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Issue 394

Front Page

News Headlines

Weapons Supplied To Somalia Government By The US Are Sold In Mogadishu Markets

The Shortest Man In Somaliland Leaves For Norway

Somaliland Parliament Says Suspension Of Voter Registration Illegal

Tostan Holds Conference On Women’s Genital Mutilation

UN Agencies Launch Next Round Of Child Health Initiative In Somaliland

An Interview With Ambassador Marika Fahlen, Sweden’s Special Envoy For The Horn Of Africa

Somalia Tells All Visitors To Seek Government Approval

Somaliland Government Controlled Media Used To Incite Extremism

Local and Regional Affairs

A CALL FOR DIALOGUE: To Hold A Free, Fair And Peaceful Presidential Election

East Africa: Ethiopia Takes Part in First East African Independent Producers Forum

Somalia Mosque Victims Belonged To Southern Punjab

Kenyan Court Drops Charges, Clears Way For Canadian Woman To Return Home

Al Shabaab Reportedly Beheads 4 Christians, Rips Gold Teeth From Locals' Mouths

2 Somali Women, Children Die In Fire

3rd Man Pleads Guilty In Missing Somalis Case

Man Gets 23 Years In Killing Of Somali Restaurant Cook

Athens Police Attack Somali Protesters

Libyans Kill 20 Somali Prisoners

Somalia: The Trouble with Puntland

Somali Insurgents Reject Government’s Olive Branch

Amnesty International Calls For Accountability And Safeguards On Arms Transfers To Somalia’s TFG

Eastern Africa Standby Force To Be Ready Next Year

Somali Islamists Pull Teeth From "Sinners": Residents

Communiqué: Conference With Former Senior Somali Military And Police Officers

Clinton And South African Discuss Somalia

Tribute To Ali Marshal


Western Countries Encourage Piracy By Paying Ransom

Features & Commentary

Somalia: The Center Cannot Hold

Incredible Journey of Somali Human Right Activist Waris Dirie – The Movie

Escape From Somaliland

Without Free Movement, East Africa Will Keep Marking Time

Clinton's Africa Trip Highlights Importance US Attaches To The Continent

What Was Siyad Barre's Relation To A Fundamentalist Christian Group?

Legal Brief On The Suspension Of The Voter Registration List

Mandela – Poem

AT THE MERCY OF SOMALI PIRATES: Hansa Stavanger Crew Describe Hostage Ordeal

Where Camels Once Trod, A Train Crosses Australia

Update: Independent Diplomat Responds

US Misguided In Moving To Arm Somalia, Say Analysts

President Isaias's Encounter With The Financial Times

Somalia: The Trouble With Puntland – Report

International News


Woman Who Tried To Kill Ford Released From Prison

A Short Guide To Tools For Citizen Journalists

Australian Camels Facing Slaughter

UN Human Rights Expert Sounds Alarm On Draft Media Laws In Venezuela

Poll Shows Afghan Vote Headed For Second Round

Bristol's World Cup Bid Brings Communities Together . . . On The Football Field


A Crucial Week For Somaliland: A Time For Action

Building Bridges For Somaliland University Student Outside And Inside The Country

Why I Fear For Somalia

Africa’s Best-Kept Secret “Somaliland” Is In Need For A Change!

Lost Faith In The System

Somalilanders Around The Globe: Vote For Change

Where There Is No Donor

Al-Shabaab: “The” Number One Enemy Of Islam And Somali People

President Riyale And The Election Commission Are The Reason Of The Election’s Bone Of Contention

Somali Insurgents Reject Government’s Olive Branch

By Peter Clottey
Mogadishu, Somalia, August 15, 2009 – Somalia's hard-line Islamic insurgents have rejected peace overtures after President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed called on them to stop the violence and begin peace negotiations.
This comes less than a week after President Sheikh Sharif held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.
The insurgents including, al-Shabaab denounced President Sheikh Sharif's invitation calling him an agent of the west who wants to control the country's resources.
At a press conference Monday, President Sheikh Sharif accused al-Shabaab of being under the command of al-Qaida, which aims to turn Somalia into a safe haven for international terrorism.
Political analyst Ali Abdillahi told VOA that Mogadishu is too weakened to negotiate with the hard-line insurgents.
"I wonder who he (President Sheikh Sharif) will try to negotiate with. Also, the government thing it can sort of appeal to the not o much of the hard-liners. But it seems on both sides not only the issue of negotiations but there is also the possibility of escalation of violence," Abdillahi said.
He said there are indications that the insurgents seem to have the upper hand.
"Al-Shabaab wings are saying that whatever arms given to the government, they will take it from them as happened with the AK 47s that were given to them recently. So what you find is that whatever weapons are given to the government will ultimately end up in the hands of al-Shabaab because the government does not have anyone to fight for them," he said.
Abdillahi said the government faces a daunting task of defeating insurgents who are highly motivated.
"Al-Shabaab has a lot of spirit and they have a well disciplined group of militants and the government is not well prepared to challenge them on the battlefront. So the best way they (government) they could think of is maybe to have a negotiation on the table. But I wonder whether the government will be ready to negotiate from a point of weakness rather than a point of strength," Abdillahi said.
He said President Sheik Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's administration is too fragile to govern.
"The government seems to be at its weakest point; financially and militarily, they are very weak. And there are also other factions which apparently are deserting the government in the form of the military," he said.
Abdillahi said a cross-section of Somalis is refusing to recognize the government.
"There is also organized peaceful party which is being arranged to sort of appeal to the international community as an alternative government because most of the Somali elite don't see this government as representative of them," Abdillahi said.
The hard-line insurgent groups have so far refused to recognize the government, vowing to overthrow the administration and implement the strictest form of Sharia law.
The insurgent groups control most of the country including some areas in the capital, Mogadishu.
Somalia has been without an effective government after former longtime ruler Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.
Siyad Barre's overthrow reportedly led warlords to escalate the conflict, which plunged the country into deeper crisis.
Source: VOA, August 11, 2009






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