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Islamist leader says Somalia talks waste of time

Issue 330
Front Page
Index
Headlines

Riyale Forced To Talk With The Opposition But Unwilling To Accept He Is No Longer President

National Union Of Somaliland Journalists Proclaimed

Somaliland Foreign Minister receives French diplomats

From Africa to West Papua, unrecognized nations push for self-determination

Islamist leader says Somalia talks waste of time

Security Council Express Strong Support For Secretary-General's Integrated Strategy For Peace In Somalia

Declaration Opening the World Order to De facto States

Somaliland overrides 17 years of underestimation

Policy Failures In Somalia Conflict

Regional Affairs

Meeting Between The Government & Opposition Leaders In Hargeysa

Clan militias in Kismayo feel pressure again

Editorial
Special Report

International News

Bush presses Arab leaders on reform

Moldova And Transdniester Parliament Leaders Meet In Brussels For EU-Led Talks

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

The Point: IS IT A VICTIM OF EMIGRATION?

Different Kind Of World Cup

What Vietnam taught McCain about war

Campaign to establish a radical Islamic state

Somaliland - Setting aside the political differences for Common Goals

Egypt Con Man Gets 1,000 Years

Collaboration requires a strong home base

Food for thought

Opinions

Both in Puntland and Somaliland, Siyad's goons are in charge

The Past Haunts Me

ALL TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

Time Is Up Mister

Together We Shall Overcome The Crisis

Is There A Problem Between Opposition Parties And Dahir Riyale

Peace In Somaliland Is At The Fork Of Ephemerality And Endurance


Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys (photo-file)

NAIROBI, Kenya, 16 May 2008 - Talks between Somalia's interim government and the opposition in Djibouti are a waste of time and no tangible outcome can be expected, Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys said on Thursday.

Speaking from Asmara, where he lives in exile, the former army colonel urged his allies from the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) attending the peace talks to walk out.

"I don't expect anything tangible to come out of the meeting," Aweys, 62, told Reuters. "What two or three people have agreed upon in a short sitting cannot be of good to the public ... It's just a waste of time."

Negotiations started at the weekend over Somalia's conflict pitting government troops and their Ethiopian military allies against Islamist insurgents, remnants of an ousted sharia courts group led by Aweys.

Asked whether his hardline stance might cause a rift in the ARS, Aweys said it would actually strengthen the group and help them foster a united approach towards ending the conflict.

"I wish to tell my brothers from the alliance they should come back so that we can first agree together ... The meeting was hastily planned and the main thorny issues are not addressed," he said.

Aweys said dialogue could succeed only if Somalia was freed from "Ethiopian occupation" and its people were able to enjoy freedom and justice.

"SIMPLE SOLUTION"

"The solution is simple. Our enemy Ethiopia should be removed. We have a responsibility to first throw them out then we can organise a national conference after attaining freedom," the cleric-turned-politician said.

Most Somalis resent the presence of soldiers from Ethiopia, Somalia's ancient rival. The government sought Ethiopia's help to recapture the capital Mogadishu in 2006.

Aweys was one of those behind Somalia's Islamic Courts Council which defeated U.S.-backed warlords in mid-2006, seizing Mogadishu and much of the south before allied Somali-Ethiopian troops ousted them six months later.

Despite gaining some popularity for restoring law and order, the Islamists fell out of popular favour for imposing strict Sharia law, whipping drunkards in public and closing down cinemas and beauty parlours viewed as anti-Islamic.

Aweys urged the world to treat the Somalis, deprived of effective central rule since the 1991 ouster of a dictator, fairly. He indicated change was possible with the U.S. president to be elected this year to replace George W. Bush.

"We would love America to be led by a man who would reduce the current problems in the world, who would ease the suffering of many oppressed people like us," he said.

Source: Reuters


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