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Somalia's RRA Stages Demonstration against Djibouti Conference


Hundreds of people on Thursday took to the streets of Baidoa town, some 250 kilometers southwest from the capital, protesting against the on-going conference for the reconciliation of Somalia in Djibouti.

The rally sponsored by the Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) officials in Baidoa was in response to the latest developments achieved by the main traditional leaders of Somalia now attending the meeting.

The demonstrators carried placards and shouted against the Djibouti government as well as the meeting in Arta, some 40 kilometers north of the capital Djibouti, for the restoration of Somali fragmented nationhood.

In an official letter signed by the RRA chairman Colonel Hassan Mohamed Nur Shargudud, the RRA said they are totally boycotting the conference.

The letter urged the government of Djibouti to return back the 72-member Rahanwein delegation now attending the conference in Arta.

The letter has appealed to the international community not to assist the government of Djibouti for what it called its plot against the Somalis in general.

It is reported that the RRA officials have been angered by comments made by the political advisor of Djibouti President Ismail Omar Ghelleh over the current reconciliation efforts for Somalia.

In an interview with the BBC, the political advisor of President Ghelleh, Osman Ahmed Yussuf, said all clannish differences had been solved including that between the Rahanwein and Habar Gidir clans who have been fighting for control of Bay and Bakol regions for more than four years.

The RRA officials also dissatisfied at comments made by the main traditional leaders of the Rahanwein communities including Sultan Malaq Mukhtar on the Djibouti television Wednesday night.

Malaq Mukhtar spoke about the dramatic developments they had achieved in regard to the general reconciliation with the Somali communities as well as the differences among the Rahanwein people.

Despite the RRA leadership's boycott, most of the Rahanwein politicians, intellectuals and civic society groups are attending the meeting. Nonetheless, the absence of main Somali warlords, such as Hussein Aidid, Mohamed Qanyareh, Osman Ali Atto, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal and Colonel Shargudud, from the meeting will remain to be a little headache for the Djibouti government.

The Djibouti conference, which began in early May, has now concluded its first part which dealt with the reconciling of Somalia numerous clans with the traditional leaders playing the most important role.

The second phase of the meeting and the most complicated part to deal with the political issues is likely to begin on Saturday.



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