[dehai-news] (Press TV) Somali govt slams AU troops, urges them to Leave Somalia

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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Fri Feb 27 2009 - 16:21:08 EST

Somalia slams AMISOM over civilian deaths

Fri, 27 Feb 2009 19:41:35 GMT
The Somali government has slammed the recent attacks by African Union
forces on civilians, urging all foreign troops to leave the country.
Somalia's newly-formed government stated on Friday that it was saddened
by the shelling of residential areas by the African Union Mission to
Somalia (AMISOM) in Mogadishu.
"AMISOM actions are unacceptable. They were sent here to protect
civilians, not to kill them," Suleiman Olad Rooble, the minister for
youth and sports said in a news conference.
He also added that an urgent cabinet meeting will soon discuss the
withdrawal of all foreign troops from the Horn of African nation, a
Press TV correspondent reported.
The statement follows three days of intense fighting in residential
areas between rebels and AMISOM forces in Mogadishu, leading to the
deaths of nearly fifty people -- mostly civilians -- and the injury of
almost a hundred others.
The presence of the nearly 4,000 peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi
has been a thorny issue for the new Somali government.
Influential clerics and Local clan elders have demanded the government
to call for the withdrawal of the foreign force within 120 days. Somali
opposition groups have meanwhile vowed to continue fighting the AMISOM
troops until the peacekeepers are completely withdrawn from Somalia.
The new Somali government led by president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
has repeatedly said that there would be no need for further foreign
forces and those currently deployed would leave the country.

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