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Somali govt. signs agreement with non-militant group
Monday, March 18, 2013
The recently signed agreement will now see the Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaa surrender all its forces and weapons to the federal government and its forces integrated into the country’s military.
Authorities in Mogadishu have in the past years stepped up their campaign to liberate the entire region from the control of Al-Shabaab fighters. Ahlu Sunaah has maintained the control of that region for the past couple of years after ousting Al-Shabaab fighters.
Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon beleives that the agreement can help secure the central regions of Somalia. The Premier has in the past days travelled to several regions in the country on a fact finding mission and to promote his new administration.
With a permanent government in place for the first time in more than two decades, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s administration is moving to resume administrations in southern and central regions under a federal system of governance. Analysts view the agreement with the group as a major step for the government to spread its authority outside the capital.
In 2009, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaa renounced its former non-violent stance, took up arms, and emerged as one of the country's key players in fighting Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam groups.
Formed in 1991 after the fall of the central government, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaa has for many years now protected Sufi Muslims in the Horn of African nation.
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