12/11/06 (B369) BBC Somalia peace deal ‘irrelevant’ (En anglais / Info lectrice)

Mr Adan
(R) appears at odds with the government on several issues Somalia’s transitional
government has dismissed as irrelevant an agreement struck between a group
of Somali MPs and the Union of Islamic Courts.

Spokesman
Abdirahman Dinari said the MPs – led by parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh
Adan – did not have a mandate to negotiate.

The MPs
went to Mogadishu a week ago after Arab League mediation efforts in the Sudanese
capital Khartoum failed.

The seven-point
agreement called on both sides to agree to return to talks.

It also
pledged to maintain an arms embargo and prevent any foreign interference in
Somalia.

However,
the transitional government – which has little influence outside the town
of Baidoa where it is based – has called for the arms embargo to be lifted
and for a foreign peacekeeping force to protect it.

The Islamists
have taken control of most of southern Somalia since seizing the capital,
Mogadishu, in June.

‘Unacceptable’

The deal
was struck late on Friday in Mogadishu. The government responded after a cabinet
meeting the next day.

“The
government does not accept this initiative,” Mr Dinari told the Associated
Press news agency. “It is totally unacceptable.”

“Reconciliation
is the task of the government,” he added.

The deal
is an attempt to prevent war between militias loyal to the Union of Islamic
Courts and the fragile government.

Ibrahim
Hassan Adow, the Islamic Courts spokesman for foreign affairs, said: “This
is a first step, and we are headed for peace.”

The two
parties called on the transitional government to back the deal.

Somalia
has been in the grip of warlords and militias for years and has not had a
functioning national government since 1991.