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Somali President Hospitalized in Kenya


Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has been taken to a hospital in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Two Western news agencies, Reuters and AFP, quote unidentified officials as saying Mr. Yusuf is in serious condition. However, a presidential aide says Mr. Yusuf is fine and will be traveling abroad shortly.

Mr. Yusuf is a liver transplant survivor and has gone abroad for medical treatment in the past.

Meanwhile, four members of Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein's Cabinet have resigned less than 24 hours after they were appointed.

Hassan Mohammad Nur - who had been appointed national security minister - says he and three other newly-appointed Cabinet ministers stepped down because they felt their clan had been scorned by the new government.

The resigning ministers are members of the Rahanwein clan, one of Somalia's four major clans. The four felt they had not received the posts they deserved.

The charter for Somalia's Transitional Federal Government - established in 2004 - requires equal representation of the four clans and one minor one using what is known as the 4.5 formula.

On Monday, the prime minister said he had been careful to respect the formula in his nomination of a 73-member Cabinet. Mr. Hussein, who also is known as Nur Adde, was responding to critics who said the Cabinet is far too big for a fledgling government like Somalia's.

After unveiling his Cabinet Sunday, the new prime minister called for talks with Islamists to end an insurgency that a Somali human rights group says has killed nearly six thousand people this year.

The United Nations refugee agency said the fighting has driven some 600,000 Mogadishu residents out of the city.

Islamists controlled Mogadishu and other Somali cities for part of 2006 before being ousted in a joint offensive by the government and allied Ethiopian troops.

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

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