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Last Updated: Monday, 20 October, 2003, 00:47 GMT 01:47 UK
Somali politician slain in Kenya
Entrance to Mogadishu, capital of Somalia
Ali was an influential player in Mogadishu
A delegate at the Somali peace talks in Kenya has been found murdered in a forest on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi.

Sheikh Ibrahim Ali was one of three people discovered dead from gunshot wounds - the others were a business friend and a local driver.

A wealthy businessman from the Somali capital, Mogadishu, Sheikh Ibrahim was also a member of the country's transitional national assembly.

A police officer interviewed on Kenya's commercial Nation Television, which carried pictures of the bodies, said the victims had bullet wounds.

The Kenyan authorities are trying to establish whether he was killed for political reasons.

Negotiations

Rival Somali factions have been attending meetings in Kenya for more than a year, aimed at establishing the first national administration since the collapse of president Mohammed Siad Barre's regime in 1991.

President Salat Hassan of Somalia
President Salat warned of a fresh civil war
Last month delegates to the talks endorsed a transitional federal charter. But it was immediately rejected by several key figures, including the head of the current Transitional National Government (TNG), President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan.

President Salat had spurned the talks in July, accusing a committee steering the peace conference and other Somali delegates of sanctioning the "dismemberment" of Somalia.

However, most of the TNG representatives to the peace talks, including the murdered delegate, decided to remain in the conference.

The largely powerless TNG was created in 2000, but only controls parts of Mogadishu and pockets of territory in southern Somalia.


SEE ALSO:
Somali leader quits talks
30 Jul 03  |  Africa
Somali leader rejects peace deal
07 Jul 03  |  Africa
Somali poet marches for peace
21 Jul 03  |  Africa
Analysis: Somalia's powerbrokers
08 Jan 02  |  Africa


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