Web Hosting
Main Page
Latest News
BBC Somali 1800

BBC Somali 1600

Topic of the week
Mogadishu Links
Somalia (60 - 69)
Somalia-Study
Somali Links
Chat Room

Djibouti Conference



M.M.Afrah's Books
  

0rder M. M. Afrah's book
THE SOMALI TRAGEDY
THE GANG RAPE OF A NATION. Mr. Afrah is a skillful writer and innovative storyteller. CLICK HERE FOR THE REVIEWS AND HOW TO ORDER THE BOOK.


Search BBC News

 


Previous News

Sep-Oct 2004 News
Aug 2004 News
July 2004 News
June 2004 News
May 2004 News
April 2004 News
Mar. 2004 News
Feb. 2004 News
Jan. 2004 News
Dec. 2003 News
Nov. 2003 News
Oct. 2003 News
Oct. 2003 News
Sep. 2003 News
Aug. 2003 News
July 2003 News
June 2003 News
May 2003 News
April 2003 News
March 2003 News
Feb 2003 News
Jan 2003 News
Dec 2002 News
Nov 2002 News
Oct 2002 News
Sep 2002 News
July 2002 News
May 2002 News
April 2002 News
March 2002 News
Feb. 2002 News
Jan 2002 News
Dec 2001 News
Nov 2001 News
Oct 2001 News
Sep 2001 News
Aug 2001 News
June 2001 News
July 2001 News
May 2001 News
April 2001 News
March 2001 News
Feb. 2001 News
Jan. 2001 News
Dec. News
Nov. News
Oct. News
Sept. News
August News
July News
June News
May News
April News
March News
February News
January News


govt, Islamists to attend peace talks: EU

 

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Somalia's interim government and rival Islamists have pledged to attend a fourth round of peace talks, a European Union envoy said on Wednesday after two days of clashes that have heightened fears of war.

"Both parties have reiterated their commitment to the Khartoum process and to a political solution to the Somalia crisis," European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel told a news conference.

"They have both decided to resume the Khartoum dialogue process unconditionally," he added after meeting both sides in Somalia on Wednesday, in a bid to stave off all-out war.

Michel was unable to give a date for the next round of negotiations, but said he hoped it would be soon.

"They have to decide together. I can't give you a date, but it will not be a long time," he added.

Witnesses reported heavy clashes between Islamist fighters and troops defending the government's only stronghold at two frontline areas on Wednesday.

EU peace initiative in doubt as heavy fighting erupts in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - Heavy fighting broke out between Somalia's Islamic militia and forces supporting Somalia's western-backed government Wednesday, throwing an EU peace initiative into doubt.

Clashes erupted 15 kilometres from the government garrison town of Baidoa, the only major town it controls, where an EU envoy was meeting with senior leaders to press for peace talks.

The fighting took place just a day after the Islamic group issued an ultimatum for Ethiopian troops backing the transitional government to leave or face a major attack.

As the clashes started, several hundred Ethiopian troops aboard 13 military trucks and with artillery support were deployed to strengthen government forces on the eastern side of the city, a government official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.

Both sides are vying for control of the country. The government holds only a small area around the central town of Baidoa. The Islamic group controls the capital, Mogadishu, but has also fanned out across most of southern Somalia.

Louis Michel, the European commissioner for development and aid, was meeting Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi and President Abdullahi Yusuf in Baidoa when the attacks began in two villages - Moode Moode and Daynunay - on the outskirts of the town.

Fighters from both sides clashed using artillery, rocket propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns mounted on pickup trucks in what appeared to be probing attacks rather than a full-scale advance. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

"Islamic militias have attacked us and the fighting is continuing," Salad Ali Jelle, deputy defence minister in the Baidoa government, told The Associated Press.

Baidoa government officials insisted the town was not under threat and Michel flew out later for talks with the Islamic group in Mogadishu.

Abdirahin Ali Mudey, spokesman for the Islamic movement, said attacks were taking place in three areas and that they had captured the village of Daynunay.

Late Tuesday, government troops and Islamic militia also clashed near Idale, another front-line village northwest of Mogadishu, spokesmen from both sides said.

Ten people were killed.

Fears of a full-blown civil war have intensified in recent weeks as the government and the rival Council of Islamic Courts dismissed efforts to schedule peace talks and threatened military action.

Both sides have moved fighters, fuel and ammunition to the front lines.

Michel is trying to get both sides to stop fighting and commit to high-level peace talks, according to an EU statement released Tuesday. The government has agreed to look at how they can begin peace talks, Michel told the Somali parliament in Baidoa.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991 when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, then turned on one another.

The transitional government was formed in 2004 with UN backing, but was largely ignored until the warlords were driven from Mogadishu by the Islamic militia.

In recent months, thousands of Ethiopian troops have entered the county or taken up positions along the border in support of the Baidoa government, which includes a number of former warlords, according to a secret UN report obtained by The Associated Press. Ethiopia has said it has only a few military advisers in Somalia.

