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President settles in south Mogadishu


Interim President Abdiqasim Salad Hasan settled in at a private villa in south Mogadishu after arriving on 14 Octover. During his earlier visit, he stayed in the north, where faction leader Ali Mahdi Muhammad is a supporter of the new government and an MP.

Opposing faction leader Husayn Aydid is based in the south, but this is also the area where the new president's own Habar Gidir-Ayer clan is based.

There had been an assumption that the interim president would not - or could not - stay in south Mogadishu, Somali political sources said.

But his clan in the south did not necessarily represent his strongest supporters, because during the civil war he "refused to join the clan wars and the faction leaders", one Mogadishu resident pointed out.

The villa reportedly belongs to a private businessman, who donated it to the new government, sources in Mogadishu told IRIN. The source said the president had visited camps for the displaced not far from his residence.


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