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Somalia peace talks restart in Djibouti


Talks aimed at ending nearly a decade of civil war in Somalia have resumed near Djibouti, following a 10-day break for informal consultations.

The Djibouti-sponsored national reconciliation conference, which began on May 2 and restarted Saturday, is intended as a first step towards reestablishing a parliament and government structures in Somalia, which has been without a central government since 1991.

Some 350 delegates meeting in Arta, 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of Djibouti city, are in the next few days to elect 650 representatives for the future assembly.

That assembly will be charged with setting up the provisional parliament and government, according to Djibouti's Foreign Minister Ali Abdi Farah, speaking at the opening of the session.

Ali Abdi called on members of the Issak clan, in the breakaway Republic of Somaliland, to join in the peace talks.

Djibouti's ADI news agency meanwhile reported that members of Somalia's warring Hawiye and Darod clans had agreed after two weeks of talks to start moves towards reconciliation.

The Djibouti peace plan is the 13th such attempt to restore a semblance of normality to Somalia.


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