president said on Monday that Somali delegates attending a
reconciliation conference in his country should try to set
up a provisional government to bring peace to the war-torn
Omar Guelleh, on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, told
a news conference that unlike previous Somali peace meetings,
the current conference stood a good chance of success because
warlords seen as responsible for the country's destruction
were not attending the meeting.
must be a temporary, provisional central government to secure
the country and bring about stability," Guelleh said.
is the objective (of the conference)," he added. Guelleh last
week opened the talks at the hillside resort of Arta, some
40 kms (25 miles) south of the capital Djibouti, with the
participation of about 300 traditional and community leaders
from around the country.
has been without a central government since former dictator
Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991 and the power vacuum
has been filled by clan-based militia leaders fighting to
expand their personal fiefdoms.
have since signed numerous peace deals, but all have failed
either because some factions were excluded from the start
or because signatories resumed fighting almost as soon as
the ink had dried.
initiative, which banks on Somalia's civil society and tribal
leaders, came after warlords failed in 12 meetings to bring
the situation in the country under control," Guelleh said.
a provisional Somali government with a provisional parliament
recognised and backed by the international community could
incorporate the warlords, either by joining it directly or
through relatives who would represent them.
assessment, if there was a provisional government and provisional
parliament supported by the international community, the warlords
-- who belong to the tribes -- can join the parliament or
have relatives in the government or parliament," Guelleh said.
Somali refugees in Djibouti made up around 20 percent of the
country's 600,000 people. "Since ten years, we are living
with Somali refugees who live in our country.
a small country with limited resources and the burden is quite
heavy," he complained. "But the biggest sufferers are those
in Somalia," he added.