Somali Government to Sign Peace Accord With Islamist Militia
2010-03-12March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Somalia’s transitional government and the Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a militia that controls parts of central Somalia will sign a peace agreement this weekend, an African Union official said.
“We believe this will have a very important impact politically, culturally and militarily,” Ramtane Lamamra, the AU’s peace and security commissioner, told reporters today in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. The accord will be signed in the city on March 13.
Somalia’s government has been battling Islamist insurgent groups including al-Shabaab since 2007. The rebels control most of southern and central Somalia. The U.S. accuses al-Shabaab of having links to al-Qaeda, which has said it aims to establish a caliphate, or Islamic government, in the Horn of Africa country.
The agreement “shows that the al-Shabaab does not represent the mainstream political forces,” said Lamamra.
Somalia hasn’t had a functioning central administration since the ouster of the former dictator, Mohamed Siad Barre, in 1991