Yet another classic BBC article on Somalia. The headline says ‘Somalis urged to meet Islamists’. The automatic implication being that the UIC ‘islamists’ are not genuine Somalis but people from somewhere else. The US ambassador gives an exclusive interview to the BBC urging the ‘transitional government’ to hold talks with moderates in the Islamist movement.
‘Mr Ranneberger told the BBC that among extremists there were moderate elements who should be included in dialogue. He named the co-figurehead of the organisation, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. "Anyone inside Somalia who renounces terrorism, extremism and violence, should have a role to play in the future of the country," he said’.
The only context given is of Government troops backed by Ethiopian soldiers ousting the UIC from power. The backing by weapons and intelligence by the USA again passes unmentioned. No doubt the US wants to split the UIC up and have some of them join the transitional government, as long as they allow the US to do what it wants in the country. The US is made to look like it is urging reconciliation whilst continuing to carry out military operations in the region. This military action is not mentioned at all and neither are the earlier attacks against alleged ‘Al-Qaeda elements’ by US gunships that left hundreds of innocent people dead. The BBC continues to use its powers of access to take US propaganda and pass it off as a news article. Still no reply to my earlier complaint (see 'analysing BBC reporting of US airstrikes in Somalia' post below) to the Beeb about it's ridiculous and shameful reporting on Somalia. Even official complaints are like water off a duck's back at the moment.