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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 December 2005, 09:57 GMT
Somali capital gets local council
New councillors swear an oath in Somalia (Photo by Hassan Barise)
The new council will elect a governor of Mogadishu
Militia and civilian leaders in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, have sworn in a council to govern the city. Its first meeting was on Monday.

There has been increasing tension between politicians based in Mogadishu, and the president and prime minister based in Jowhar, to the north.

The 64 members were chosen by a committee chaired by Somalia's minister of commerce, Muse Sudi Yalahow.

He said the committee had consulted widely before making the appointments.

"We had to talk to everyone willing to help Mogadishu stand on its feet again since our government is a government of reconciliation," he said.

"But we would not surrender to those working for the enemy of Somalia who are against the common good of the people in Mogadishu, and I don't want to point my finger at a particular person," he added.

The BBC's Hassan Barise in Mogadishu says Mr Yalahow's remarks have been seen as a reference to the president of Somalia, Abdullahi Yusuf, who has resisted calls to move his government to Mogadishu from Jowhar, north of the capital.

Local parliament

The body will function as a parliament for the capital.

Facts and figures about life in Somalia

It began its first session on Monday under the chairmanship of its oldest member, and is supposed to elect the governor of Mogadishu, his deputies and the rest of his team.

According to the city's new constitution, the governor and his team should be coming from outside this parliament according to the constitution set up to run Mogadishu.

The ministers of national security, public works and many other ministers and MPs who addressed a crowd on Sunday praised the new parliament and pledged their full support.

The prime minister had already appointed another administration for Mogadishu, but the leaders of the new council have dismissed this appointment as illegal.


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