[dehai-news] (AFP): Somali Islamist group rejects truce plans

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sun Mar 01 2009 - 09:55:09 EST

Somali Islamist group rejects truce plans


MOGADISHU (AFP) - A hardline Islamist group in Somalia refused Sunday to
accept truce proposals and vowed to keep fighting government forces.

President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed leant out to the hardliners on Saturday saying
he had accepted proposals from mediators for a ceasefire and would introduce
sharia law in the war-torn country as they request.

But Hizb al-Islamiya (Islamic Party), a group of hardline Islamists who
claimed bloody attacks in the capital last week, refused to accept the

"The information regarding a ceasefire plan between our group and the
government is baseless. We will attack the enemy and their stooges anytime
we want," spokesman Muse Abdi Arale said.

Ahmed, a former Islamist rebel leader, became president in January following
a United Nations-brokered reconciliation between his opposition group and
the transitional government.

Hardline Islamist forces opposed to the UN-sponsored reconciliation bids
have launched several deadly attacks against the government and African
Union forces in recent days.

At least 30 people were killed last week in the worst clashes since the
president was elected on January 31.

Hizb al-Islamiya and the Shebab militia are the two main groups opposed to
the government in Mogadishu.

The Shebab and other militia have retaken much of southern and central
Somalia where they were uprooted by the Ethiopia-backed government forces in
early 2007.


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