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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Somali opposition leader ends exile

Tue, 31 Mar 2009 18:01:57 GMT | PressTV

Aweys has has quit self-imposed exile in Eritrea for neighbouring Sudan.

Somalia's opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys might soon return to Mogadishu after quitting self-imposed exile in Eritrea.


Local Somali media reported on Tuesday that Aweys was now in the Sudanese capital Khartoum and held talks with two senior Sudanese officials.

They added that he was expected to leave Khartoum for Mogadishu later to offer his support to President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's new administration.


As a former chairman of the Islamic Courts Union, Aweys worked alongside with Ahmed and they later founded the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia.


Somali lawmakers convened in Djibouti in January and elected Ahmed as president to succeed embattled Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who failed to end conflicts in the violence-ravaged nation.


Reuters quoted a close ally of Aweys in Mogadishu as saying that he was expected to arrive in the Somali capital within two weeks.


One senior Somali source in Sudan confirmed Aweys was in the country, and said it was possible Ahmed might travel to Khartoum to meet him there. He gave no other details.


Aweys is on the US list of foreign terrorists. However, he has categorically denied the US claims that he has links to al-Qaeda and is opposed to Ahmed's government.

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