Somali Islamist head rejects U.N.-sponsored pact

A Islamist leader said "U.N. peacekeepers could not be neutral, and we believe that they serve the American government."

Somali Islamist head rejects U.N.-sponsored pact
An Islamist leader rejected on Tuesday a U.N.-brokered peace pact signed in Djibouti by the Somali government and some opposition figures, and vowed that the war would continue.

"We don't see that as a peace deal, we see it as a trap," Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys told Reuters by phone from Eritrea.

"We encourage the insurgents and the Somali people not to be tired of combating the enemy."

Somalia's interim government and some members of the exiled opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) signed a deal late on Monday calling for the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers and agreeing to a ceasefire after one month.

But with some senior members of the ARS, including cleric Aweys, boycotting the talks, and fighters on the ground also saying they would not recognise them, few believe this pact will bring peace to Somalia after 18 years of civil conflict.

The sticking point is the presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia.

"We have no choice but to continue to fight the Ethiopians and the other foreign troops," Aweys added.

"U.N. peacekeepers could not be neutral, and we believe that they serve the American government," Aweys said.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Haziran 2008, 13:42
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