Sanaa Urges Somali Warlords to Cooperate with Elected President
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh Thursday urged four Somali warlords opposed to the new president Abdulkassim Salat Hassan to cooperate with him, a Yemeni official said.
"The Yemeni head of state has called on the Somali warlords to join in the process of reconciliation started at the Arta (Djibouti) peace conference," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
This appeal was put forward by Saleh's representatives during a morning meeting in Sanaa with the Somali warlords, Hussein Mohamed Aidid and Osman Hassan Ali, known as "Atto", as well as the leaders of two smaller factions, Hussein Haj and Mualed Maani.
The Somalis have been in Sanaa since Tuesday, and met Saleh Wednesday.
The Yemeni official added that Sanaa "was also trying to persuade the new president to offer the warlords positions in a government of national unity."
He said "Hussein Mohamed Aidid made it known that he wanted to be handed the foreign affairs portfolio in a government of national unity."
An official Yemeni source said Wednesday that the warlords had come to Sanaa to "listen to Sanaa's ideas for national reconciliation between the different Somali factions."
Hassan was elected president August 25th by a transitional national assembly in Arta, 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Djibouti city. The Yemeni leader attended his investiture August 27th.
He has the support of Somali civilians, but some warlords have refused to recognize his authority.
The authorities in Sanaa say more than half a million Somalis have fled to Yemen to escape the fighting. -- SANAA (AFP)
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