Somalia:Islamists accept mediation efforts

MOGADSHU (Mareeg)-A newly formed coalition group known as Hizbal Islam (Islamic Party) has accepted mediation efforts between them and the Somali government, officials said on Tuesday. 

Abdulahi Abukar Dhere, a political spokesman of Hawiye Traditional Elders said the leaders of Hizbal Islam accepted their mediation efforts.


Hawiye Traditional Elders met Somalia’s newly elected president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed on Sunday and said they would mediate between Somali government and the Islamist insurgents who opposed the peace process.


Hassan Mahdi, the spokesman of Hizbal Islam said they have welcomed the mediation efforts of the elders and talked the elders about many things.


The leader of Hizbal Islam, Sheik Omar Iman, who returned from two-year exile in Eritrea on Saturday, said they would continue fighting against African Union peace keepers and what he called “apostate” government referring to the Somali government.


Sources very close to Al-shabaab spokesman, Sheik Mukhtar Abu Mansoor confirmed that Abu Mansoor had a meeting with Somalia’s president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed in the presidential palace and returned back to Baidoa.


The sources also indicated that the southern military leader Sheik Hassan Turki had met with the president.


The newly elected president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed extended a hand to the opposed factions and encouraged them to join his government.


The president is expected to announce a new prime minister on Wednesday and form a unity government.


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