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Somali peace conference on hold pending informal talks


Working sessions of the latest conference aimed at restoring a government to Somalia have been postponed for at least two days pending informal talks, an organiser said Wednesday.

"They are going to determine the number of delegates attributed to each clan," said Djibouti's foreign minister, Ali Abdi Farah.

The conference is being held under the auspices of a peace plan drawn up by Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

Participants, drawn mostly from Somalia's civil society, are also due to elect a chairman and four vice-chairmen for the talks, aimed at setting up a parliament in Somalia, which has lacked a central government since the 1991 fall of president Mohammed Siad Barre.

This phase could last 10 days, according to the minister. Djibouti has proposed that 650 Somali delegates drawn from the major clans, take part in the conference.

The conference in Arta, some 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Djibouti city, is the 13th to attempt to resolve Somalia's crisis.



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