Somali opposition leaders unite against Ethiopia
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The Citizens Charter Group is pleased to release the millennium edition of the "Citizens Charter for a Democratic Ethiopia". An Amharic translation is provided for the first time, and translations in other major Ethiopian languages shall follow soon.
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ASMARA, Sept 6, 2007 - Somali opposition figures, including top Islamist leaders, opened a 10-day congress in Eritrea Thursday with a call for a swift withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from their war-torn country.
Some 400 delegates gathered in the Eritrean capital for the meeting, which came exactly a week after the close of a clan reconciliation conference sponsored by the interim government and the international community in Mogadishu.
(Picture - Militant Somali Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys (C) attends opening of a meeting of Somali opposition figures in Asmara September 6, 2007)
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Sheikh Hassan Aweys, the overall leader of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) that briefly controlled large swathes of Somalia before being ousted earlier this year by Ethiopian-backed government forces, was present at the gathering.
The Islamist movement's other top leader, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, urged Ethiopia to pull its troops out of Somalia and criticised its US ally in his opening speech. "We hold this conference to establish a political organisation that liberates the country and ends the violence and chaotic situation," he said.
"We call upon Ethiopia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Somalia and stop its imperialistic adventure on our territory," the senior ICU leader added.(More...)
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(Turmi, Ethiopia - Hamer man)
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