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Thursday, August 11, 2011
Somalia offers rebels amnesty
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia offered an amnesty to militants still fighting in the capital Mogadishu Tuesday, three days after the country's president declared victory over the insurgent al Shabaab group, which has withdrawn most of its combatants from the city.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 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 9,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force, known as AMISOM, urged the deployment of an additional 3,000 troops to help it secure the neighborhoods vacated by al Shabaab.