Somali factions are worried that an ongoing peace conference
sponsored by Djibouti could lead to more violence in war-torn
Somalia, they said in a joint statement sent to AFP here on
of the Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) Colonel Hassan Mohamed
Nur Shatigudud, the leader of the autonomous northeast regional
state of "Puntland" Abdullahi Yousuf Ahmed and Major General
Aden Abdullahi Nur Gabyow of the Somali Patriotic Movement
(SPM), said they feared "insecurity which might be triggered
by the current Djibouti peace meeting."
the conference would not lead to further hostilities and renewed
war in Somalia like the one held in Djibouti in 1991," the
statement said, in reference to the Djibouti-sponsored meeting,
during which north Mogadishu strongman Ali Mahdi Mohamed was
elected interim president.
conference at Arta, 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of Djibouti,
is initiated by Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh and
is intended, as a first step toward re-establishing a parliament
and government structures, which have been absent since dictator
Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.
strongmen, who met in the Puntland capital Garowe for two
days, urged the international community to support the formation
of "building blocks", clan-based regional states, that could
later form a "Federal Republic of Somalia."
the southern Bay and Bakol regions, while Puntland is a confederation
of Darod sub-clans founded in 1998 to run north and central
forces lost the southern Lower Juba region capital of Kismayo
in June last year to an alliance of rival factions.
of southern Somalia are under occupation by clans from outside
the region and, therefore, no meeting at a national level
can take place until the occupational forces are withdrawn,
the joint statement said.
initiative, the 13th attempt to restore a semblance of normality
in Somalia, has received strong support from the international
community but has been rejected outright by most of the country's
hinges partly on talks among representatives of all kinds
of Somalia's civilian and professional groups, rather than
focussing on the Somali clan leaders and their militias.