Somali government offers amnesty deal to militants

AP News
Posted: Aug 09, 2011 9:29 AM
Somali government offers amnesty deal to militants

Somalia's government says it is offering amnesty to militants in the capital who renounce violence, two days after the fighters withdrew from most of their bases.

In a statement Tuesday the government said al-Shabab's retreat from their bases in the capital over the weekend was a step forward. The al-Qaida-linked group had blocked some aid to famine victims in the capital, but the government says humanitarian agencies are now welcome.

The statement says special forces will maintain law and order in the areas deserted by the militants, "until Somali police can fully take over."

Somalia has been a failed state for more than 20 years. Its lawless wastes are a haven for pirates and international terrorists, and the years of conflict have caused two major famines, including this one.