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Somali government demands extradition of courts leader

Jan 23, 2007 (NAIROBI) — The Somali transitional federal government asked the Kenya government to hand over a top official of the now vanquished Islamic Courts Union, Sheikh Sharif Ahmad.

The federal government was however, quick to add that it only wants to dialogue with individuals of the ousted ICU including Sheikh Ahmad.

Addressing a press conference in Nairobi, Somalia’s Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi said the transitional federal government has now gained full control of the whole of Somalia.

Speaking for the first time since his government secured Somalia from the Islamic Courts Union, Gedi emphasizes that the Transitional Federal Government has no intention of going after leaders of the radical union that have lately been American targets.

Sheikh Sharif Ahmad currently in police custody in Nairobi, surrendered to Kenyan authorities on Sunday 21 January.

Somalia’s fragile government ousted the Islamists with the help of Ethiopia forces playing a major role.

The prime minister is in Nairobi to hold talks with diplomats from the European Union and the Arab League over humanitarian assistance to the Somali population.

In Mo Mogadishu a Somali official has strongly reacted to remarks made by the EU regarding conditions pegged on financial assistance it was offering the proposed African Union peacekeeping force to Somalia.

The Somali government spokesperson, Abderahman Nur Mohamed Dinary, said his government was much disappointed by the statement from the EU commissioner in charge of aid and development, Louis Michel, who put conditionalities on EU funds meant for the African Union peacekeeping force for Somalia.

Among the EU conditions: sacked National Assembly Speaker, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, to be reinstated to his former job.

Dinary said the Somali government expected the EU to assist in areas of reconstruction and restoration of security in the country, and not to peg conditions for its aid. He said the government was able to do without a string-attached aid, terming the decision as being unfair.

(ST)

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