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Somali PM Dissolves Two-Week-Old Cabinet


Somalia's new prime minister has dissolved his cabinet, just two weeks after announcing its formation.

Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein told reporters Sunday that he plans to propose a new cabinet within weeks.

Mr. Hussein nominated his original 73-member cabinet on December 2. Five nominees resigned almost immediately, saying their clans were not given adequate representation.

Critics also said the cabinet was too large for the struggling Somali transitional government.

At least 19 people died in the capital, Mogadishu, on Thursday and Friday as the government and allied Ethiopian troops battled Islamist-led insurgents.

Mr. Hussein has called for talks with the Islamists to end the fighting, which a Somali human rights group says has killed some 6,000 people this year.

Islamist leaders have said they will continue fighting until Ethiopian troops leave the country.

The Ethiopians entered Somalia last year to help the government against an Islamist movement that controlled Mogadishu and other cities.

Mr. Hussein took office in November, replacing Ali Mohamed Gedi, who resigned after a power struggle with President Abdullahi Yusuf.

Somalia has not had a stable central government in more than 16 years, since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

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

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