Politicians in the tiny Red Sea republic of Djibouti will dip into their own pockets to fund a new peace initiative for neighboring wartorn Somalia, a government minister said on Sunday.

Djibouti energy minister Mohamed Ali Mohamed, who is secretary of the ruling People's Rally for Progress, said on Sunday that government ministers would contribute $112 a month, and members of parliament $56 to a Solidarity Fund for Somalia.

He called on other Djiboutians to support the fund, which aims to weaken the power of Somalia's warlords and find compromises between rival clans.

"We call for a Somalia peace conference to be held in Djibouti later this year," he told a public meeting in the former French colony.

Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who took office last year, launched the peace move for Somalia, which has had no central government since January 1991.

He received support from the president of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, who visited Djibouti last week. Somaliland -- which has not been recognized internationally -- covers the area of the former British Somaliland, which joined the former Italian Somalia in 1960 to form the independent Republic of Somalia.

Somaliland declared itself independent in 1991 after Somalia President Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown and the country's central government collapsed.

While Somaliland, bordering the Gulf of Aden, has its own central government based in Hargeisa, the southern half of Somalia is divided between rival clan-based fiefdoms.


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