Sunday, 22 November 2009

Somalia: Aweys holds secret talks with Al-Shabaab

22 Nov 22, 2009 - 7:05:44 AM

The leader of Somalia’s Hizbul Islam, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys has secretly held talks with some top Al-Shabaab officials to discuss the brewing row between the two groups.

Confidential sources told Garowe Online that the meeting was tense with Al-Shabaab officials asking Sheikh Aweys to join them.

“The Hizbul Islam leader was pressured to resign from his post and join Al-Shabaab, but he decided to take time and think about it,” said one of Sheikh Aweys’s advisers who requested anonymity.

The official said top Hizbul Islam official are planning to meet next week to discuss about the Al-Shabaab demands over their leader.

The two groups, which are jointly involved in arm struggle against the embattled UN-backed Somali government, have broke ranks in recent past after they disputed over the control of Kismayo, a lucrative southern port city that is source for insurgence activities across the war-torn.

The fight over KIsamyo has also affected the relation between Sheikh Aweys and his deputy Sheikh Hassan Turki.

Speaking in Nairobi, Sheikh Abdinassir Serar, the group’s Foreign Affairs Secretary accused Aweys of being impediment, adding that the group will soon take stand against him.

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