At a summit that closed on Friday, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan endorsed a proposal by President Ismael Omar Guelleh for a new approach to the conflict in Somalia. Three member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) failed to attend the summit: Eritrea, Uganda and Somalia. Eritrea refused to attend, claiming Djibouti backs Ethiopia in their conflict, while the semi-official 'New Vision' reported that Uganda's unpaid dues to the sub-regional grouping would have disqualified it from speaking. Somalia's seat at IGAD has been vacant since the collapse of 1991. According to AFP, Guelleh said neither Eritrea nor Uganda had offered a "convincing reason" for not taking part.
The summit called for a "bottom-up approach in which the role of warlords is contained and that of Civil Society is enhanced." The summit's declaration welcomed moves by "Somaliland", "Puntland" and "the region of Bay and Bakool" to promote peace in their regions. Guelleh's proposals for Somalia were presented at the UN General Assembly in September. Diplomatic sources told IRIN the IGAD Standing Committee on Somalia, chaired by Ethiopia will meet in Nairobi on December 15 to decide an implementation plan. Full IGAD statements: http://www.igad.org.
SOMALIA-ETHIOPIA: Aideed shuts down Oromo Liberation Front in Mogadishu
Somali faction leader Hussein Aideed has disarmed a group of Ethiopian Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) members living in Mogadishu. The move came as a result of meetings in Addis Ababa in October between Aideed and Ethiopian authorities, a spokesman for Aideed told IRIN. The OLF is an Ethiopian rebel group, formed in 1974, which had been allied to Aideed and has used Somali territory as a rear base. Representatives of Libya and Egypt monitored the disarmament and handover of about 100 weapons, Aideed spokesman Abdulatif Afdub said. Ethiopian government spokesperson Hailekiros Gessesse told IRIN that nothing was promised in return from the Ethiopian side. "He [Aideed] should clean his house... he should think of his own people", Hailekiros said, repeatiung denials that Ethiopia had troops based in Somalia.
KENYA: Oromo Liberation Front accuses Kenya government
OLF radio also complained of a change of heart on the part of the Kenyan government, with whom there had been "some understanding" - falling short of direct support - in the past. The OLF broadcast, monitored by the BBC last week, accused Kenya of "declaring war" on the OLF and of detentions, killings and torture of Oromos in Kenya. A statement from the OLF website announced last week that Dawud Ibsa Ayana had taken over the leadership of the organisation, after the resignation of former chairman Galasa Dilbo due to ill health.
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