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Somalis to Demonstrate in Support of Government’s Peace Efforts


Mogadishu residents are expected to demonstrate today (Thursday) in support of the new government's efforts to restore peace to Somalia. The residents say they are tired of the escalating violence orchestrated by hard line Islamic insurgent groups, including al-Shabaab which has left scores dead and the capital, Mogadishu unstable. They also plan to denounce the violent activities of the Islamic groups and support President Sheik Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's government to succeed in restoring peace to the country. Ismail Ahmed Nur is a Somalia parliamentarian. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that ordinary Somalis continue to show their support for the new unity government.

"The Somalis have responded positively so far to the government of national unity since it was formed and the president was elected in Djibouti. There are some groups who are not happy with the formation of the government or the election of the president. But the majority of Somalis have so far responded positively to the new government," Ahmed Nur pointed out.

He said the government and the Somali parliament want to restore peace and stability to the country despite incessant attacks by hard line Islamic insurgent groups.

"The parliament is committed in bringing peace into the country and that is why the former TFG (Transitional Federal Government) have accepted to agree with the ARS (Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia) and that is the reason why we have formed this unity government, and we are committed to work to bring about peace into the country," he said.

Meanwhile the new Somali president is expected to return to Mogadishu today after consulting with President Mwai Kibaki's coalition government.

Ahmed Nur said parliamentarians are expecting the government to soon present its agenda after returning from neighboring Kenya.

"When the president arrives today, the government is expected to bring to parliament their national program and security program as well as their work plan and I think things are so far going very smoothly if nothing major happens," Ahmed Nur noted.

He said both parliament and the new government are pleased with the level of public support for their effort to restore peace in Somalia.

"The public has responded positively and the president spoke to the Kenyan authorities saying his administration is concerned about tax collection as well as capacity building by the Somali institutions. There is need to improve the institutions here because as you know in Somalia the state institutions are not established well, like the security infrastructure was not established very well. So we expected the Kenyans government to assist us in capacity building of all these national institutions, like customs etcetera. So, the president spoke with the Kenyans about these issues when he was there," he said.

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