[QODLink]
Middle East
Somali Islamic leader in Yemen
Sheikh Sharif Ahmed is a senior leader of the defeated Union of Islamic Courts.
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2007 23:23 GMT
Washington views Ahmed as a moderate member of the UIC [AFP]
Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a senior leader of the defeated Somali movement, the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), has arrived in Yemen where officials said he would be allowed to stay.
 
Ahmed turned himself in to Kenyan forces at the Somali border in January after the UIC was routed by the interim Somali government backed by Ethiopian troops and the US.
Ahmed has since been in police custody at a Nairobi hotel.
 
The US views Ahmed as a moderate within the UIC who could help with national reconciliation in Somalia.
"He can stay as a guest and any request for asylum will be dealt with later," a Yemeni official said, adding that Ahmed was in the capital, Sanaa.
 
Reconciliation
 
The website of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling party said Yemen was hosting Ahmed as part of an accord between the governments of Yemen, Somalia and Kenya.
 
The agreement is part of "Yemen's efforts to achieve national reconciliation in Somalia and re-establish security and stability", a statement on the website said.
 
"Sheikh Sharif is a national Somali figure... who is convinced that dialogue is the best way of resolving the conflict in Somalia."
 
Some of his aides arrived in Yemen in early January, after the UIC was routed.
 
Since their defeat, the UIC have scattered to southern Somalia, and across to Kenya, some vowing a long guerrilla war.
 
Yemen, which has cracked down on Islamic hardliners in the country since the September 11 attacks, lies across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia and refugees often land on Yemeni shores.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.