6 May 2009

Somalia: Aweys' Advisor Accuses Security Minister of 'Inciting War'

A political advisor to Somali opposition figure Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys has accused Somali Security Minister Omar Hashi of "inciting war" in the capital Mogadishu, Radio Garowe reports.

Abdulkadir Mohamud Dhakane, the political advisor to Sheikh Aweys, made the comment while in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.).

"Omar Hashi is using his mouth to incite war in Mogadishu and he is known for this," Mr. Dhakane said, adding: "In the early 1990s, he [Hashi] was among those who started the [civil] war that cost lives and property and he was on the side of Ali Mahdi."

But the Security Minister denied the accusations, telling reporters Tuesday that he is "surprised" by Mr. Dhakane's comments.

"I know Dhakane very well and we were in Eritrea together...he was a troublemaker who divided the Alliance," Security Minister Hashi said, while referring to the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS).

The Eritrea-based ARS divided into two camps in mid-2008, with the camp led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed joining the peace process and the opposition group led by Sheikh Aweys rejecting the peace talks.

Security Minister Hashi, who was part of Sheikh Sharif's ARS camp, reiterated earlier accusations that the Eritrean government imported weapons into Somalia.

Unconfirmed reports from U.A.E. tell Garowe Online that arrangements are being made to hold face-to-face talks between representatives from the Somali government and the ARS opposition faction.

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