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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 February, 2004, 14:15 GMT
Somalia deal 'must be enforced'
Interim Somali President Abdul Kassim Salat hugs faction leader Mohammed Omar Habed
A peace deal is emerging after more than a decade of fighting
Kenya has urged all sides not to derail the Somali peace process it has been encouraging with reconciliation talks.

The Kenyan foreign minister said any attempt to frustrate the advances brokered by his country would be met with "decisive punitive measures".

Earlier this week Somalia's warlords and politicians agreed to establish a new parliament.

The deal paves the way for the setting up of the first recognised national government in Somalia for 13 years.

Since the fall of President Siad Barre, Somalia has had no central authority and been wracked by civil war.

'Restraint'

Kenyan Foreign Minister Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka said that there was widespread support for the peace process.

"The international community will not stand by and watch these efforts undermined or derailed by any group or leader bent on promoting their selfish and narrow interest."


The recent agreement would reunite Puntland with the rest of Somalia, six years after it declared itself autonomous.

In his warnings, Mr Musyoka referred specifically to Puntland and the breakaway republic of Somaliland.

He called on both their leaders to "exercise maximum restraint by reducing tension that could escalate into a fresh conflict".

Mr Musyoka was speaking on behalf of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (Igad), the six-nation group mediating the peace process.

The talks in Kenya are the 14th attempt to secure a deal.


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


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