Somalia: Big Welcome for Islamist Chief in Central SomaliaSomali's Obama...Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
Crowds of people gathered at a small airstrip in the central Somali town of Beletwein Tuesday to welcome a delegation led by Islamic Courts Union (ICU) executive chief, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
ICU officials, including regional head Sheikh Abdirahman Ibrahim Ma'ow, were present at Ugas Khalif Airport in Beletwein, the provincial capital of Hiran region.
Sheikh Sharif's delegation includes senior representatives from the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), an exiled opposition coalition that includes Islamists and ex lawmakers.
The ARS delegation was quickly ushered to Hotel Medina, where they are holding back to-back meetings with ICU officials, traditional elders and community leaders.