MOGADISHU - Somalia offered an amnesty to
militants still fighting in the capital Mogadishu on Tuesday,
three days after the country's president declared victory over
the insurgent al-Shabaab group, which has withdrawn most of its
combatants from the city.
It was the first time the interim government, which has
struggled to quash a four-year Islamist rebellion, had offered
immunity to al-Shabaab fighters.
"The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia has offered
a general amnesty to insurgent fighters remaining in Mogadishu
who give themselves up and renounce violence," the government
said in a statement.
Some experts say al-Shabaab's pull-out merely extends the
government's hold on the capital by a few districts, but will do
little to bring tangible peace to the rest of the anarchic
country and may herald a new wave of al Qaeda-inspired attacks.
The amnesty did not appear to extend to al-Shabaab fighters
outside the capital. The al-Qaida-affiliated militants control
much of southern Somalia where 2.8 million people face
starvation because of drought and conflict.