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Djibouti Conference

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Somali talks progress damped by warlords' no-show

Progress in talks aimed at restoring a central administration to Somalia was countered Thursday when three key warlords said they would not lift their boycott of the conference.

While the adoption by delegates of detailed plans for a parliament and president had generated optimism for this 13th attempt to end a decade of anarchy in Somalia, the decision by warlord Hussein Mohamed Aidid not to attend the talks will come as a blow, especially since he had been expected in Djibouti on Thursday.

Aidid, who controls parts of south Mogadishu and areas in central Somalia, felt that conditions for his attendance had not been met, one of his aides, Abulatif Afdbub, told AFP in Nairobi.

Afdub, who on Tuesday had announced that "Aidid has reviewed his stand on the conference and decided to attend it," explained Thursday that the warlord had insisted on attending the Djibouti meeting not as a private individual but as the leader of the Somali National Alliance faction and that 100 members of this group be allowed to take part as well.



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