From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Fri Nov 07 2008 - 06:46:55 EST
Somalia: Asmara opposition group vows to continue insurgency
The delegation of Union of Islamic Courts from Asmara wing has pointed out that the truce which is to start as from today (5 November) is a move favourable to the presence of the Ethiopian forces in Somalia. Asmara based opposition groups vow that they would continue their insurgency as long as foreign forces including African peace keeping forces remain in parts of Somalia.
In a press conference in Mogadishu, Sheikh Isma'il Haji Adow, the spokesman of the Asmara based opposition groups delegation said that Djibouti's peace deals between the government, and Alliance for Re-liberation of Somalia is favourable to the Ethiopian forces in the country.
The Sheikh has also pointed out that the move of withdrawing the Ethiopian force out of civilian places and filling the positions with joint forces of Union of Islamic Courts forces, African peacekeeping forces might spark fighting with the Somali people.
Somalia: ARS leader take off to Djibouti
Omar Hashi Aden who is one of the closest officials of Sheikh Sharif confirmed to Mareeg that Sharif went to Djibouti for unknown matters.
We shall keep you posted as soon as the news on this incident emerges.
Sheikh Sharif, who formed the ARS in exile, is seeking to push for the implementation of a deal to restore peace and has asked his supporters to back the measures adopted in Djibouti last month.
The wing of the ARS headed by Sheikh Sharif signed in October an agreement with the Ethiopian-backed transitional federal administration to restart peace efforts.
It calls for an Ethiopian troop pullback and ceasefire to start this month and the activation of joint security units to gradually take over until UN peacekeepers are deployed.
Sheikh Sharif called on all Somali factions to lay down their arms and participate in what he designated as a national unity era.
The Islamic Courts took control of much of Somalia in 2006, triggering an intervention by neighbouring Ethiopia, which propped up the UN-backed transitional government and ousted the Islamic Courts fighters.
While the group's political leadership largely fled to Eritrea, the movement's military and youth wing, the Shebab, switched to guerrilla warfare.
The Shebab, which rejected the Djibouti deal, has relentlessly targeted Ethiopian troops, Somali government forces and African Union peacekeepers.
The fighters have of late made substantial territorial gains in the country's southern and central regions.
"The clauses in the Djibouti deal that allows the exchange of Ethiopian forces with the African peacekeeping forces - which we believe to be worse than the Ethiopians - will cause continued fighting. We will then continue our insurgency, where it is not possible to stop the fighting. We will also fight at any people that replace the Ethiopian troops," said Sheikh Isma'il.
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