18/03/08 (B439) Le leader des tribunaux islamiques somaliens refuse d’engager des discussions avec le Gouvernement, tant que les forces éthiopiennes seront sur le territoire. Somalia’s ICU rejects talks with gov’t (Info lecteur – En Anglais)

The Leader of Somali’s Islamic Courts Union (ICU) has rejected talks with the interim government to end insurrectionary attacks.

Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein said last Wednesday that his government was ready to negotiate with opposition groups to end a 15-month insurgency against government troops and their Ethiopian military allies.

Calling for international mediation led by the United Nations’ special envoy to Somalia, Hussein said the government was willing to hold talks in any location to end fighting that local aid groups said had killed 6,500 people last year.

Islamic Courts Union’s leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys dismissed the offer, saying his movement and its fighters did not recognize the government of the war-ravaged country.

"Our fight is against Ethiopia and as long as they are there, Somalis cannot have dialogue," he said by phone from Eritrea, where he is living in exile after fleeing Somalia last year.

Aweys added he recognized Prime Minister Hussein as "a humble and peace lover” man, but he was “very sorry that he (the Premier) has placed himself in this position."