A truce has been signed between warring Somali factions following talks in Sudan. The interim government of Somalia and the Islamic Courts movement which controls the capital Mogadishu have agreed to stop military campaigns, to recognise each other and to meet again next month.
The government which has little power and is based in the southern town of Baidoa recognised “the reality” of the Islamist group, which in turn acknowledged the “legality” of the government. Somalia’s foreign minister Abdullah Sheikh Ismael hailed the agreement, saying he was confident a solution would be found that would suit everyone. The deal followed Arab League-sponsored talks in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. The government has infuriated the Islamists by calling for international peacekeepers and saying Muslim fundamentalists around the world helped them seize Mogadishu earlier this month. It is hoped the document will avert a confrontation that could extend years of conflict in Somalia. Fighting in recent weeks has claimed hundreds of lives.