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Somalia Govt to mediate fighters over Mogadishu control
By Faysal Gabanow
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia- A Somali parliamentarian delegation nominated by House Speaker Sharif Hassan to mediate between two warring factions who fought in Mogadishu last week has reached the Somali capital and met with the Chairman of the Islamic Courts Union, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, in his office on Thursday.
The delegation said that they have also contacted the armed ministers in Mogadishu, who are members of the “Coalition for Peace Restoration and Counter-terrorism” and battled with the Islamic courts over four days of heavy fighting that resulted in the deaths of a hundred people, mostly civilians.
The chairman of the Islamic courts, Sheikh Sharif, has accepted the mediation as well as a proposed ceasefire.
Both parties had been said to be preparing themselves for another war, and no ceasefire agreement has yet been announced.
Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf condemned the fighting and said that his government is not supporting any of the factions fighting in the capital.
The founders of the anti-terror coalition are ministers in his government.
Prime minister Ali Mohamed Gedi told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday that last week’s fighting in Mogadishu was between warlords who had defected from his government and the civil society, including the Islamic courts.
He added that the warlords were defeated and his government is supporting the civil society and will negotiate with them in the time of establishing an administration in the Banadir region (Mogadishu).
Mr. Faysal Omar Guled, a member in the mediation team, told local Somali media that other individuals who are not members in the government are also taking part in the mediation, such as the well-known Ali Mahdi Mohamed, the former elected President after Siad Barre’s overthrow in 1991.
Ali Mahdi Mohammed’s reign did not succeed, as he was opposed by Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed, who declared himself President.
Lawmakers have visited citizens who were injured in the fighting in Mogadishu hospitals, and have requested that international aid agencies help the victims, whose numbers are said to be over two hundred.
Source: The Sub-Saharan Informer 14 April 2006