Main Page
Banadir Star NEW!
Latest News
Somali Radio

Mogadishu Links
Somalia (60 - 69)
Somali Links
Public Forum
Chat Room

Topic of the week
Djibouti Conference

Search BBC News


Somalia: Talks at "make or break" stage

The Djibouti-hosted Somali talks have reached a "make or break" point after more than three months of negotiations, Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh said on Tuesday.

He urged the new parliament to sit by the weekend. Speaking at a plenary session of the Somali National Peace Conference, Guelleh said the sharing out of seats within the the Transitional National Assembly (TNA) "proved to be more complex and intricate than I previously expected". More than 2,000 Somali clan elders, delegates and observers are at the talks held in Arte, about 30 km south of Djibouti city.

The distribution of seats had been held back by "a fight for power" within each clan, said the president who has been tasked with personally designating 20 additional seats for the TNA.

The move is intended to allow him to deal with unresolved clan disputes over the composition of the parliament. In his address, he reminded the Somali audience that "the primary objectives of the Arte conference are to enable Somalia to be endowed with a viable and legitimate authority".

Critics say that the conference - the 13th clan-based attempt at reconciliation - is doomed to fail, and have accused the Djibouti president of interference.

But Guelleh encouraged delegates to continue. The Arte conference had already exceeded the efforts of other attempts, he said.

"Demonstrate to the world community that I am right in contending that the resolution of the Somali conflict lies in empowering of civil society", he urged delegates. The Djibouti head of state indicated that he expected the TNA to hold its first session by Sunday.

He called on the future Somali parliamentarians to gear up for electing the president of the upcoming interim administration. The last stage of the conference should be handled quickly and efficiently, Guelleh said.

The Djibouti president - who has been financing the conference since May - appealed to the conference delegates "to help me put Somalia back on track and show the world that Somalia can do away with militaristic options. I want you to rise to the occasion... before my next trip to the United Nations headquarters, sometime next September."

In response, the conference burst into applause, shouting support, and singing Somalia's national anthem. Continuing disaffection among a few sub-clans from the major clan groups has to be resolved before the new assembly can call its first session.



Main Page | Latest News | Reuters News | A. Press News| Washington Post |Contact Us

Copyright 1999  All Rights Reserved


Previous News

July News
June News
May News
April News
March News
February News
January News