Abdiqassim Salad Hassan said on Monday that he planned to return to Somalia with
newly elected transitional officials "soon" to publicise the political achievements
resulting from four months of peace talks in neighbouring Djibouti.
In a speech to the Transitional National Assembly and clan elders gathered in
Arta, he said: "The world community is expecting us to attend the forthcoming
United Nations Millenium Summit, but we have to demonstrate beforehand our legitimacy
by reaching out to the Somali people."
said clan leaders who attended the Arta talks had to return home "to spread the
good news and tell the Somali people that peace and reconstruction is, from now
on, the order of the day." Although he announced no dates, conference sources
said they believed his immediate priority was to return to the capital, Mogadishu,
to demonstrate that it is not a no-go area for the interim authorities.
"What we need is a functioning government and not recognition, because our country
Somalia has already boundaries which had been recognised by the international
community 40 years ago", he said.
Salad also said that during his inauguration ceremony on Sunday attended by a
number of regional leaders, he had also held talks with the French cooperation
minister, Charles Josselin and Maurizio Melani, a senior Italian Foreign Ministry
official. "They have promised to provide emergency assistance for us as soon as
we complete the formation of our transitional authority," he said.
The aid would form part of funds European Union development funds frozen when
the last government fell sparking nine years of civil war and anarchy. He also
announced that he would approach Arab League nations scheduled to meet in Cairo
on Sunday to "consider a special request for a (sort of) Marshall plan" aimed
at rebuilding Somalia: "It is up to the Arab World to show to which extent they
are ready to help rebuild a sister country like Somalia."