Somali National Peace Conference has hit deadlock, sources
close to the conference told IRIN.
examining proposals for a new national charter is deadlocked
on the method of appointment to the Transitional National
Council, with the Puntland delegates petitioning for elections
to be held on the basis of pre-civil war districts and all
others that they be held on the basis of clan.
is also divided opinion on whether the president should be
elected by the conference or by the Transitional National
of elders appointed to try and break the deadlock has been
deliberating since Tuesday. This week was supposed to be "a
week of decisions" to clear the way for the crucial formation
and election of the Transitional National Council, a prime
minister and president, but "political decisions are dragging",
according to IRIN's sources in Djibouti.
as a plenary session is reconvened, the conference is expected
to adopt a new national charter. It seems likely that the
conference will opt to use Baidoa as a temporary capital while
Mogadishu - devastated and affected by factional fighting
- will "be prepared", said the source.
regarding health, education and agriculture have been outlined
for the new government. Conference delegates are hoping that
a framework of governance will encourage absent political
and factional leaders to join the conference in the last stages.
Aideed, the faction leader from Mogadishu (and reportedly
in Yemen), is expected by many delegates to join the conference
soon. The original number at the conference in Djibouti has
swelled to some 2,500 delegates, observers and supporters,
mostly staying at the conference site in Arta, some 30 km
from the capital, Djibouti.
in Arta told IRIN that Somalis attending the conference were
being given goat, camel meat and rice, and that food was bought
in bulk by the Djibouti government. Houses have been requisitioned,
and camp beds supplied by the French Army based in Djibouti.
are no official observers at the conference other than the
United Nations and some representatives from local embassies.
told IRIN that the Djibouti government had insisted from the
start that the new peace initiative should be held outside
the capital and without a large international representation,
in light of 13 previous failures.