Thursday, 17 September 2009

USA and UN disagree on talks with Al Shabab 16 Sep 16, 2009 - 8:38:55 AM

Conflicting UN and Us policies partly fuel the Somali crisis, argues Liban Ahmad

For the first time in the history of Somali conflict, external actors have openly clashed over policies aimed at talks with Somali Islamist militants groups such as Al Shahab. In an interview with the BBC radio 4 flagship today programme, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah the UN Special Representative to Somalia said he supports the idea of talks with any Somali.

“ I invite any Somali, whatever he is, extremist or not, to make the first step to rebuild his country. I am open to all of them, any Somali who needs to make peace, my door is open, my telephone lines are open, I am ready to call them and I call them. We should not raise the level of the discussion to US. US has nothing to do with it.

” The US Ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger ddisagrees: “ No, definitely not. The Al Shabab lacks any legitimacy in Somalia. I mean, they are an extremist group with significant outside support. I think that is , by and large, something anathema to the Somali people. I know what our position is. It is not appropriate for us or for the TFG to be talking to the Al Shabab. They don’t have the legitimacy that entitles them to be talked to,” he told Mike Thompson of the BBC.

The Current TFG president, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and expanded Somali transitional parliament are result of negotiations with the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia. The United States supported the talks facilitated by the UN but now opposes any talks with Al Shabab, and seems to be discouraging the TFG from talks with moderate members of Al Shabab.

The Somali crisis has entered new stage in which the impact of the external actors’ policies on the Horn Africa country’s troubles is becoming clearer.

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