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Somalia : Presiden tidak akan berdialog

Presiden Somalia dokongan U.S. Abdullahi Yusuf enggan dan tidak akan berdialog dengan UIC, yang tersekat di selatan Somalia.

Somali president rules out dialogue
alJazeera 8 January

The president of the transitional Somali government has ruled out negotiations with the Council of Islamic Courts, now besieged in the country's southern tip.

Abdullahi Yusuf entered Mogadishu, the capital, on Monday for the first time since taking office in 2004, protected by his soldiers and Ethiopian troops who helped rout the Islamic courts.

"With regard to holding talks with the courts, this will not happen," Yusuf told Al Jazeera in an interview before flying to Mogadishu.

"We will crack down on the terrorists in any place around the nation."

Yusuf said that Somalis who hate the presence of Ethiopian troops on their soil are in the minority.

He said: "We are a legitimate government which requested the help of Ethiopian troops so we could achieve security and stability in Somalia.

"We are working so alternative troops can replace the Ethiopians such as African troops. And if Arab states want to send troops, we have no objection."

Yusuf also told Al Jazeera that his country needs the peacekeepers to back up the Somali army now stationed all over the country to quell violence.

Mop-up campaign

Even as the Somali president spoke, Ethiopian jets and soldiers attacked the remnants of the Islamic courts, part of a campaign to finish off the hard core of the militia who have vowed to fight on.

Hassan Mursal, a local resident, told Reuters: "The warplanes this morning struck at a location 18km from Afmadow where Islamic troops are hiding. So many Ethiopian and government troops driving dozens of military trucks passed there today."

Earlier on Monday, government and Ethiopian forces captured what they said was a jungle base used by the militia in southern Somalia.

A government military commander said later that Ras Kamboni was taken after a two-day campaign using ground forces and air support.

Mohammed Adow, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Somalia, said: "Taking over Ras Kamboni denies Islamist fighters a base from which to launch their guerrilla attacks.

"It leaves them sandwiched between the US forces patrolling the coast and Kenyan forces stationed at the border."


Yusuf's entry into Mogadishu marked a remarkable turnaround in the Somali capital that the Islamic courts ruled for six months until the end of December.

"The president has arrived. He is now in Villa Somalia," Abdirahman Dinari, the government spokesman, said.

The bullet-scarred Villa Somalia compound is the former palace of Mohamed Siad Barre, whose overthrow in 1991 as Somalia's last national president triggered more than 15 years of anarchy.

The UN-recognised transitional authorities had been unable to install itself in Mogadishu first because of local commanders in the government who opposed giving up their turf, and later because of the Islamic courts.

Adow said: "There are many government soldiers on the streets [of Mogadishu], but underneath it looks as though no one is in charge." more in alJazeera

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