Somalia's hard-line Islamic insurgents
have rejected peace overtures after President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed called
on them to stop the violence and begin peace negotiations.
This comes less than a week after President Sheikh Sharif
held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Kenya's capital,
insurgents including, al-Shabab denounced President Sheikh Sharif's invitation
calling him an agent of the west who wants to
control the country's resources.
At a press conference Monday, President Sheikh
Sharif accused al-Shabab of being under the command of al-Qaida, which aims to
turn Somalia into a safe haven for international terrorism.
Political analyst Ali Abdullahi told VOA that Mogadishu is too weakened to negotiate with the hard-line
"I wonder who he (President Sheikh Sharif) will try to
negotiate with. Also,
the government thinks it can sort of appeal to the not so much of the
hard-liners. But it seems on both sides not only the issue of negotiations but
there is also the possibility of escalation of violence," Abdullahi said.
said there are indications that the insurgents seem to have the upper hand.
"Al-Shabab wings are saying that whatever arms given
to the government, they will take it from them as happened with the AK 47s that
were given to them recently. So what you find is that whatever weapons are
given to the government will ultimately end up in the hands of al-Shabab
because the government does not have anyone to fight for them," he said.
said the government faces a daunting task of defeating insurgents who are
has a lot of spirit and they have a well disciplined group of militants and the
government is not well prepared to challenge them on the battlefront. So the
best way they (government) they could think of is maybe to have a negotiation
on the table. But I wonder whether the
government will be ready to negotiate from a point of weakness rather than a
point of strength," Abdullahi said.
said President Sheik Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's administration is too fragile to
government seems to be at its weakest point; financially and militarily, they
are very weak. And there are also other factions which apparently are deserting
the government in the form of the military," he said.
said a cross-section of Somalis is refusing to recognize the government.
is also organized peaceful party which is being arranged to sort of appeal to
the international community as an alternative government because most of the
Somali elite don't see this government as representative of them," Abdullahi
hard-line insurgent groups have so far refused to recognize the government,
vowing to overthrow the administration and implement the strictest form of
insurgent groups control most of the country including some areas in the
has been without an effective government after former longtime ruler Mohammed
Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.
Barre's overthrow reportedly led warlords to escalate the conflict, which
plunged the country into deeper crisis.