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Monday, 1 July, 2002, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
Warlords reject Somali intervention
Somali gunmen
Somalis have been fighting since 1991
Warlords in Somalia have condemned the transitional government's call for military intervention by the international community.

On Sunday, the Transitional National Government (TNG) asked the United Nations Security Council for military intervention to disarm the factions supported by Ethiopia.


Somalis can resolve their differences amicably

Musa Sudi Yalahow, warlord
The BBC's Hassan Barise in Mogadishu says the move is an admission by the TNG that it has failed to impose its authority on the capital and the rest of the country.

Somalia has been the scene of violence by rival groups since 1991, when the regime of President Mohammed Siad Barre collapsed.

The TNG was established two years ago, after a national conference, but it is opposed by the country's main warlords.

It only controls parts of the capital and little territory elsewhere.

'Illegitimate'

Ministers accuse neighbouring Ethiopia of backing the warlords, who have recently made territorial gains. But Ethiopia's Government denies this.

"A self-appointed group can't come up with such a call. Somalis can resolve their differences amicably," Musa Sudi Yalahow told the French news agency, AFP.

"The only way we could accept an international force to come to Somalia is if they are going to disarm the terrorists and Abdulkassim Salat Hassan," he said.

President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan
President Salat controls little territory

The warlords accuse the TNG of President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan of being Muslim extremists.

"The so-called TNG claims to be the legitimate government of Somalia. If it were the government, why call for outside military intervention? Let them disarm the people," Hussein Mohamed Aideed, another warlord, told AFP.

On Saturday, the TNG asked the Transitional National Assembly (TNA) to approve its decision to appeal for external military intervention.

"The Somali government is unable to disarm the armed groups," the TNA's speaker, Abdalla Derrow Issak, said.

Our correspondent told the BBC's Network Africa programme that with this appeal, the government aims to demonstrate to the Somali people that it is working for the good of the country, and that there can be no government without disarmament.

But the last intervention by the international community ended in disaster nine years ago when United States soldiers were killed.

The US promptly withdrew its forces from Mogadishu and until last year's "war on terror" was unwilling to commit its troops abroad.

There was speculation last year that the US might intervene in Somalia if al-Qaeda members fled there from Afghanistan.


Politics

Terrorist haven?

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17 Jun 02 | Africa
29 May 02 | Africa
25 May 02 | Africa
24 May 02 | Africa
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