Somalia’s moderate Islamic Army To Join Gov’t After Peace Deal
Addis Ababa, (Somalilandpress) — Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) signed an agreement with the country’s religious army, the Ahlu Sunna WalJamaa, in Addis Ababa Friday, in which the two groups agreed to form a joint government and set up a common military command.
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed is expected to appoint – from the Ahlu Sunna WalJamaa (ASWJ) – five ministers, five assistant ministers, five directors-general for state firms and five director’s-general to lead various ministries, according to the agreement, a copy of which was seen by PANA Friday.
The Somali army will also include three deputy army commanders from the ASWJ, to be posted to the various state security organs,including the National Army and the Police force, in addition to the setting up of a joint military command. These must be established within the next 30 days.
Somali’s Deputy Prime Minister Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden and the Ahlu Sunna WalJamaa’s Spiritual leader, Sheikh Mahmoud Sheikh Hassan, signed the agreement in Addis Ababa, witnessed by the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the UN Political Office for Somalia.
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The agreement also offers Ahlu Sunna WalJamaa three ambassadorial posts, three consular officers, military attaches, commercial attaches and cultural attaches.
TFG agreed to recognize the areas under the rule of ASWJ control and it will set up police presence in those areas where it has control. Its administration would be supported and offered legal recognition.
The agreement was part of negotiations that started in Nairobi in June 2009, following the signing of earlier agreements in Djibouti, which created the present TFG.
ASWJ has pledged to help the government to fight the Islamic militant group, the Al Shabab, which has been fighting to remove the TFG from power.
The signing of the agreement in Addis Ababa means that the TFG would still face up the Al Shabab and Hizbul Islam as its two main rivals.
Source: Ethiopian Journal, 21st February 2010