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Botswana Supports New Somali Leader


Botswana's foreign minister, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe, has expressed government's support for ongoing efforts to restore central authority, peace and stability in Somalia.

Representatives of various political parties and clans in Somalia, which has been stateless since the 1991 ouster of President Mohammed Siad Barre, recently elected Abdiqasim Salad Hassan as president during a peace conference in Djibouti.

"I hope that the people of Somalia will rally around the new president to bring peace and stability that they have been yearning for," state-owned Botswana Daily News Tuesday quoted the minister as saying.

He added that Somali refugees in Botswana were entirely free to return home once they feel the situation that forced them to seek asylum had been reversed. Botswana currently hosts about 1,000 Somali refugees.


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