delegates in Arta, Djibouti, formed committees on Wednesday
to discuss key issues related to the political crisis in Somalia,
such as the status of Mogadishu and Somaliland, diplomatic
sources told IRIN.
holding a number of plenary sessions this week, Somali delegations
split into committees to discuss land; the special status
of the Somali capital Mogadishu; disarmament and arms control;
and the question of the self-declared state of Somaliland.
committee is composed of 30 members and will report back to
a plenary session at the weekend, with the aim of putting
forward specific proposals. The conference is "moving towards
establishing a provisional government possibly next week",
the source said.
thousand Somalis are present in Arta, Djibouti, where the
Somali National Peace Conference is being held. Representation
is said to be drawn from all clans in Somalia.
has rejected the conference, but there is some clan representation
from the self-declared independent republic.
the administration of 'President' Mohamed Ibrahim Egal's has
boycotted the process, sources close to the conference said
some of his supporters - as well as some of the Somaliland
opposition - are present.
of Sool, northern Somalia, has reportedly resigned from the
Somaliland administration in order to attend.
in the autonomous state of Puntland has also issued a number
of strong statements rejecting the conference, saying it will
lead to further conflict.
erstwhile 'Minister of the Interior', Hassan Abshire - rival
to 'President' Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed - has been elected chairman
of the conference. He has since been sacked by Yusuf.
at Arta said one of the attending elders had returned to Puntland
to talk to Yusuf about the ongoing peace process in Djibouti.
atmosphere is one of accommodation rather than confrontation,
which is why committees are now debating these issues, including
Somaliland", said one diplomat at the conference.
government, which initiated the process, is "under great pressure
financially" as the host of the conference, sources in Djibouti
told IRIN. More goats, fish and fruit were donated by Djibouti
government has made it clear, said the source, that it "cannot
carry on supporting over a thousand representatives" on its
own. The UN Security Council has invited donors to back the