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Vol 49 No 25

Published 12th December 2008


Somalia

A sheikh returns to the fray

As Islamist militias prepare for a final strike on Mogadishu, another Islamist leader signs a power-sharing deal and talks of peace

The return of Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to Mogadishu following the signing of a power-sharing agreement in Djibouti on 26 November will shape the coming stuggle for control of the Somali capital. Sheikh Sharif’s Islamic Courts Union (ICU) was ousted by the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government in December 2006. Now he has signed a power-sharing deal with his former opponents in the TFG at a critical moment: this month, the Islamist Al Shabaab militia is consolidating a string of military successes that put it within striking distance of Mogadishu.

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