March 16th, 2010
08:04 PM ET

Somali president calls new pact a 'historic success'

Somalia's president called a new alliance between a rebel group and the country's government "a historic success" and said Tuesday that it marked a closer step toward recovery for the failed state.

The peace agreement between the government and the Ahlu Sunnah group was signed Monday night at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to the United Nations.

"The agreement with Ahlu Sunnah is a historic success for the Somali people and it is a further positive step for the full return of Somalia's nationhood," President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said.

Ahlu Sunnah is a large, moderate Sunni-based religious movement influenced by Sufi Islam that has been fighting extremists from such militant groups as Al-Shabaab for about a year.

The United States considers Al-Shabaab, the al Qaeda proxy in the country, a terrorist organization. The group is waging a war against Somalia's government in an effort to implement a stricter form of Islamic law, or sharia.

"We preach peace and harmony among all nations and races of the world, but recently new and violent Islamist groups have surfaced in our country," said Ahlu Sunnah's spiritual leader, Sheikh Mohamud Sheikh Hassan. "We have united with the Somali government and fight against these violent groups together and this is not a fight or a struggle against people, it is against ideology.

"The meaning of this agreement is to save the people of Somalia and the reputation of the Islamic faith."

The U.N. special envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, said Monday that the agreement is a signal "things can and are changing in Somalia."

Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991, and fighting between the rebels and government troops has displaced thousands and escalated the humanitarian crisis in the famine-ravaged country. In the most recent violence, at least 75 people were killed last week in clashes between Al-Shabaab rebels and government forces, according to medical sources in the area.

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Filed under: Somalia • World
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Willard

    Let's hope they finally acquire stability in Somalia!

    March 16, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michael

    this is good news. hopefully itt leads to more improvements in the nation. but several provinces such as puntkland and somaliland have declared independance and are operating on their own. what are their status and are they also contributing to bringing somalia back together

    March 17, 2010 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Guelleh

    What a Beautifull day to hear such a marvellous news. I wish the rest of the Rebels or Groups could join this peace agreement for the Benefit of their Country People and Faith.

    I hope they all put their differences aside and think DEEP.

    May God Bless you All and Somalia

    Viva SOMALIA!!!

    March 17, 2010 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Barry77

    Islamic militants couldn't tell the truth with a gun pointed to their heads. They are genitically incapable of speaking the truth. Peace will only come to Somalia when Islam is defeated and left back in the 14th century where it belongs.

    March 17, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nationalist

    Islam evolves with time and its principles transcend both time and space since the message of Islam is from a pefect creator. The problem is not Islam in Somalia. The problem is with the telecom giants inside Somalia whose management wear the shirts of Islamism, the problem is with the business man that import expired rice and pasta and feed it with the masses and disguise themselves as Islamist, the problem is the Hawal business owners that replaced the formal banking sector that would be obselete once a formal government is stablished, the problem is with the business people are using the airports and ports of the public under the disguise of Islam and Islamism to thwart every government, and the problem is the African mercenaries and Arab mercenaries in the name of government and troops, and private entrepreneurs that profit from the destruction of Somalia including Ethiopia and Kenya that both benefit from the huge money the Somalis put inside them and the donor countries put into them for refugees and UN headquaters that funnel money inside these countries.
    If Somalia stabilises them all those resources will be cut and those countries will be vanquishing in dispair and the humantarian pornography they used to be in.Please donor countries stop this massive investments and impose weapons sansction on this countries including Kenya and Ethiopia. Monitor them. They are part of the problem.They might look like friends but they are some of the elements of distability in the region not jut Eriterea.

    March 19, 2010 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mad Somalilander

    May advice for the Israeli government is to stay away from the Somali business. Forget about recognizing us. We are one people why do you want to divide us. We have already beein divided by Britain and our people submitted to Abyssian and Kikuyo salavery in the NFD and Western Somalia. The whiteman has already cut off the Somali cost of France off us too. What more do you want from us. For eighteen years you had been pitting one of us against the other through your official spy network of Humantarian Aid agancies. What more do you want from us. We are cold, tired, hungry, and stateless. Please leave us alone and when we get tried we will sit down under the tree and invoke our traditional ways of governance and we will achieve that.

    March 19, 2010 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Somalian Millitary boy...

    This is enough for fighting each other, for hating each other. This is the time that Somalian people understand the truth and meaning for living. The world left as for sub-Sahara, No one cares for Somali people, even the countries that we are under some religion. The ignorance and uneducated people are the major source that Somali country pured it's self under ground. This is the time that we dig and wake up from them under that ignorant and sleeping.

    The time that Somalian woke up is the time that we eliminate our local and international terrorist and selfish enemies.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |