Saturday, 20 March 2010

Somali government signs deal with powerful militia

MOGADISHU, Somalia—Somalia's government signed an agreement with a powerful militia on Monday that offers high-level militants senior government positions in return for their military support during a long-planned offensive against an Islamist insurgency.

The agreement gave the Ahlu-sunah Wal-jamea militia five ministries as well as diplomatic posts and senior positions within the police and intelligence services.

The militia holds several towns and districts in central Somalia. The weak U.N.-backed government barely clings to a few blocks of the capital of Mogadishu with the help of more than 6,000 African Union peacekeepers.
The government came under attack by insurgents again on Monday as both sides traded mortar and machine gun fire after the president returned from Dubai. Casualty figures were not immediately available. Scores were killed in fighting last week. Read the whole story

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