Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store has said that the time is ripe to open negotiations with the banned Islamist terror group Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
“A hunger disaster of this magnitude in Somalia makes it necessary to enter into a dialogue with al-Shabaab” he told Dagsavisen yesterday.
“So far, there has been no contact-line against groups like al-Shabaab, which apparently are in control in parts of the country that has been hit hard. I believe we now have to reconsider.”
Al-Shabaab is the hardline Islamist group that took control of parts of Somalia after the country’s government effectively collapsed in the early 1990s. Although the government retains control of most of the capital, Mogadishu, the majority of the country is ruled under Sharia law by Islamic extremists.
Humanitarian conditions in Somalia are amongst the worst in the world, with Norwegian media facing criticism for not reporting this.