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Djibouti Conference

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Somaliland leader tells south to reconcile

In a recent interview with VOA, leader of the self-declared state of Somaliland, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, explained why he would not be attending the Djibouti-hosted Somali peace talks.

He said the conference "has nothing to do with us because we don't need to be reconciled with anyone. All these people (faction leaders) Hussein Aideed, Ali Mahdi, they are our friends, they come to Hargeisa.

You reconcile them first, let them produce a central authority - some authority that can speak for them - then our role comes. Then we'll talk to them..." On the issue of a future union, Egal said "it's possible to save the union if they are prepared to concede what we think is going to be a fair and amicable union between two countries."

With the end of the Djibouti-held talks scheduled to finish by 15 July, there have been attempts by international and regional representatives to persuade Egal to attend the peace process.

One Somalilander who supported the boycott told IRIN "Somaliland people have managed to elect leaders, open universities, and created harmonies among clans" and called the Djibouti conference was "misguided".



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