Djibouti Accuses Egypt again of Sabotaging Somali Peace Talks
The Djibouti government has again accused Egypt of carrying out "deplorable maneuvers" to hamper the success of the Somali peace talks by advising key warlords to stay away from the talks hosted by the small east African country.
"In spite of the commitment and will expressed by our Egyptian brothers at the highest level to contribute positively to the process of reconciliation, there are daily maneuvers by their representatives on the ground to hamper efforts," said a foreign affairs ministry communiqué published Friday.
Djibouti has accused Egyptian envoy, Saleh Halim, of advising key warlords including south Mogadishu strongman, Hussein Mohammed Aidid, not to attend the talks underway in Arta, 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Djibouti City.
Aidid, who controls parts of south Mogadishu and areas in central Somalia, announced Thursday he would continue to boycott the talks. Two days earlier he had declared he would attend.
Djibouti representative in Somalia, Osman Ahmed Yussuf, on Thursday accused Egypt of "sabotaging the Djibouti peace process" by advising Aidid, through Halim, not to attend the talks.
Egypt has dismissed the accusations saying it was "the first government who endorsed the Djibouti peace plan for Somalia" and that it did not have "any reason to counter that policy".
The Djibouti peace initiative, which has won considerable support from the international community, has largely sidelined the warlords and has concentrated instead on civil society.
It wants to reduce the power of the country's armed groups and restore a central power in the country. But the fact that only a small minority of the warlords are attending the talks has made their success doubtful.
On Wednesday, the 800-member conference resolved to appoint on Sunday a 225-seat Somali parliament and that this assembly would name an interim president on July 26th.
The timetable, which follows the weekend adoption of a charter outlining the structure of the transitional regime, also calls for the nomination of a government and a prime minister.
It has also named the town of Baidoa as a provisional capital, until security is restored in Mogadishu, some 100 kilometers to the east - DJIBOUTI (AFP)
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