Garowe Online (Garowe)

17 November 2009

Somalia: Ahlu-Sunnah Wal-Jama Slams President's Remarks

Somalia's Ahlu Sunnah Wal-Jama has condemned remarks made by Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, terming it as insult to the group.

In an interview with BBC Somali Service, President Ahmed describe the group as any another armed militia fighting in his war-torn country.

Sheikh Omar Sheikh Mohammed Farah, Ahlu-Sunnah's chairman slammed the remarks as an insult to his group.

"President Sheikh Sharif has openly ignored our existence, describing us as guerrillas just like Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam," he said in a press conference.

Sheikh Farah called on the president to apologize within 48-hours or else his group will take unspecified action against the Somali government.

In the interview, President Sharif stated that there are on-going talks with pro-government group in joining his administration, a statement which the group's leader rejected and termed it as lies.

The group's leader said they will formally lodged their complains and agreement with TFG to the parliament, urging parliamentarians to respond about the president's remarks.

It is the first time the group, which declared its support to the fragile UN-backed transition government, to strongly criticize the government.

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