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Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Rival Somali government pledge
Baidoa
Warlords opposed Somalia's first government since 1991
Somali warlords have announced that they will form a national government within six months, in direct opposition to the country's transitional administration

Representatives of faction leaders agreed to the plan at a meeting of their reconciliation council in the southern town of Baidoa.

The warlords, backed by neighbouring Ethiopia, are opposed to President Abdulkassim's Salat Hassan's government which was elected at a conference in neighbouring Djibouti last year.

Faction leaders such as Muse Sudi Yalahow, Hussein Aidid and Osman Hassan Ali Atto control large parts of the Somali capital Mogadishu and are blamed by many Somalis for ruining the country following the overthrow of the last elected government 10 years ago.

The warlords have failed to put their rivalries and differences aside in several previous attempts to form an administration.

Ethiopia

The transitional government has repeatedly accused Ethiopia's government of intervening in Somalia's internal affairs and said Ethiopia should stop trying to undermine Somalia by providing support for the warlords.

President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan
President Abdulkassim has just two warlords backing him
The first secretary of the Reconciliation and Reconstruction Council, Mr Mowlid Ma'aneh Mohamud, has denied that several Ethiopian officials now in Baidoa have been running the meeting.

However he admitted that Ethiopia has helped them.

"We remain indebted to Ethiopia and its role to facilitate this meeting and the overall reconciliation process of Somalia," he said.

Committees

According to Mr Mohamud, seven different committees with 120 members have been established.

Mr Mohamud said the reconciliation council has divided Somalis into main tribal groups, each given a certain number of committee members.

The seven committees are responsible for:

  • Security and Defence,
  • reconciliation,
  • the constitution,
  • preparation of funds for the forthcoming reconciliation conference,
  • public awareness,
  • national disasters
  • national conference preparations.
However, no-one has yet been elected to lead any of them.

Mr Mohamud said the council will return to Baidoa in a fortnight to continue the establishment of the reconciliation conference.

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See also:

02 Mar 01 | Africa
Somali warlords join forces
31 Jan 01 | Africa
Somalia's thoughtful 'warlord'
29 Aug 00 | Africa
Somalia's new civilian leader
05 Feb 01 | Africa
Timeline: Somalia
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