From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sun Nov 30 2008 - 07:07:36 EST
Islamic courts faction rejects Djibouti peace deal
The internal leadership of the Union of Islamic Courts [UIC] has rejected the recent Djibouti agreement between the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia [TFG] and the Djibouti-based Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia [ARS].
In a press statement read to radio stations in Mogadishu by the UIC spokesman, Abdirahim Ise Adow, said the leadership of the UIC who are inside the country are opposed to the recent agreement between the [TFG] and the Djibouti-based ARS led by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmad.
Abdirahim Ise Adow in his statement said the UIC has distanced itself from those who entered an agreement with the group that led enemies into the country, while the same enemies are still inside Somalia.
Some of the significant points in the statements by the UIC spokesman were:
1. We distance ourselves from any association with those who led our long term enemy into the country and to the Somali people. They have not yet repented from the deed and the enemy is still occupying the country, and is even deploying more troops now.
2. We support the religious leaders interpretation of the Djibouti agreement that it is not in line with Islamic teachings.
3. We will continue with the jihad and the insurgency until Ethiopian troops withdraw from the country
The statement also condemned the activities of piracy and foreign troops who are at the Somali coast. The UIC spokesman said foreign troops are illegally fishing in Somali waters.
After the spokesman for the UIC finished reading the statements, the media asked Sheikh Abdqadir Ali Umar who is the head of the UIC leadership inside Somalia whether they will be able to reach an agreement with the TFG if Ethiopian troops withdraw from the country. The Sheikh responded by saying that Somalis can resolved the conflict amongst themselves but is necessary that the enemy is first of all forced to leave the country.
The statement issued by the religious leaders today comes at a time when religious leaders who were to resolve the conflict between the opposition groups in the country yesterday issued a similar statement saying the agreement between the TFG and the Djibouti-based ARS is not inline with Islamic teachings. By: Abdi Guled
Large contiLarge contingent of Ethiopian troops reported to cross into Somaliangent of Ethiopian troops reported to cros
s into So30.11.2008malia
Number of Ethiopian troops have crossed the border at Luuq in Gedo Region and entered Somalia.
These Ethiopian troops backed by 100 military vehicles are reported to have crossed the border into Somalia. Residents of Luq in Gedo Region have confirmed to Mareeg that they had seen Ethiopian troops with up to 100 military vehicles enter Somalia and head for Bay Region.
It is unclear why Ethiopian troops are entering Somalia at a time when there has been talk of Ethiopian troop withdrawal from the country.
The arrival of new Ethiopian troops come as Ethiopia announced Friday that is pulling its forces from Somalia by year's end, leaving the ravaged capital vulnerable to the Islamic militants who have seized nearly all of the country.
The decision ends the unpopular two-year presence of the key U.S. ally much as it began - with the militants in near-total control of a failed state with a worsening humanitarian crisis.
Ethiopia has sent thousands of troops here since early 2007, when it launched a U.S.-backed operation that drove the militants from Mogadishu after six months in power.
Since then, the Islamists have waged a ferocious insurgency, attacking U.N.-supported Somali government troops and their Ethiopian allies nearly every day.
The United States worries that Somalia could be a terrorist breeding ground, particularly since Osama bin Laden declared his support for the Islamists. It accuses a faction known as al-Shabab - "The Youth" - of harboring the al-Qaida-linked terrorists who allegedly blew up the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Ethiopian forces have remained almost entirely in the capital, along with a small African Union force that has just 2,600 of the intended 8,000 troops and has largely been confined to urban bases.
The militants, meanwhile, have taken control of towns within miles of the capital and move freely inside Mogadishu.
Ethiopia and the Somali government have called without success for a United Nations peacekeeping force to help pacify the country and boost the weak government. The U.N. Security Council has said that it would consider sending peacekeepers to replace AU forces if Somalia can improve security and achieve political reconciliation.
By: Abdi Guled
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