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Somali Government to Return Home From Kenya


Somalia's prime minister announced plans for his new government to relocate to Somalia's capital Mogadishu from its temporary base in Kenya.

Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi told reporters three teams will pave the way for his Nairobi-based government to return to Somalia.

Two teams are to go to Mogadishu and major urban centers to set up offices and other government infrastructure. The third team is to stay in Nairobi to draw up government plans, consult with international donors, and perform other coordination duties.

Prime Minister Gedi said the teams are to leave for Somalia by the end of January and will start relocating cabinet ministers, members of parliament, and delegates who attended the two-year peace talks in Kenya. He said the relocation should be completed by April.

"The promises are over for Somalia,” he said. “We need actions and we need implementation of what we have been planning for years and years. So it is a time for action and it is not a time for promises and talks."

Mr. Gedi said insecurity is the main challenge, and concern, for his new government. He said there is no specific threat aimed at the government, but a general chaos and lawlessness brought about by more than a decade of war.

He said national forces to protect the government and its teams are already in place.

Earlier this month, the African Union pledged to send what it calls a peace support mission into Somalia to protect the government, train the police force and army, and help to provide security.

Somalia fell into anarchy after then-leader Siad Barre was ousted in 1991. Since then, groups based on clan and sub-clan affiliations have controlled different parts of the country through the strength of their militias, with no central government to provide law, order, and resources to the people.

The new government is the result of a two-year peace process in Kenya during which more than 20 factional leaders, civil society representatives, traditional elders, and others came together to write a new charter for the country and pick a new government.

Now that the new government has been installed, the Kenyan government has been putting pressure on it and the peace talks delegates to return to Somalia.

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