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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 19:23 GMT 20:23 UK
Refugees demand Somali government
President Salat Hassan of Somalia
Mr Salat is considering to return to peace talks

Somali refugees in Kenya have accused the committee in charge of talks on setting up a new administration of delaying the process.

Hundreds of refugees demonstrated outside the venue in Mbagathi, in the suburbs of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, calling for the formation of a new government.

Last week, the talks were adjourned to allow the president of Somalia's Transitional National Government (TNG), Abdikassim Salat Hassan and the Juba valley alliance re-join the discussions.

According to the United Nations regional information network, IRIN, the Kenyan envoy to Somalia, Muhammad Abdi Affey, who met Mr Salat last week, said he would consider the possibility of returning to peace talks.

Consultations

"The president told me that he would consult his parliament and cabinet before making any decisions," said Mr Affey.

Last month, Mr Salat walked out of the peace talks in Kenya, saying they were leading towards the "dismemberment" of Somalia.

The refugees, who had travelled to Mbagathi in a convoy of minibuses and saloon cars, blocked the main entrance, of the venue demanding an audience with the chief mediator of the talks, Bethuel Kiplagat.

The protesting refugees argued that they have been living in abject poverty in Kenya, following a decade-long civil war.

Since last October, peace talks, which were expected to end two months ago, have made little headway with delegates disagreeing on the number of members of parliament to be chosen.

The mandate of the three-year old Transitional National Government (TNG) expired on last Wednesday and Mr Salat announced that his government would not stand down until a new government and parliament were formed.

His prime minister, whom he sacked earlier last week, accused Mr Salat of trying to destroy the peace process, in order to prolong his stay in office.


SEE ALSO:
Mogadishu insecurity worsens
15 Aug 03  |  Africa
Somali tension as mandate ends
12 Aug 03  |  Africa
Analysis: Somalia's powerbrokers
08 Jan 02  |  Africa
Somalis agree government
05 Jul 03  |  Africa


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