Somalia's government has expressed
satisfaction about ongoing talks with hard line Islamic insurgents who have vowed
to overthrow the administration.
The government says it will continue to
negotiate with the insurgents until a solution is found to end the country's
insurgents including al-Shabab have refused to recognize President Sheikh
Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's government, vowing to overthrow the administration and
implement the strictest form of Sharia law.
Political analysts say despite the
negotiations, it is unclear if the insurgents will join the beleaguered
Cabinet minister Abdirashid Irro Mohammed said that the government is determined to continue with
its reconciliation efforts.
government is trying to reconcile with our people and the position of our
government is that we will like to convince and to call all the Somalis to join
(in) the peace process and to support the government,"
He said there is need to
finding a solution to the violence.
are very keen to talk to our people to continue with the discussion and
dialogue and to convince them that they should join the peace process because
Somalis are exhausted by killing from one another. And this has prolonged for
more than 20 years," he said.
said the government is unfazed despite difficulties in negotiations with the insurgents.
"We are not strong with our
people we are very weak with our people because we don't want to continue the
fighting and killing our people. So that is why we are very soft for the
negotiations with our people and we will like to invite them to the peace
process," Mohammed said.
He said the government is
rebuilding the army.
"We are trying to recruit
and organize our national forces. And the national force, the number (have)
increased to more than ten thousand," he said.
Mohammed praised the African
Union peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM).
"We have our brothers who
have been supporting this government from the AMISOM; African Union troops
especially those who came from Uganda and Rwanda. So militarily we are very
strong, but for the negotiations we are not very strong with our people,"
He said there are foreigners
who have joined the extremists to destabilize the country.
"We do believe that really
those who are against the government, some of them, they are not related to the
Somalis' politics. They are getting financial support and also political
instructions from the outside, and I don't think that those persons are here to
join the peace process. They are not ready for negotiations," he said.
Mohammed said the government
is confident in the ongoing negotiations.
"I believe (in) the
negotiations. It is better than the armed solution. So we are very keen, and we
will insist to continue and to be very keen with the negotiations," Mohammed
Meanwhile, al-Shabab threatened
Sunday to launch an offensive against the government as it reinforces positions
around the capital, Mogadishu.