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Islamists Invited Back for Dialogue


The East African Standard (Nairobi) - Cyrus Ombati - Nairobi

The Somalia Government wants Kenya to hand Union of Islamic Courts leader, Sheikh Sharrif Ahmed, over to them.

Prime minister Mohamed Ghedi said they want Sharif and his deposed supporters to participate in the ongoing reconciliation talks.

"We want all UIC officials and supporters including Sheiikh Sharrif to come to Mogadishu for the talks in Somalia," he said.

He said he believes Kenya will hand over all immigrants that have been arrested to participate in the ongoing talks.

Ghedi added that none of them would be persecuted in Mogadishu since his Government's aim is to restore peace and order rather than revenge.

The prime minister addressed several diplomats at a Nairobi hotel to highlight on what his Government has done since it landed in Mogadishu two weeks ago.

He made the address hours after the Kenya government admitted that it was holding the UIC leader who surrendered on Sunday.

Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua said police are still interrogating Sharrif without disclosing his whereabouts.

Ghedi announced that the Transitional Federal Government is now in control of the entire country.

He said they have installed a mayor and his deputy in Mogadishu and plans are underway to appoint district commissioners across the country.

He said the country's new Speaker will be known in a week's time following the sacking of the former one.

Ghedi also appealed to the international community to assist Somalia restore order. He said the TFG police are now in at all police stations in the country and have exerted their authority.

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