most prestigious cleric, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mohamed Sayed
Tantawi, on Monday called on Somali factions to seek ways
of ending war and realizing national reconciliation and peace,
Egypt's Middle East News Agency reported.
war has destroyed state institutions and the economy of Somalia
and resulted in displacement of hundreds of thousands of people,
who face oppression and tyranny, Tantawi said in a message
to Djiboutian Foreign Minister Ali Abdi Fareh.
is hosting a Somali reconciliation conference. A group of
influential people exploited the war for more influence and
wealth at the expense of innocent children and women, Tantawi
said, adding that such chaotic situation would provide foreign
powers with the opportunity to tear up Somalia for their expansionist
Somalis and their Arab and Muslim brothers should cooperate
in order to achieve the peace aims," he stressed. Somalia
has been in division since 1991 when the former president,
Siad Barre, was toppled.
President Ismael Omar Guelleh proposed last year an initiative,
calling on the Somali warlords to disarm, turn their factions
into political parties, and to submit to the authority of
a formal legal system.
this peace plan, a Somali reconciliation conference opened
in Djibouti on May 2. Some 460 representatives of the civil
society, including university professors, intellectuals, writers
and tribal leaders took part in the gathering.
of the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity,
the European Union, Egypt and the United States also attended
the conference. The Grand Iman described the Somali peace
conference as "a precious opportunity for Somalia and its
people to pass out of the debacle."
the efforts exerted by Djibouti for this noble end. All Arab
and Islamic countries must support Djibouti in order to achieve
this aim," Tantawi said. Al-Azhar is Egypt's leading Muslim
authority and the highest seat of Sunni Islamic studies in