The Somali government on Saturday said the al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group al-Shabaab requested to open negotiations with the government for the first time.
Somalia’s Deputy Defense Minister Abdifatah Qasim said al-Shabaab terrorists do not have a chance to negotiate with the government, except for Somali nationals who are members of the terror group.
“There are two groups within al-Shabab. The first part is the foreigners, and the second part the local Somalis who are in the group. Those locals have a chance to open up negotiations, but those foreigners who invaded our country have no right for talks. The only option is to return to where they are from,” Qasim announced.
His remarks came in a news conference in the capital Mogadishu, a day after the terrorist organization launched a deadly attack on the government forces in the village of Hilowle Gaab in the southern Middle Shabelle region.
The attack is the second-biggest attack by the group since the beginning of the year.
On Wednesday, the terror group attacked the town of Mahas in the Hiran province, leaving more than 35 people dead.
Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with al-Shabaab being one of the main threats.
It has waged a deadly campaign against the Somali government and international forces since at least 2007, claiming thousands of lives.
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