See also:
» 11.02.2011 - Somali pirates to be returned from Seychelles
» 07.02.2011 - Seychelles negotiates pirate returns with Somalia, Somaliland
» 02.12.2010 - African Horn migration routes shifting
» 13.07.2010 - Seychelles takes lead in piracy fight
» 30.03.2010 - Seychelles downs pirates, rescues crews
» 23.02.2010 - Journalist abducted in Somalia
» 02.02.2010 - Somali militant group declares affiliation to al Qaeda
» 26.01.2010 - Official condemns Mogadishu bombing

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Society | Politics | Human rights

Somalis discuss emancipation

afrol News, 6 September - Somali leaders representing different groups - opposition, the ousted Islamic Courts Union (ICU), former members of the transitional government, civil society and Somalis in the Diaspora - have begun a conference in the Eritrean capital Asmara.

Under the banner of Somali Congress for Liberation and Reconstitution, delegates are brainstorming on how to emancipate Somalia from Ethiopian occupation, create national unity, foster national reconciliation among Somalis and end the violence caused by the foreign occupation.

The forum is a new political platform that seeks to protect the interests of Somalia and Somalis as well as create a common front against the transitional government. It brings together all those groups excluded from the just concluded Somali peace and reconciliation conference jointly organised by the transitional government and the international community in Mogadishu.

More than 300 delegates and observers from the Arab League, European Union and United Nations, are said to in attendance. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of the ousted ICU, is also among the delegates.

Since the ousting of the ICU from power by the Ethiopian-backed troops last December, there has been a surge in violence in Somalia, particularly Mogadishu. In the past four months, the UNHCR said about 400,000 Somalis have fled the fighting in Mogadishu.

Ethiopian government promised to withdraw troops from Somalia after the deployment of African Union peacekeepers. The continental body planned to deploy 7,000 troops to Somalia to maintain law and order. But apart from the 1,600 peacekeepers deployed by Uganda, no other African country provided troops.

For several months, Ethiopian and government troops have been fighting to counter insurgency targets by insurgent groups in Mogadishu.

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