Somalia: IRIN News Briefs, 20 July
In a new push to bring key political players into the Djibouti-hosted Somali peace conference, a senior envoy of the Djibouti president visited Mogadishu this week for direct talks with one of Somalia's main clan leaders, Hussein Muhammad Aideed. A radio broadcast from Mogadishu said the envoy wanted to sound out Aideed's views on the conference and, if necessary, accommodate any perceived mistakes.
The envoy, Osman Ahmed Yousouf, met Aideed, leader of the Somali National Alliance (SNA) at the police academy on Wednesday, according to pro-Aideed radio. Aideed has so far only sent an envoy to the conference in the town of Arta, in Djibouti, where some 900 delegates earlier adopted a new Somali Transitional Charter to serve as a provisional constitution for the country.
"Hussein Aideed spoke about the general political, economic and social situation in the country as well as reconciliation efforts by SNA and allied organisations," the radio said. "He said he did oppose the Djibouti conference, but criticised the conference because of the way it was organised. He complained that the conference ignored organisations which had fought for the restoration of justice in Somalia, a move which, he said, was unjust and detrimental to the fruits of our struggle. He demanded that these mistakes be corrected."
Mogadishu rally in support of the conference
As the talks with Aideed were underway, a large rally was held in Mogadishu in support of the Djibouti conference. Somali 'Banaadir Radio' said the rally, attended by political leaders, Muslim clerics, elders and other members of the public, was addressed by politician Abukar Hussein Faldad. A message of support for the conference was read out.
Muslim countries support the Arta process
Meanwhile, the Somali newspaper, 'Xog-Ogaal' on Wednesday said that a delegation from the Islamic Conference Organisation (ICO) had sent a delegation to Arta to tell delegates that the ICO would "fully support" any government that would be formed. "The delegation further added that the organisation would back the new Somali president elected at the conference and would officially invite him to attend the ICO meeting in Qatar in November," the newspaper report added. It said the newly elected president would be able to assume the long-vacant Somali seat at the ICO.
Puntland chief urges calm
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad, president of the self-declared autonomous state of Puntland in northeast Somalia, has urged belligerents in the town of Gaalkacyo to maintain peace and avoid any tensions that would lead to further clashes between two rival clans in the town. According to a Puntland radio broadcast, he visited the town on Wednesday after clashes there a week ago.
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