SOMALIA: Faction leader on Libyan agreement
Faction leader Husayn Haji Bod called a press conference in the Somali capital
Mogadishu on Monday to qualify reports that he had signed an agreement with the
new Somali interim president in Libya.
said what had been agreed to "was not new", the 'Qaran' newspaper said. He told
local journalists that the agreement that was signed in the presence of the Libyan
leader was "merely an affirmation of what our delegation promised the Yemen president"
which was to resolve Somalia's problems through talks.
Bod was part of the delegation of faction leaders led by Husayn Aydid who met
interim president Abdiqasim Salad Hasan in Libyan brokered talks.
the press conference, Bod said he thought the new president would not set up a
government before holding talks with faction leaders.
faction leaders who oppose the new government nevertheless still see senior government
positions, like the prime ministership and cabinet posts, as bargaining cards,
diplomatic sources told IRIN.
Demobilisation fails to hit target
The new Somali National Security Committee said demobilised militiamen would officially
begin working in various parts of Benadir region, Mogadishu, early next month,
local newspaper 'Xog-Ogaal' said on Tuesday.
security committee told local journalists that 1,300 militiamen had been demobilised
and 100 'technicals' - jeeps mounted with heavy machine guns - had been "recovered".
According to the committee, this is less than half the number targeted, which
is 4,000 militia and at least 150 'technicals'. Demobilisation would continue
until the required number was recruited, said the committee.
Meanwhile, fighting broke out between two militia groups around Eel-Macaan port
in north Mogadishu on Tuesday. The fighting reportedly erupted after militia managing
the port refused to pay former militia guards their dues, 'Xog- Ogaal' said. According
to local newspapers, the fighting included many different types of weapons and
resulted in one person killed and another wounded before it died down.
New government wants Arab assistance
of the newly constituted Transitional National Assembly Abdullahi Deerow Isaq
has called on Arab states to provide urgent assistance to the new government.
In an interview for Shariqah radio, United Arab Emerates, Deerow said that after
years of suffering "Somalis expect nothing short of a large amount of aid from
Arab states", the Somali newspaper 'Ayaamaha' said on Wednesday.
He said Somalia was an "Arab and Islamic country" and that it was "incumbent"
on Arab states to help. During the ten years of civil war, Somalis have expressed
frustration that Arab states did not give more support.
In an interview with IRIN in August, chairman of the Islamic courts Hassan Sheik
Mohamed Abdi said Arab countries "never did enough for Somalia" and that there
was a "misunderstanding" among the Arab countries about how to solve the Somali
Interim President Abdiqasim Salad Hasan visited Saudi Arabia and Libya after his
election, pointing to an eagerness to forge links with Arab countries.
SOMALIA: Government reshuffle affected
Yusuf Ahmed, leader of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern
Somalia, has resuffled his cabinet and reorganised some of his government posts.
New appointments include a minister of international relations and planning from
Sanaag, as well as the removal of a former cabinet minister from Sanaag.
pro-Somaliland administration newspaper 'Mandeeq' reported earlier this week that
the reshuffle affected three ministers and was designed to improve relations with
neighbouring Somaliland, which counts Sool and Sanaag within its borders of a
self-declared independent state. But political and humanitarian sources told IRIN
that the reorganisation by Abdullahi Yusuf only affected one minister from Sanaag
and had nothing to do with "appeasing the Somaliland government on the Sool and
Asylum seekers denounce detention centres
Three Somali asylum seekers have asked Australian immigration authorities to send
them home in preference to staying in immigration detention camps.
The Somalis told the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs that
they were afraid for their mental and physical well-being to stay in the Australian
camps, which they described in a letter as a "terrifying, traumatising, prison-
like environment", news agencies reported.
and human rights organisations have criticised Australia's policy of detaining
all illegal asylum seekers while their cases are considered.
request by the Somali refugees is the latest in a series of complaints about the
detention centres, which can house refugees and asylum seekers for years at a
time, often in remote locations, while their case are slowly processed, reported
Minister Philip Ruddock defended the camps and told Reuters that the conditions
were adequate. He said the government was prepared to take up the Somalis on their
request to go home, but questioned the motives of the request: "There is some
doubt whether their offer to return home has been made in good faith... if they
do wish to return home, that will be facilitated", Reuters reported.