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Shaky peace accord in Somalia

Monday, the government and an opposition bloc signed a UN-brokered peace deal. But Tuesday, Islamist hard-liners said they would continue to fight.

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The government and Islamist militias in Somalia, who have been waging an insurgency for more than two years, reached a peace agreement on Monday, even though violence had spiked in the capital city over the weekend, prompting fears that the fragile peace might not hold. A leader of the former ruling Union of Islamic Courts also said Tuesday that his group rejected the accord.

Agence France-Presse reports that the deal, brokered by the United Nations in Djibouti, included the Somali government and its main political opponents, but not members of the hard-line opposition.

Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein and Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) chief Sheikh Sharif Ahmed signed the accord at the ceremony witnessed by the Arab League, the African Union, the European Union, the United States and Saudi Arabia.
The ARS is an opposition umbrella group dominated by Islamists and based in the Eritrean capital of Asmara.
While some Islamist leaders and influential clan leaders joined the talks, other hardline Islamists, insisting the mediation was biased, have maintained their call for an Ethiopian withdrawal before any talks.

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