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Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

Thousands cheer Ethiopia pull-out

An armed man at the stadium where crowds gathered in Mogadishu
Crowds packed into the former Ethiopian base to hear the speeches

Thousands of Somalis have gathered at the football stadium in Mogadishu to celebrate the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from the city.

The stadium was a former Ethiopian base and Islamist and clan elders called for Somalis to solve their own problems and not resort to more violence.

There has been no fighting in the city since the Ethiopians left this week.

Meanwhile, talks have resumed in Djibouti between the government and moderate Islamists on power-sharing.

They are trying to agree on the formation of an expanded parliament - from 275 seats to 550 - to include the opposition and how to select a new president.

Abdullahi Yusuf resigned as president last month after falling out with Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein over attempts to negotiate this peace deal.

The opposition is split into various factions, and the more hardline groups do not support the peace process.

On Thursday, Mr Hussein announced his intention to run for president.

Ethiopian troops intervened in Somalia two years to help oust Islamists, who again control much of the country.

Working together

The Ethiopians finished their withdrawal from Mogadishu this week, and have now pulled back to Baidoa, where parliament sits.

A Somali mother and daughter return after two years to Mogadishu to find their house destroyed
People have begun returning home to the city to try and rebuild their homes

Analysts had feared the withdrawal of the Ethiopians would lead to a power vacuum and fighting between rival Islamist factions.

But at the moment all factions - whether they back the peace process with the government or not - seem to be working together.

They have taken over most of the bases vacated by the Ethiopians.

The US wants the United Nations to take over peacekeeping duties from the African Union, which has a small force in the city.

But last month UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said few countries were willing to send troops to Somalia, as there was no peace to keep.

Somalia has not had an effective national government since 1991, since when various militias have been battling for control.

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