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Wasiir British ah oo tegey Soomaaliya

 

Xoghayaha Iskaashiga Caalamiga ah ee Britain, Hilary Benn, ayaa maanta booqasho ku tegey dalka Soomaaliya.

Magaalada Waajid oo uu ka dhul billaabay ayuu kula kulmay, mas'uuliyiinta degaankaas oo uu korkacayay Guddoomiye ku xigeen degmdada, Cabdi Maxamed Garas.

Garas wuxuu BBC-da u sheegay in Xoghayuhu uu soo booqday goobaha ay ku sugan yihiin dadka ku bara kacay abaarta.

Waa markii ugu horreysay ee Wasiir buuxa oo ka tirsan dowladda Britain uu booqdo Soomaaliya tan iyo markii ay burburtay dowladdii dhexe horraantii 1991.

Socdaalka Xoghayaha waxaa ku wehliya Madax ka tirsan xafiiska Qaramada Midoobay ee Soomaaliya.

Britain sees no evidence US behind Somalia violence

NAIROBI (Reuters) - A British government minister said on Wednesday he had seen no evidence to substantiate accusations Washington was funding Mogadishu warlords in a battle with Islamic militia.

Some 250 people have died in three bouts of fighting this year between militia linked to Islamic courts in Mogadishu and a self-styled anti-terrorism coalition of warlords believed by many to be funded by the United States.

"There is now a ceasefire in Mogadishu and I hope very much that it is going to sustain," International Development Secretary Hilary Benn told reporters after a visit to Somalia, referring to a lull in the latest and worst flare-up that killed some 150 people.

Commenting on accusations from the Islamic militia that Washington is backing the warlords, charges given credence by many analysts, Benn said: "I am aware that people have made those comments ... I haven't seen any evidence myself."

U.S. officials believe the anarchic Horn of Africa nation, without central government since 1991, is a potential haven for Islamic extremists. And coalition members say the Islamic courts are sheltering al Qaeda-linked militants.

The United States has not confirmed or denied the claims, but said it would support groups in Somalia fighting terrorism.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said earlier in Washington "there is concern about the presence of foreign terrorists, particularly al Qaeda, within Somalia right now."

"In an environment of instability, as we've seen in the past, al Qaeda may take root, and we want to make sure that al Qaeda does not in fact establish a beachhead in Somalia," he said.

INTERIM GOVERNMENT

Benn met the president of Somalia's interim government, Abdullahi Yusuf, during Wednesday's visit to Baidoa, a provincial town where the administration is based due to insecurity in the capital, Mogadishu.

"I don't think the fighting that has been taking place in Mogadishu undermines the importance of working to make the transitional government a success," said Benn, the first British minister to visit Somalia since 1993.

Yusuf's government is the 14th attempt to restore central rule since former dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.

Benn, who left Nairobi on Wednesday night after an east African trip that also took him to Uganda, said he had discussed Kenya's corruption issues with President Mwai Kibaki.

"Kenya is now facing a moment of truth in the fight against corruption," he said of a slew of corruption scandals that have tainted top officials this year and dented the reputation of Kibaki, who came to power in 2002 vowing to root out graft.

Benn said he had also expressed concern to Kibaki over a threat from Internal Security Minister John Michuki that he would be prepared to authorize another strike on local media, similar to a controversial raid on the Standard Group in March.

U.S. Counter-Terror Role in Somalia Unclear

WASHINGTON White House press secretary Tony Snow said Wednesday the United States is working with "regional and international partners" to keep Al Qaeda from establishing itself in northeastern Africa, but would not say whether that included warlords in Somalia.

Snow cited Somalia's lack of a functioning government and said Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network uses such chaotic situations to establish terrorist training centers and bases. Somalia is just across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen and the Saudi Peninsula.

Two weeks ago, Somalia's transitional president said in Sweden that he believed the United States was bankrolling an alliance of warlords, the same people whose armed gangs are keeping Somalia ungovernable.

Asked Wednesday whether the United States was working with warlords, Snow said he had to speak carefully.

"You've got instability in Somalia right now, and there is concern about the presence of foreign terrorists, particularly Al Qaeda, within Somalia right now," he said.

"In an environment of instability, as we've seen in the past, Al Qaeda may take root, and we want to make sure that Al Qaeda does not in fact establish a beachhead in Somalia."

Snow said the United States "will continue to work with regional and international partners wherever we can to crack down on terrorism and also to try to prevent its rising."


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