A war in Somalia right now would be devastating, the top UN official for Somalia warned last week. A drought wiped out most of the country's crops and livestock in late 2005 and early 2006, while flooding since September has destroyed tens of thousands of homes and spread more misery. Add fighting to the country's problems and as many as 400,000 refugees could flee into neighbouring Kenya.

Another concern has been U.S. allegations that the Islamic movement has ties to international terrorists, something Islamic leaders have repeatedly denied.

Jendayi Frazer, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, has said al-Qaida is operating with "great comfort" in Somalia, providing training and assistance to the Islamic militia. Somali and Ethiopian officials have said they believe men wanted in connection with the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania now hold senior command positions within the Islamic forces.

Jelle told reporters Wednesday morning that one of the suspects in the embassy bombings, Abu Talha al Sudani, was leading the fighting near Idale, 60 kilometres southwest of Baidoa.

"Sudani, a well-known terrorist, is in charge of the Islamic militias," Jelle said. "He was leading the militias who attacked us late Tuesday."

Warring sides in Somalia agree to resume peace talks despite latest fighting

MOGADISHU, Somalia (CP) - Somalia's Islamic movement and the country's transitional administration agree to resume peace talks despite a day of heavy fighting near the only town the western-backed government, a European Union envoy said Wednesday.

"I am very happy the Islamic courts have accepted to engage in political dialogue with the transitional government," said EU envoy Louis Michel. No date was given for the talks, which were to take place in Khartoum, Sudan.

Leaders of the Islamic movement said they were willing to attend the talks without conditions, after previously saying they would not participate until Ethiopian troops backing the transitional government withdrew from the country.

"For me this is very significant," Michel told reporters as he left the Somali capital, Mogadishu, after a day of diplomacy.

Both sides are vying for control of the country. The government holds only a small area around the central town of Baidoa. Islamic militiamen control the capital, Mogadishu, about 140 kilometres to the southeast, and have fanned out across most of southern Somalia.

Michel, the European commissioner for development and aid, was in meetings with transitional government Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi and President Abdullahi Yusuf in Baidoa when the attacks began in two villages - Moode Moode and Daynunay - on the outskirts of the town.

As the clashes started, several hundred Ethiopian troops aboard 13 military trucks and with artillery support were deployed to strengthen government forces on the eastern side of the city, a government official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information. Ethiopia denies having any troops other than military advisers in Somalia.

Fighters from both sides clashed using artillery, rocket propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns mounted on pickup trucks in what appeared to be probing attacks rather than a full-scale advance. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

"Islamic militias have attacked us and the fighting is continuing," Salad Ali Jelle, deputy defence minister in the Baidoa government, told The Associated Press.

Abdirahin Ali Mudey, spokesman for the Islamic movement, said attacks were taking place in three areas and that they had captured the village of Daynunay.

Late Tuesday, government troops and Islamic militia also clashed near Idale, another front-line village northwest of Mogadishu, spokesmen from both sides said. Ten people were killed.

Fears of a full-blown civil war have intensified in recent weeks as the government and the rival Council of Islamic Courts dismissed efforts to schedule peace talks and threatened military action.

Both sides have moved fighters, fuel and ammunition to the front lines.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991 when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, then turned on one another.

The transitional government was formed in 2004 with UN backing, but was largely ignored until the warlords were driven from Mogadishu this past summer by the Islamic militia.

In recent months, thousands of Ethiopian troops have entered the county or taken up positions along the border in support of the Baidoa government, which includes a number of former warlords, according to a secret UN report obtained by The Associated Press.

A war in Somalia right now would be devastating, the top UN official for Somalia warned last week. A drought wiped out most of the country's crops and livestock in late 2005 and early 2006, while flooding since September has destroyed tens of thousands of homes and spread more misery.

Add fighting to the country's problems and as many as 400,000 refugees could flee into neighbouring Kenya, the official said.

Another concern has been U.S. allegations that the Islamic movement has ties to international terrorists, something Islamic leaders have repeatedly denied.

Jendayi Frazer, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, has said al-Qaida is operating with "great comfort" in Somalia, providing training and assistance to the Islamic militia. Somali and Ethiopian officials have said they believe men wanted in connection with the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania now hold senior command positions within the Islamic forces.

Jelle told reporters Wednesday that one of the suspects in the embassy bombings, Abu Talha al Sudani, was leading the fighting near Idale, 60 kilometres southwest of Baidoa.

"Sudani, a well-known terrorist, is in charge of the Islamic militias," Jelle said.

"He was leading the militias who attacked us late Tuesday," he said, apparently referring to the assault against the Baidoa government's positions.


Hosted and Developed By The Web Technology

Main Page | Latest News | Reuters News | A. Press News| Washington Post |Contact Us

Copyright 1999 banadir.com  All Rights Reserved

 


The Centre for Research & Dialogue (CRD)
-->