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US Says Will Work With Somali Anti-Terror Groups‎‎

ISSUE 226
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Index

This Week's Somaliland News

Headlines

The 54th State?‎

Somaliland Celebrates 15th Anniversary of ‎Independence‎   

Thirsty Hyenas Kill 11 People At Ainabo

Nairobi embassy 'unaware' of ex-CIA chief's visit to ‎Somalia‎

Editorial: A Salute To Somaliland, Africa's First ‎Homegrown Democracy‎‎

Foreign Islamist Fighters Are Reported In Somalia‎

Transitional Government Hails Visit By UK Minister

Regional Affairs

The 15th Anniversary Of The Rebirth Of Somaliland

African Countries Seek Partially Lifting ‎Arms Embargo On Somalia‎

Somali MPs Face Sacking Over US‎

Fisherman Catches Fish With Islamic Inscription

Somalia: Give democracy a chance, says Aden

Somalia Parliament Rejoins Global Forum

Deadly Blasts In Ethiopia Capital‎‎‎

Traders In Somalia Set Up Force To ‎Guard UAE Ships

Crisis And Opportunity‎‎

Editorial
Special Report

International News

US Says Will Work With Somali Anti-Terror Groups‎‎

Man Charged In Fatal Drive-By In Aylmer

MP In Immigration Row To Leave Netherlands‎‎‎

MISSING‎

‎Scandinavian Countries Best For Mothers, ‎Rankings Suggest‎‎

Sailor Was Beaten To Death On Captain’s Orders’‎‎‎

White House Dodges Somalia Questions

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

COUNTING THE COST OF ELECTIONS‎

Interview With Head Of Somalia's Islamic Courts ‎Organization Sheikh Sharif Ahmad

U.S. Secretly Backing Warlords In Somalia

My Islamic Collection

‎'I Don't Know If I Will See My Children Again'‎‎‎

Food for thought

Opinions

Somaliland Budget 2006‎‎

Thousand questions
for Prof. Ahmed ‎Samater‎‎‎‎

On The Road To Recognition‎‎

A Fall From Grace: Ayan Hersi‎‎‎‎‎

President Rayaale Does Not Belief In Our Constitution, If ‎So, He No Longer Has Mandate To Lead The Nation‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎ ‎‎‎

Somaliland & Somalia: The ‎Gathering Storm

Somaliland: Where Peace And Democracy Make No Headlines‎‎

Building Integrity To Fight Corruption:‎‎


WASHINGTON, May 12, 2006 -- The top U.S. diplomat in Africa said on Friday Washington would work with any group in Somalia committed to rooting out al Qaeda but she did not know if anti-terrorism warlords battling for control of the Somali capital Mogadishu got U.S. backing.

Fighting has raged in Mogadishu this week between militant Islamic fundamentalists and an anti-terrorism alliance of warlords that Somalia's interim President Abdillahi Yusuf accuses Washington of backing. At least 133 people have died in six days of fighting.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer said it was her government's policy to support all groups wanting to prevent the Horn of Africa country from becoming a haven for al Qaeda.

Asked whether Washington was funding or working with the group at the center of this week's battles in Mogadishu, called the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism, Frazer said she had "no idea."

"But our policy is very clear. We will work with those elements that will help us to root out al Qaeda and to prevent Somalia becoming a safe haven for terrorists, and we are doing it in the interests of protecting America," said Frazer in an interview with Reuters.

Frazer said the State Department's main focus was to work with Somalia's interim president, the prime minister and the speaker of the Assembly to try and form a united government.

Washington has long viewed Somalia, without an effective government since the 1991 ousting of former dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre, as a terrorist haven.

Asked specifically whether she knew of any members of the U.S. government who were working with the anti-terrorism alliance, she replied: "You are asking the wrong person."

The State Department's annual terrorism report released last month said parts of Somalia had become havens for terrorist and other illicit activities threatening the region's security.

WHO DO YOU WORK WITH?

The report said a small number of al Qaeda "terrorists" responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania operated in Somalia and were helped by "elements within the complicated Somali clan structure."

There are conflicting views within the U.S. government over which groups should be co-opted in fighting terrorism and whether support for warlords in Somalia, for example, is the right route.

Asked if it was worth supporting anti-terrorism groups like those in Somalia, Frazer said this debate had been going on for years in Washington, particularly during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

"That is a huge debate. ... Who would you deal with and who wouldn't you deal with? Who do you work with who has information and who don't you work with?" she said.

U.N. experts said on Wednesday they were investigating an unnamed country's clandestine support for an anti-terrorism alliance of Somali warlords in apparent violation of a U.N. arms embargo.

Washington's ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, strongly denied on Friday the United States was breaking an arms embargo in Somalia.

"I can assure you we are not violating the arms embargo. That is clear, and I just don't think there is any real question about that."

Source: Reuters


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