Somalia

UN envoy offers plan to re-start talks on government reconciliation in Somalia

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The top United Nations envoy in Somalia has presented Somali leaders with an "agenda for dialogue" aimed at helping them overcome the current differences within the transitional federal authorities on the way forward, particularly on the relocation of the fledgling government from Kenya to Somalia.

According to a UN spokesman in New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Somalia, François Lonsény Fall, presented the agenda to Somalia's President, Prime Minister and, the Speaker and other Members of Parliament, in trips he made to Mogadishu and nearby Jowhar on Monday and Wednesday.

Mr. Fall had an "extensive and frank exchange" with both groups on reconciliation, the relocation of the government, security issues and the deployment of foreign peacekeepers, key issues that have stalled the latest attempt to re-establish a central authority in the war-shattered Horn of Africa nation, which has had no functioning government for 14 years following the collapse in 1991 of the government of Muhammad Siad Barre.

In spite of differences among the members of the Somali Federal Institutions, the Jowhar and Mogadishu groups responded positively to Mr. Fall's initiative, and said they would continue discussions with him on the issues raised.

"He intends to continue his shuttle consultation between the two groups to narrow the gap between them before organizing a meeting of the parties," the spokesman said.