Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mogadishu, Somalia: 'Crucial peacekeeping talks' being held in Sudan

Reuters report via Gulfnews June 21, 2006:

Mogadishu's new Islamist rulers and Somalia's interim government plan to meet in Sudan today under the auspices of the Arab League to try and avoid war following a recent power shift in the Horn of Africa nation.

When the Islamist militia kicked US-backed warlords out of Mogadishu there was hope they would work with the weak government based in the provincial town of Baidoa to install the first truly national administration for 15 years.

But the two sides have quickly moved apart.

The Islamists accuse President Abdullahi Yousuf's administration of encouraging an incursion by Ethiopian troops, while the government says that is a lie intended to justify an attack on Baidoa.

"The meeting tomorrow in Khartoum is crucial ... just sitting together would be a step forward," said a Western diplomat yesterday, who has been speaking to both sides.


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