Somalia's Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein is appealing to insurgent
Islamists to join the peace deal signed by the transitional government
and some moderate opposition groups last month in Djibouti. VOA's
Peter Heinlein in Addis Ababa reports Mr. Hussein condemned Somalia's
uncontrolled violence, which since the accord was signed has claimed
the lives of aid workers, a journalist, and a senior U.N. official.
anarchy in large parts of Mogadishu, and a joint Somali-Ethiopian
military force waging a counter-insurgency offensive, Somalia's interim
prime minister is urging hardline Islamists to end their campaign of
Speaking to reporters at the end of a three-day
visit to the Ethiopian capital, Nur Hassan Hussein called on the
militant Al-Shabab group to seize the opportunity created by last
month's U.N.-brokered peace agreement.
"The agreement signed in
Djibouti is the key and opens the door to peace so anyone can join, any
organization opposing the government of today, there is a window of
opportunity to join," Hussein said.
Many Somalis and
political analysts say the Djibouti accord has been discredited by
violence from groups like al-Shabab, which is committed to overthrowing
the Ethiopian-backed transitional government and establishing Islamic
rule. But Prime Minister Hussein argued that the agreement has provided a
flicker of hope by bolstering the more moderate Alliance for the
Re-Liberation of Somalia, which signed the June 9 accord.
think today the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia are also
trying their best to enlarge their constituency, so together the
parties signing this agreement have a good opportunity to attract
others," he said. "But if, like Al Shabab, they are rejecting the peace,
the people, hoping the situation of 18 years ending and a new page
being started, that will help the parties signing the agreement."
Hussein condemned the killing, kidnapping and harassment of
humanitarian aid workers, in particular the shooting death of the head
of the United Nations Development Program office. UNDP chief Osman Ali
Ahmed was gunned down at close range Sunday evening as he returned home
from evening prayers at a mosque in Mogadishu.
The United Nations has described Somalia as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
million Somalis, or more than 10 percent of the population, are living
as internal refugees, and the group Doctors Without Borders says
malnutrition in the horn of Africa country has exceeded emergency rates
for a year.
Ethiopian troops entered Somalia 20 months ago to
help the interim government fight an Islamist movement that was
threatening to take over the country.
Elman Peace and Human Rights Organization estimates more than 2,100
Somali civilians have been killed this year, bringing the civilian
death toll to 8,600 since early last year.