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International Diplomats Discuss Strategy for Somalia


A group of diplomats gathered in Tanzania Friday to discuss bringing permanent stability to Somalia.

The International Contact Group on Somalia called for a reconciliation of all the factions in the war-torn nation, including the powerful clans and their warlords, and leaders of the ousted Islamist movement. The contact group is made up of diplomats from the United States, Europe and Africa.

Somalia's interim government is struggling to assert authority in Mogadishu after driving Islamist militants from the country in December with the help of Ethiopian forces. The African Union has only been able to muster half of the 8,000 peacekeeping troops it plans to deploy to Somalia to replace Ethiopian forces.

Mogadishu has been hit by mortar attacks in recent days. Authorities blame the attacks on ousted Islamist forces.

Somalia has been plagued by anarchy since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamad Siad Barre in 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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