Somalia Islamist rejects talks with rival faction

"Reconciliation would be good, but we and the Djibouti group have reached a point of no return," said Aweys.

Somalia Islamist rejects talks with rival faction

Somali Islamist Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys said on Monday the exiled opposition would not negotiate with a rival faction that signed a peace deal with Somalia's transitional government.

"Reconciliation would be good, but we and the Djibouti group have reached a point of no return," said Aweys.

"It's obvious they will not come back and join us," he told Reuters from Asmara.

A faction led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed signed a pact in Djibouti with the interim government in June, outlining the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops and the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers. The formal signing is to take place in Mecca.

But Aweys, some other ARS officials and insurgents in Somalia have rejected the deal.

Aweys said last week that he had taken charge of the exiled opposition, but U.N. envoy for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah dismissed Aweys' announcement and said Sheikh Sharif remained the recognised leader.

Insurgents have been battling Ethiopian and Somali government troops since early 2007.

Reuters

Last Mod: 29 Temmuz 2008, 11:42
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