Somalia’s president denies talks with Al Shabaab underway

Somalia’s president denies talks with Al Shabaab underway
Somalia’s president denies talks with Al Shabaab underway


Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has denied that the authorities have opened a process of talks with Al Shabaab, linked to the terrorist organisation Al Qaeda, although he has left the door open for such contacts to take place in the future.

“As of today, there are no talks underway and there is still nothing to talk about,” the president said, following reports in local media about this possibility, which had previously been ruled out by Somalia’s National Security Adviser, Hussein Sheikh Ali.

“If God wills and there is something (…) that we can agree on, we will talk to them,” Mohamud reiterated, according to the Somali news portal Garowe Online. Ali recently stated that among the conditions for these talks are that the party “cut all ties with global terrorist groups and accept the territorial integrity of Somalia.”

“They must be willing to pursue their political agenda peacefully,” said Sheikh Ali. Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Dhere has repeatedly stressed that he is not open to negotiating with the Somali authorities, whom he considers to be “puppets” without legitimacy.

Somalia has in recent months stepped up offensives against Al Shabaab with the support of clans and local militias as part of a series of decisions taken by the president, who promised upon taking office in May 2022 to put the fight against terrorism at the heart of his efforts to stabilise the African country.

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