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Last Updated: Friday, 30 January, 2004, 17:10 GMT
Somali leader 'ready to step down'
President Salat Hassan of Somalia
The current interim president only controls small areas of Somalia
Somalia's interim leader has said he is ready to move aside, following a peace deal signed by rival warlords.

President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan told the BBC that the Somali people were fed up after 13 years of war and lack of development.

The rival faction leaders have agreed on how to choose a parliament, which would in turn elect a president.

Mr Salat said he would make way for whoever was chosen."I will hand over the power of the presidency," he said.

He also told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that it would take not more than 45 days to choose a new parliament, which would "immediately" elect the president.

Donor pressure

Since the fall of President Siad Barre, Somalia has had no central authority and been wracked by civil war with rival factions battling each other.

Mr Salat only controls parts of the capital, Mogadishu.


The talks in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, are the 14th attempt to secure a deal.

Correspondents say the international community has been putting pressure on the Somali faction leaders to agree a peace deal and this now seems to have borne fruit after more than a year of discussions.

The new parliament will be made up of 275 members, rather than 350 as previously agreed and traditional elders will be involved in selecting them, as well as warlords, reports say.

The idea is that each of the four major clans will select 61 MPs and a coalition of small clans will select 31.

The task of selecting who will become an MP is left to each group.




SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Somali peace deal
29 Jan 04  |  Africa
Analysis: Somalia's powerbrokers
08 Jan 02  |  Africa
Trouble with Somali talks
05 Nov 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Somalia
13 Aug 03  |  Country profiles


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