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Djibouti Conference

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Djibouti meeting on Somalia peace a security threat: Somaliland


The meeting in Djibouti on the Somali peace process is "hostile" and aimed at "undermining" the prevailing peace in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in northwest Somalia, officials here said Thursday.

Somaliland's information minister Ali Mohamed Waran'ade told AFP that the outcome of the Djibouti conference on Somalia would not be welcomed in Somaliland.

Waran'ade accused Djibouti of underming the "integrity and sovereignty" of Somaliland, which seceded from the rest of Somalia in May 1991 but has yet to be recognised by the international community.

"Djibouti invited splinter groups to represent Somaliland and wanted to drag us into more chaos. We can loudly say that the conference is hostile to us, peace and independence," Waran'ade charged.

The Djibouti conference, the 13th of its kind initiated by Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, opened its second phase on Thursday at Arta, 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of Djibouti, to elect a parliament which will select an interim president.

But Waran'ade said that the latest Guelleh peace proposals would ignite renewed hostilities in Somalia and vowed to defend the unilateral declaration of Somaliland's independence.

"If the participants of the Arta meeting establish an administration which maintains Somaliland as part of Somalia, we would then react aggressively," Waran'ade warned.

The Somali peace meeting, which started on May 2, has attracted considerable support from the international community and Somalia's civil society, but has been bitterly opposed by the principal warlords in the Horn of Africa.

Warlords Hussein Mohamed Aidid, Osman Hassan Ali Atto, Musa Sudi Yalahow and Mohamed Qanyare Afrah -- each controlling parts of the divided Somali capital Mogadishu -- have rejected Guelleh's plan.

The Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) faction, which controls the Bay and Bakol regions, and the regional state of "Puntland" in northeast Somalia have also rejected Guelleh's initiative.

But at a speech delivered to delegates on Thursday, Guelleh urged the meeting to come up with a government that would serve the interests of Somalia.


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