Somalia

Somalia: Opposition accuses TNG of trying to sabotage peace talks

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NAIROBI, 10 March (IRIN) - The Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC) has accused the Transitional National Government (TNG) of trying to scuttle the ongoing peace talks. The SRRC is a grouping of the southern-based factions opposed to the TNG.
In a statement, the SRRC said the TNG was behind the current confusion bedevilling the peace process by presenting itself as the legitimate government of Somalia. This was "inconsistent with the understanding of the principle of no-preconditionality agreed [to] prior to this conference".

The SRRC said the TNG was "starting to play with the ownership concept of the conference... for the purpose of weakening and undermining the pillars of the conference itself, using the argument as an instrument of destabilisation and political intrigue".

It said the various participating groups had not accepted the TNG as a broad-based government, and "there is no legitimate government or centrally accepted authority in Somalia". The SRRC denounced what it termed as "this practice [of claiming to be the only legitimate government] on the part of the TNG group, and requests an instant discontinuation of this attitude".

The SRRC called on international and regional organisations "to cease all sorts of dealings with the TNG". It also called on Arab countries to stop their donations to the TNG and instead give them to the ongoing peace talks.

The peace talks, organised by the regional Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, are aimed at establishing a broad-based government in Somalia. The talks, which opened on 15 October last year, have been dogged by controversy over the number of participants and the allocation of seats to the various groups.

The SRRC statement accused the TNG of having its own agenda "incompatible with declared aims" of the peace process, and called on the international donor community and the IGAD technical committee not to allow the TNG any "special treatment and privileges to the detriment of the common good of all the participants".

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