From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Fri Feb 20 2009 - 10:59:27 EST
AMISOM must leave Somalia within 120 days
Fri, 20 Feb 2009 03:25:29 GMT
Somali clerics demand of the new government to send back AMISOM troops and
declare Islamic law in the Horn of Africa within 120 days.
Over 100 moderate religious leaders announced on Thursday that the new
president, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, who faces thedaunting task of bringing peace
to Somalia for the first time in 18 years, is now entrusted the job of the
withdrawal of all peacekeeping troops in the battle-scarred capital,
Mogadishu, by the deadline beginning March 1, our Press TV correspondent
The 3,500 Ugandan-Burundian dominated AMISOM troops were deployed in Somalia
in 2007 as part of the internationally-backed efforts to help stabilize the
These troops should not be attacked within the given time-frame and no other
foreign troops should be brought in again, the clerics statement said.
It further said that they recommend the government should instruct the
Somali parliament to amend the federal constitution in order to allow the
application of the Sharia law in the Horn of Africa nation.
Within 120 days the Somali parliament must convene and announce that the
country will be ruled according to Islamic law, said Sheikh Bashir Ahmed
Salad, head of Somali Ulema Council for Correction and Reconciliation.
But he said it should be the more moderate Islamic law - not the strict
version that al-Shabaab fighters want to impose throughout the country.
They also called on the opposition groups to lay down their weapons so that
the peace process spearheaded by the clerics to have an impact on the
country, our correspondent said.
Somali fighters trusted with security
Thu, 19 Feb 2009 18:47:02 GMT
Somali fighters are given control of the security checkpoints in the
capital, Mogadishu following reconciliation with the new government.
On Thursday, the gunmen entered the checkpoints formerly occupied by the
soldiers enlisted with the former administration of president Abdullahi
"We have deployed our forces.to take over the security. It is good news for
Somalis who suffered in the hands of the soldiers," opposition spokesman
Abdi Rahim Isse Addow said, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The fighters are those loyal to the main opposition, Union of Islamic Courts
"We are in the process of undertaking the second phase..It will include
removing of all illegal check points in the capital's neighborhoods and
districts to allow the administration combat the insecurity in the town,"
said Mogadishu mayor Mohamed Osman Ali Dhagah Tuur.
The UIC laid down arms after their former leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
replaced Yusuf Ahmed and agreed to form a joint armed force with the Somali
soldiers on the new president's orders.
The compromise raised hopes of stability in the country which has suffered
its share of violence since the 1991 ouster of the former dictator president
Mohammed Siad Bare by the warlords.
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