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Aydid qualifies Libyan agreement

Mogadishu faction leader Hussein Muhammad Aydid does not recognise Abdiqasim Salad Hasan as a national president, but only a group leader, one of his aides said on Monday.

"Aydid and other faction leaders in Libya agreed with Salad to make peace as a group leader without recognising him as a legitimate leader of Somalia," aide Issa Mohamed Siad was quoted as saying, in Mogadishu, by AFP.

Libyan state media earlier this week said Aydid and Abdiqasim had reached a memorandum of understanding, and Abdiqasim was reported as saying Aydid had agreed to support the new government.

The Mogadishu spokesman told AFP that there would be a peace conference held in Somalia soon. "An all-inclusive national peace conference will be held in Somalia soon to form a government," he said.

Issa Mohamed Siad is the acting chairman of Aydid's United Somali Congress/Somali National Alliance faction. Despite Aydid's "back-peddling", he is seen by other opposing factions to have "crossed over to the new government", diplomatic sources told IRIN.

"As far as the other faction leaders are concerned, he's crossed sides - which makes it difficult to see who he is going to get support and backing from," said the source.


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