- The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) has withdrawn from its original decision to attack Ethiopia. UIC officials had given Ethiopia until today to quit Somalia otherwise they would be confronted with heavy fighting.
But in an interview with 'Shabelle Radio' in Mogadishu today, UIC's Head of Communication Department, Sheik Abdirihin Ali Mudey, said the Islamist movement's remarks over the issue was mistranslated and misunderstood.
"We did not mean to attack Ethiopian forces if they do not withdraw from our country but we meant it as to set condition for starting talks with Ethiopian government, so the statement of ICU was misinterpreted," he said.
Mr Ali Mudey however said the movement still stands by its position to flush out Ethiopian troops out of Somalia. With the help of Somalis, he said, they are ready to fight tooth and nail with what he called the "invaders".
The Islamists had earlier given Ethiopian troops until Monday to quit Somalia if they do not want to face war. But Addis Ababa officials laughed over the Islamists' threats.
Mr Ali Mudey said the Somali crisis could be solved only if Somalia's internationally recognised transitional government of President Abdullahi Yusuf has relinquished power.
But the interim Prime Minister of Somalia, Ali Mohamed Gedi has defended his government's alliance with Ethiopia to fight the Islamists. He said the Islamists have been receiving help from Ethiopian rebels.
"The African Union leaders were too much worrying about the situation in Somalia and saw it as disease broken out in Somalia and then could spread to whole Africa continent, therefore the AU leaders agreed to take decisive steps to prevent the disease before spreading," he told parliamentarians at a question and answer session.
"It is unfortunate that the so called Islamic Court to proclaim that Ethiopian government is going to occupy the land while they had invited Ethiopian rebel in the country to fight along side with its militia," he said, adding, "If the case is like this, then my government is obliged to seek coalition with Ethiopia to battle with the Islamists".
Mr Gedi accused Sudan and Djibouti of pledging their support for the courts movement. He further blamed Sudanese President Omar Hassan El-Bashir for refusing the deployment of peacekeeping troops in Darfur. Sudan earlier had tried to broker a peace deal between the transitional government and the Islamists.
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