26/04/08 (B445) ALL AFRICA / Selon le porte-parole des tribunaux islamiques, des déserteurs de l’Armée du GNT auraient rejoint avec armes et bagages les forces islamiques – Somalia: Government Soldiers? Surrender to the Islamists – Spokesman (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)

The spokesman of the Islamic courts union sheikh Ibrahim Suley has announced that several soldiers with armed vehicle deserted from Somali government have given in their islamist fighters on Friday.

Is a telephone news conference he held for the local media Sheikh Suley has stated that unnumbered soldiers with gunship vehicle have give in to the Islamic courts and he added that would be parts of the Islamic fighters fighting against Somali government and Ethiopian troops in Somalia.

He further said that the defected soldiers from the TFG couldn’t endure a plight they faced from the government that caused them to run off from the government as he put it.

The fighting was one of the fiercest in the Islamist stronghold of northern Mogadishu where the government and its Ethiopian allies are trying to flush out the remnants of a sharia courts movement ousted from the capital at the end of 2006.

He lastly called for the government troops to unite with their fighters.

“We call for them to repent for Allah and join in the Islamic revolution” he heatedly said.

The surrendered troops were parts of Heliwa district soldiers where one of the heaviest battles between the Ethiopian allied government troops and armed islamist fighters occurred last week that left more than one hundred and wounded hundreds of others.

The interim administration is struggling to contain deepening Islamist-led deadly battles involving near-daily attacks on allied Somali-Ethiopian troops.

The Horn of Africa nation of nine million people has suffered constant violence since the 1991 fall of a military dictator. Ethiopia sent thousands of troops in 2006 to help the Western-backed interim government oust Islamists from Mogadishu.

Saying it was impossible to verify facts on the ground without a permanent U.N. presence, Ould-Abdallah called for the world body’s mainly Kenyan-based offices dealing with Somalia to be moved into the country, with proper security.

« We cannot, for 18 years, be sitting in Nairobi and say we will work on Somalia … by remote control, » he said.

« Either we move closer to the victims of abuse, of violence, of drought, of famine … Or we give up on Somalia and devote these resources to other places. »

The envoy saw little prospect of a U.N. peacekeeping force in Somalia until there was internal political progress.

« This will not happen if we don’t have a group of Somalis who have the courage to sit together and make that minimum agreement, » he said. « The U.N. has so many things on its plate. They are requested and welcome in many other places, so I don’t see them rushing to Somalia unless there is minimum stability. »

A small 1,800-strong African Union force, mainly Ugandans, has done little to stem violence in Somalia, though it has won plaudits for providing medical care and securing areas like Mogadishu’s port and presidential palace.

Ould-Abdallah said the awkward truth was that some Somali leaders were « comfortable » with perpetuating war for selfish motives, despite the immense suffering to the population.

He criticised the international community for its « neglect, terrible abandonment » of Somalia, particularly on failing to pursue justice for war crimes as it had done in places like Ivory Coast, Cambodia or former Yugoslavia.

« I have not seen anyone put on the blacklist … or sanctions against criminals and their foreign associates, people sending weapons, » he said