"We have voiced our concern to the Prime Minister that the continuing instability in our neighborhood is a threat to our economy ... is a threat to the economy of the Horn of Africa region. We will definitely take the option of taking all available steps to protect our strategic interests within the region," Wetang'ula said.

"We have strengthened our security along our borders with Somalia. We have overflowing refugees from Somalia and we want to see that in the very near future bring together, with all players, normalcy to Somalia ... to have the people of Somalia who have never seen peace and security for the last 19 years to go back to normalcy."

Somalia has been subject to a UN arms embargo for many years but weapons are still freely available in the Mogadishu weapons market.

The world body withdrew a previous mission in 1995, and Security Council ambassadors have since declined several requests to return the peacekeepers, saying there is no peace to keep in the lawless Horn of Africa nation.


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