Somalia

Somalia postpones long-awaited peace conference

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NAIROBI, June 13 (Reuters) - Organisers of a national reconciliation conference in Somalia due to start on Thursday have postponed it for one month in another blow to peace efforts in the chaotic Horn of Africa nation.

"The National Reconciliation Committee has decided to postpone the conference due to unforeseen circumstances," committee chairman Ali Mahdi Mohamed told reporters.

It was the second postponement of the national reconciliation meeting -- originally scheduled for April -- that was intended to bring together in Mogadishu hundreds of delegates from feuding clans and factions across Somalia.

Mahdi, reading a committee statement, said several clan leaders had requested a delay to choose their delegates, and the venue of the conference had not yet been fully constructed.

Foreign diplomats had widely expected the postponement, even though they are pinning their hopes on the conference as the best way to try to secure lasting peace in Somalia, which has been in anarchy since the ousting of a dictator in 1991.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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