Somalia: Delegates to be screened and re-registered

NAIROBI, 18 February (IRIN) - Delegates to the Somali peace conference, which has been moved to the Kenyan capital Nairobi from the town of Eldoret, will be re-registered and screened before proceedings resume, a source close to the talks told IRIN on Tuesday.
The first group of delegates arrived at the Kenya College of Communications Technology (KCCT) in Nairobi's Mbagathi suburb on the evening of 15 February. Almost all the delegates were reported to have reached the new venue by Monday, said the source. The process of re-registering and screening was likely to take about two days.

According to the source, the screening of the delegates was made necessary by the fact that "many people who are not bona fide delegates are currently at the KCCT". "We need to screen them so that only bona fide delegates will remain," he said.

In the rush to move to the new venue, many people - including those not on the final list - were transported to Nairobi, one delegate told IRIN.

Many female delegates were complaining that the accommodation at the KCCT was such that men and women were forced to share bathroom facilities. "It is extremely embarrassing for us to have to queue with men to use the bathrooms," one woman said.

The technical committee of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the regional body which is organising the conference, was aware of the problem and was in the process of rectifying it, Peter Nyagah, the press liaison officer, told IRIN. "There will be a separate dormitory for the ladies," he said.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian government's announcement that it was contributing some US $250,000 towards the conference was "a positive sign and a vote of confidence for the talks," Nyagah added. "It shows the commitment of the donor community to the peace process and a desire to see it succeed."


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