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New round of Somali peace talks kicks off in Kenya

Xinhuanet 2002-10-15 18:07:27

””””ELDORET, Kenya, Oct. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- A new round of peace talks aim to end the 11- year-long civil war and establish an inclusive national government in Somalia kicked off in Kenya's northwestern city of Eldoret on Tuesday.

””””The reconciliation talks brought together about 300 notable Somali political, military, traditional and civil society leaders,including those from the Somali Transitional National Government (TNG) and the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC).

””””Present at the opening session are President Daniel arap Moi ofKenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Omar el-Bashir of the Sudan and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

””””Ministerial representatives from Eritrea and Djibouti as well as observers from the European Union and the Arab League also attended the opening meeting.

””””The conference is held under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a group of east African states that includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan and Uganda.

””””Somalia has been in the grip of rival warlords since it descended into chaos after the ousting of former dictator MohammedSiad Barre in 1991.

””””The TNG was set up after a conference of clan elders in 2000, but has so far failed to convince many of the country's warlords to accept its rule.

””””It controls only part of the capital Mogadishu and other pockets of territory around the country.

””””Last December, the TNG and some opposition faction leaders heldpeace talks in Kenya, which ended with an agreement to set up a broad-based national government, but the agreement has never been honored due to the rejection by some powerful warlords who had boycotted the talks. Enditem

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