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Exiled Somali Islamist leader says talks possible

Issue 316
Front Page

WFP Country Director Visits Somaliland

Somaliland Water & Minerals Ministry Confirms Contact With Lundin Oil Company

Frazer Made Off-Limits To The Independent Press During Somaliland visit

The Historic Meeting between the Somaliland Cross-parliamentary members and UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group

Somaliland Foreign Minister briefs the House of Representatives

Djibouti votes amid opposition boycott

Somalia: The World's forgotten catastrophe

'No Country Deserves to Go the Somalia Way'

Africa, China's new frontier

Somaliland Mission: Taiwan-Africa Progressive Partnership

The Demise of the American Middle Class

AU elections expose Kenya's lack of clear foreign policy

Regional Affairs

Blasts in Somalia's Puntland Region Kill 20

Major increase in UNDP resources for Somaliland in 2008

Somalia Violence and Displacement Worsen

Special Report

International News

The Mediterranean Union: Dividing the Middle East and North Africa

Hijack accused remanded for psychiatric assessment

Chavez Says Exxon Suit May Lead to Oil Cutoff to U.S.


The practice—and the theory

Alfred Nobel: Controversial Man, Controversial Awards

My brush with Islamic justice in Mogadishu was swift and fair

Why black history matters to us all

Regeneration: The Iraq War and British-Arab Identity in a Historical Context

Muslim rapper talks of inner conflict

Islamist target Hirsi Ali seeks French protection

Gangsters go global

Food for thought


A Reality Check on the Governor of Awdal

The Hygiene And Sanitation Corner

SNM is a monument reflecting the triumph of the human spirit

The Presidential trip: “The Most successful event”

In response To The Funny Kulmiye

Somaliland is at the critical junction

A tribute to Hassan Sheikh Mumin


Former Islamic Courts chairman, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed

DUBAI, Feb 8 - An exiled leader of Somalia's opposition Islamists said on Friday they may accept talks to end a year-long insurgency that has killed some 6,500 civilians, if war crimes are punished and Ethiopian troops are withdrawn.

"This government has committed war crimes and high treason in Somalia and must be put on trial. But if they take bold measures ... on war crimes and the presence of Ethiopian troops, then we may accept to hold talks," said Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, an exiled leader of the Alliance For the Re-Liberation of Somalia.

"Before anything else, Ethiopian forces have to be withdrawn from Somalia, and problems of those displaced from the capital, ... have to be dealt with," Ahmed told Al Jazeera television.

"In the negotiations, the Alliance ... will represent the Somali people and we will hold talks with the international community about who would take part in the dialogue and what points to negotiate on," said Ahmed, who has been seen as a relative moderate among the Islamists.

Ahmed's Islamist courts' movement ruled the capital Mogadishu for six months in 2006, before it was ousted by Ethiopia's army backing forces of the interim Somali government.

The opposition alliance is made up of Islamists, former parliamentarians and diaspora members.

Hardline Islamists have led the insurgency throughout 2007 against the government and Ethiopian troops, during which at least 6,500 people have been killed and 600,000 have fled the capital.

(Reporting by Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Caroline Drees)

Source: Reuters

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