March 30, 2011 ·28 Comments
DJIBOUTI — The Djibouti government has for the first time publicly rejected an upcoming Somali conference sponsored by the UN to be held in the Kenyan capital, an official said on Wednesday.
Mr. Hamoud Abdi Sultan, Djibouti Muslim Affairs Minister, told VOA Somali services that his government was strongly opposed to the proposed international peace conference in Nairobi because it was undermining the 2009 Djibouti conference that has formed the current TFG.
He said a new conference will only complicate things even further and will reignite the conflict in Somalia. He believes the conference will not move the current efforts forward but instead will backpaddle the whole process.
The conference proposed by Ambassador Augustine P. Mahiga, the Secretary General of the United Nation’s envoy to Somalia, calls for an international peace conference in April that would involve direct negotiations between Somalia’s many warring factions.
During his state visit to Hargeisa last week, Mr. Mahida invited Somaliland to take a center role in the conference but it unilaterally rejected the offer saying it has nothing to do with Somalia’s unrests. Somaliland said, it wishes Somalia well and hopes they can resolve their prolonged conflict but it will not endorse the meeting.
The announcement by Djibouti, which could be a setback for Mahida’s initiatives, comes hours after Mr. Mahida flew to Mogadishu to try to mediate a feud between Somalia’s interim President, Sheikh Sharif and the Parliament speaker, Sharif Hassan.
He also said he was inviting the two officials and the Prime Minister Mohamed Abdulahi Farmajo to the conference. He added the conference will not form a new government but instead will focus on establishing a new roundtable consultation process with interested stakeholders.
Sources say the UN will invite Somalia’s semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Galmudug, Alhu Sunna rebels and the transitional government of former cleric Sheikh Sharif.
Somalilandpress | 30 March 2011Follow @somalilandpress