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Thursday, 1 November, 2001, 09:42 GMT
Kenya hosts Somali peace talks
President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan
President Abdulkassim would like faction leaders to join his government
Peace talks between the transitional government and warlords in Somali are due to open in the Kenya capital Nairobi Thursday.

President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan has already arrived and on Wednesday held talks in Nairobi with President Daniel arap Moi who convened the talks.


After consultations, the council resolved not to go to Kenya

Opposition coalition spokesman
President Moi has invited faction leaders opposed to the Transitional National Government in an attempt to move Somalia towards political reconciliation.

But the AP new agency reported that a key coalition of powerful warlords has said it will not attend the talks.

The meeting was planned before the removal by MPs of Prime Minister Ali Khalif Galaydh, who lost a vote of no confidence in Somalia's transitional parliament.

President Abdulkassim has made it clear he would like to include faction leaders opposed to him in a new administration for Somalia.

Doubt

Faction leaders, such as Hussein Mohamed Aidid, Hassan Mohamed Nur "Shatigudud", Musa Sudi Yalahow and Abdullahi Sheikh Ismail, have in the past insisted they would only meet Mr Abdulkassim face to face in his capacity as "the leader of another Somali faction" and not as the country's president.

Kenya President Daniel arap Moi
President Moi is trying to get the warring factions together
But the president is believed to be attending the Nairobi talks as Somalia's head of state.

According to AP, the Somali Reconciliation and Reconstruction Council - has said its representatives have gone to Ethiopia for talks with leaders there instead of Nairobi.

The group is believed to be backed by the Ethiopian government.

"After consultations, the council resolved not to go to Kenya," group spokesman Ali Basha Hajji Mohamed was quoted as saying.

He did not give a reason for the decision.

Strife

Following the effective dismissal of Prime Minister Galaydh, President Abdulkassim said on Monday he was now looking for a new premier with "the capacity to contribute to reconciliation" in the strife-torn country.

Somalia civil war
Somalia was without a central government from 1991 until last year
Mr Galaydh was blamed for failing to bring security and economic stability to the country after a year in office.

Somalia's political landscape is a complex patchwork of competing clan loyalties and overlapping interests.

President Abdulkassim controls only pockets of Mogadishu.

After a decade of civil war the country is still struggling to form a government that has support across the whole country.

See also:

31 Oct 01 | Americas
UN's Somalia peace concerns
17 Oct 01 | Africa
Starvation threat in Somalia
30 Jul 01 | Africa
Kenya bans trading with Somalia
29 Oct 01 | Africa
Search begins for new Somali PM
02 Mar 01 | Africa
Somali warlords join forces
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