Norway minister pushes al-Shabaab links / News / The Foreigner

Norway minister pushes al-Shabaab links. A solution to Somalia’s catastrophic famine will have to involve the country’s hard-line militants, believes Norway’s Environment and International Development Minister, Erik Solheim. “Al-Shabaab controls large parts of Somalia, so getting help in means engaging in a dialogue them,” he told NRK after his recent meeting with Somalia’s President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohammed. His comments echo those made by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in July, who said that, “there has been no contact-line against groups like al-Shabaab so far. I believe we now have to reconsider.”

eriksolheim, al-shabaabnegotiations, somaliafamine, somalipiracy



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01:43:42 — Monday, 23rd October, 2017

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Norway minister pushes al-Shabaab links

Published on Monday, 12th September, 2011 at 20:51 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Lyndsey Smith      .
Last Updated on 13th September 2011 at 08:50.

A solution to Somalia’s catastrophic famine will have to involve the country’s hard-line militants, believes Norway’s Environment and International Development Minister, Erik Solheim.

Erik Solheim and Mukhtar Ainashe
Erik Solheim talking with Norwegian-Somali Mukhtar Ainashe, advisor to Somali President Sheik Sharif Ahmed Erik Solheim and Mukhtar Ainashe
Photo: Anne Vinding, UD/Flickr


“Al-Shabaab controls large parts of Somalia, so getting help in means engaging in a dialogue them,” he told NRK after his recent meeting with Somalia’s President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohammed.

His comments echo those made by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in July, who said that, “there has been no contact-line against groups like al-Shabaab so far. I believe we now have to reconsider.”

African expert at the International Law and Policy Institute, Kjetil Tronvoll, also advocates talking to the group.

“They managed to introduce law and order in their areas and therefore gain a certain amount of popularity.”

The extremist Islamic organisation, which stoned a homosexual to death in 2010, is regarded as a terrorist faction by several western governments and security services. Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) announced it suspected five Norwegian-Somalis of being involved with al-Shabaab.

It is also believed the group, in a country with an active and violent pirate industry, has possible indirect links with weapons smuggling funded by Norwegian aid, a report from the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia shows.

Nevertheless, Erik Solheim argues that talking purely with people “like Mother Theresa” is not the answer to creating a functioning Somali state without famine.

Against the backdrop of several failed peace efforts, he also thinks the dire hunger could influence the peace process in some way.

“I believe the chances of a broad, political solution in Somalia are good. There are extremists that cannot be a part of this solution, but there is major support for a unifying policy. Even though we cannot imagine the colossal, national catastrophe that Somalia is now going through, it could contribute to consolidating the country.”




Published on Monday, 12th September, 2011 at 20:51 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Lyndsey Smith      .
Last updated on 13th September 2011 at 08:50.

This post has the following tags: eriksolheim, al-shabaabnegotiations, somaliafamine, somalipiracy.



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