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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 September, 2004, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Somalis to elect crucial post
Delegates being sworn in at a ceremony in Nairobi
This vote is the first test of the new MPs unity
The newly inaugurated Somali parliament is due to elect the speaker of the transitional assembly later on Wednesday.

Twelve members of parliament have expressed interest in the position.

The successful candidate will preside over the 275 member national assembly when it elects a Somali president later this month.

Meanwhile, fighting has broken out around the southern port town of Kismayo between General Morgan, the only major warlord outside the peace process and the Juba Valley Alliance.

Details of the clashes remain sketchy but tensions have been high around Kismayo in recent days, as General Morgan's forces advanced.

The peace talks in Nairobi are aimed at forming an effective government in Somalia for the first time in 13 years.

Mohammed Siad Barre was toppled in 1991 by warlords who divided up the country.

Ensuing factional fighting led to famine and disease.

After lengthy peace negotiations, rival factions in January agreed in Kenya to sign deal to set up the new parliament.


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