Top Somali Islamist leader lashes U.S. policy
MOGADISHU, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, a radical Islamist leader in Somalia, on Saturday strongly attacked U.S. foreign policy towards the war-torn Horn of Africa country, two days after Somali President met with U.S. Secretary of State in Nairobi, Kenya.
Aweys, leader of the Hezbul Islam (Islamic Party), condemned what he termed as the U.S.’s hostile policy based on double standards on Somalia issue since the fall of the late Somali ruler Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1990.
In a statement issued in Mogadishu, the firebrand leader said he expected there would be a change in the U.S. policy towards Somalia under the new leadership of the current President Barack Obama.
But, the statement said “as things stand now, this administration still follows its predecessor’s same policy of creating internal division among Somali people, support of the foreign agents and warlords”.
The statement by Aweys, wanted by the U.S. for links with international terrorism, comes two days after the meeting between Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and U.S. top diplomat Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of a U.S.-Africa economic forum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Clinton pledged U.S.’s full support for the Somali government led by President Ahmed and condemned Islamist rebels in Somalia who are trying to topple the internationally recognized government.
Clinton also warned Eritrea of arming insurgent movements in Somalia, threatening action against Asmara if it did not stop. Eritrea categorically denies the allegations.