INTRODUCTION: An underground opposition group in Somalia -- opposed to the government of President Mohamed Siad Barre -- recently claimed responsibility for a series of bomb explosions in the country.
CU INTERIOR Colonel Yusuf speaking to newsmen.
SV Colonel Yusuf continues speaking.
SV Reporters listening. (2 SHOTS)
LV Colonel Yusuf continues speaking.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: An underground opposition group in Somalia -- opposed to the government of President Mohamed Siad Barre -- recently claimed responsibility for a series of bomb explosions in the country. The attacks were said to have been carried out by the little-known Somali Salvation Front (SOSAF). The men behind SOSAF is a former Somali army colonel, Abdullah Yusuf Ahmed, the only survivor of a group of officers who tried to topple President Barre from power in 1978. Colonel Yusuf was in Lebanon on Monday (30 March) where he spoke to a news conference about President Barre's policies:
SYNOPSIS: In Beirut, Colonel Yusuf criticised the Somali government for supporting the Camp David accord between Egypt and Israel. He said that SOSAF was against the establishment of United States military bases in Somalia and Kenya, and against all co-operation with the Egyptian regime.
The Colonel told reporters the Front had a large military capacity and had been in action many times against the troops of President Barre. Among the chief aims of the group was to make Arabic the official language of Somalia and to make Islamic law the basis of Somalia's constitution. Colonel Yusuf said the Salvation Front wanted Somalia to adopt a non-aligned foreign policy and to fight against colonialism. Zionism and racialism.
Colonel Yusuf's Somali Salvation Front receives support from neighbouring Ethiopia -- where it makes radio broadcasts -- and claims to have an army of 10,000 men.