Somalia: Another faction leader leaves Eldoret

NAIROBI, 14 January (IRIN) - A prominent Mogadishu-based faction leader Muse Sudi Yalahow left the Eldoret peace talks on Monday because he is unhappy over the progress of the meeting.
A local journalist told IRIN that Yalahow, who arrived in the Somali capital on Monday afternoon, believed the talks had not made much progress "and there was no point for him to remain in Eldoret".

Yalahow's departure follows that of another Mogadishu-based faction leader Muhammad Qanyare Afrah and of Colonel Barre Hiiraale, the leader of Juba Valley Alliance, which controls the port city of Kismayo and much of the Juba valley area of southern Somalia.

None of these leaders have indicated whether they will return or not, but a source close to Hiiraale told IRIN on Tuesday it was "unlikely" that he would go back.

The talks which started last 15 October, under the auspices of the regional body IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), have been stalled over wrangles about the number of participants and the allocation of seats. Last week, some Somali leaders asked the Kenyan government to intercede and save the talks from collapse.

Yalahow, one of the most influential faction leaders in Mogadishu, is reportedly talking to other Mogadishu-based groups to bring about "peace and security" in the capital, said the journalist.

"He has already started sending feelers to other groups," the journalist told IRIN. "Yalahow definitely feels he has more to gain if he can claim a measure of responsibility in bringing the capital's runaway crime under control."

Mogadishu, which had seen an increase in armed robberies, car-jackings, kidnappings, and general banditry over the past few months, "could definitely do with a semblance of law and order", he added.


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