U.N. Talks With Somali Warlord

News and Press Release
Originally published
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- The United Nations has opened talks with one of Somalia's most powerful warlords on a large-scale return of international aid agencies in the Somali capital.

Faction leader Hussein Aidid indicated he was ready to ''do many things'' to enable aid agencies to establish a greater presence in his half of Mogadishu, according to a diplomat who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

Extortions, kidnappings and killings of U.N. soldiers and aid workers forced the pullout of U.N. troops last year. Most of the violence was blamed on supporters of Gen. Mohamed Farrah Aidid, Hussein Aidid's father, who died Aug. 1.

Hussein Aidid invited international aid agencies to return to south Mogadishu shortly after assuming power Aug. 4. He apparently is now worried that chronic unemployment and lack of business activity in his south Mogadishu stronghold may undermine his new position.

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