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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 January, 2005, 13:02 GMT
Somali cabinet wins crucial vote
Somali President Yusuf  (left) and Mr Ghedi
President Yusuf (l) and Prime Minister Ghedi (r) were relieved by the vote
Somalia's parliament has overwhelmingly passed a confidence vote on the new cabinet exiled in Kenya.

MPs voted by 168 to 79 to approve Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi's team, after rejecting his first choice, saying he had ignored clan quotas.

This is the latest attempt to set up Somalia's first effective government in 14 years.

Since 1991, rival warlords have battled for control and Somalia has been divided into a patchwork of fiefdoms.

Broad smile

According to the BBC's Caroline Karobia in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, the vote was a crucial test for the prime minister, who has had a uneasy relationship with parliament since his appointment in November.

Most of Somalia's key warlords have been named as ministers in the new cabinet.

Facts and figures about life in Somalia

Our correspondent says that Mr Ghedi had looked nervous before the vote but broke into a broad smile as his cabinet was approved.

President Abdullahi Yusuf also turned up and the normally stern, former military man, was seen joking with the MPs.

The vote came at a time when the Somali government is coming under increasing pressure to relocate to the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Officials say the government will start to move to the war-torn capital - where most government buildings are either in ruins or being used as refugee camps - towards the end of January but they refuse to give details.

Last week, the African Union announced that it had agreed in principle to send troops to Mogadishu to help the government establish itself.


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