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SOMALIA: New assembly speaker sworn in


Abdillahi Deroow Issack, the newly-elected speaker of Somalia's Transitional National Assembly, has been officially sworn in and designated acting president, pending the election of a new president by legislators at the Djibouti peace talks.

Conference sources in Arta, Djibouti, told IRIN on Tuesday that Issack had been formally sworn in as speaker during a ceremony late on Monday night. As campaigning for the top post heated up, the sources said the assembly was expected to elect the new president later this week.

Demonstrators welcome new parliamentary speaker

Meanwhile, the Somali newspaper 'Ayaamaha' on Tuesday said residents of the Bay and Bakool districts in south-central Somalia had welcomed Issack's election as the first speaker of the assembly.

"Reports say that a big procession in support of the new speaker was held in Baydhabo yesterday [Monday] by residents who were very happy," the newspaper said.

Puntland leadership concerned at Djibouti talks

The leader of Somalia's self-declared Puntland region has said there was "no positive outcome" from talks his administration held in Ethiopia with a delegation of representatives from the Djibouti-sponsored Somali peace talks.

In remarks carried by the Mogadishu newspaper, 'Qaran', the Puntland leader, Abdullahi Yusuf, was quoted as saying in a local radio broadcast: "Prepare yourselves to defend your nation to counter aggression from the Djibouti conference which is geared to destroying the Puntland administration."


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