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US Seeks Islamic Courts’ Help To Catch Somali Extremists‎ ‎‎

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This Week's News coverage for Somaliland and Somalia


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US Seeks Islamic Courts’ Help To Catch Somali Extremists‎ ‎‎‎‎

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Nairobi, June 22, 2006 — Stung by setbacks to its latest strategy in Somalia, the United States for the first time reached out to hardline Islamists, its erstwhile enemies, to help catch "terrorists" allegedly hiding in the shattered African nation.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer

In an about-turn, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer sought the help of the Joint Islamic Courts to arrest terrorists believed hiding in Somalia. Washington previously blamed these courts for having links with Al Qaida and harboring foreign fighters.

The US bankrolling of the now-defeated warlords to fight the Islamists and its frequent calls for help from the Somali transitional government had failed to bear fruits, forcing it to reach out to the Islamists.

"We are making the same call on the Islamic Courts Union, we need to work with all elements," Frazer said.

"They need to come together in a dialogue so that they can create a place in which terrorists cannot have a safe haven. We will keep working with the Somali people and I am absolutely convinced that they want us to be there working with them."

She said the Islamic courts were an "heterogeneous group" of moderates and hardliners.

Frazer named Comorian Fazul Abdullah Mohamed, Kenyan Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and Sudanese Abu Taha al-Sudan as the three main extremists wanted by Washington for carrying out attacks against its embassies in east Africa in 1998 and against an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya in 2002.

"We ask all parties in Somalia to work with us to render them to justice," Frazer added.

"Our policy continues to be the same, which is a matter of priority, we are concerned about Somalia becoming a safe haven for terrorists," Frazer told reporters in Nairobi after holding talks with Somali President Abdillahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi.

Asked if US will support people like Somali warlords, accused of human rights violations, Frazer said: "Certainly we will not support violators of human rights. The best way to get America’s support to the Somali people in way that doesn’t undermine our interest and their interests is for them to give up this foreign terrorists."

The US official spoke as delegations from government and the Islamic alliance headed to Khartoum for Arab League-mediated talks aimed at easing tension between them.

Source: Sudan Tribune

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