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Militia Chief Rejects U.N. Peace Talk Plans

July 26, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

The leader of the Islamic militia that has taken hold of southern Somalia rebuffed a U.N. plan for peace talks with the government, saying he will not negotiate until the government expels Ethiopian troops.

Somalian government leaders and Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry have denied that Ethiopian soldiers are in Somalia, but many witnesses have confirmed their presence.

The statement by Islamic militia leader Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys was the latest downward turn in an increasingly difficult international effort to negotiate peace between the powerful Islamic militants and the weak government, which has international support but no military.

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