Somali president says he is ‘not in a position to negotiate with Al-Shabaab’

Somali president

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on Tuesday his administration is not in a position to begin negotiations with Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab to end the group’s nearly two decades-long insurgency.

In a speech at Seta think-tank in Ankara, Somali President said his government had introduced a new policy based on military, economic and ideological war aimed at eliminating Al-Shabaab.

There were previous containment and degradation policies that failed to end the group’s insurgency campaign and its growing strength, he added.

Al-Shabaab controls Somalia’s rural areas where 70% of the population lives that enables it to collect revenue in order to be able to finance its operations, Mohamud said in his speech, stressing it is not the right time to negotiate with the Al-Qaeda-affiliate.

There are strong arguments among the international partners and some of the Somali intellectuals who say that historically this type of war never ends militarily. May be true. We’ve no problem,” he said.

we are not right now in a position to negotiate with Al-Shabaab, we will [do so] at the right time. We will negotiate with them and we will finish [the conflict] peacefully.”

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