Thursday, 18 February 2010

Ethiopia: Somalia Govt reaches a deal with Ahlusunna militia

Reports say on-going talks in Ethiopian capital Addiss Ababa between Somalia’s UN-backed government and pro-government Islamist group Ahlu Sunnah Wal-Jamaa has made headways after both parties agreed on certain issues.
According to the sources, the pro-government group has backed down from its early demands of premiership position and now is settling for five cabinet slots in the bloated government.
Ahlu-Sunnah is said to be eyeing the powerful ministries of Defense, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Constitutional Affairs in the agreement, which is yet to be signed by both parties.
Other substantial bargaining for the group are also the merging of government and its forces under one leadership and slot in the diplomatic missions.
The meeting is reportedly held under the blessings of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who recently held talks with Somalia’s embattled president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on the sidelines of the African Union summit.
Ahlu Sunnah is represented by a high-ranking official called Ma’alin Mahammud Sheikh. Hassan while the government side is led by Finance Minister Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, Postal and communication minister Abdirisaq Osman Hassan (Jurille) and political advisor to the president lawmaker Mustaf Ahmed Dhuxulow (Dhegdher).
The agreement would once again swell the already bloated government, which was formed last year in neighboring Djibouti after months of reconciliations.
Political analysts say Sheikh Sharif’s government has a keen interest in the pro-government Ahul-Sunnah, which allegedly has the backing of Addis Ababa, but fears its domination once the other Islamist groups are eliminated from the country’s political scene.

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