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UN Envoy to Somalia Optimistic About Talks Between Government, Opposition


The U.N. special envoy for Somalia says the Somali transitional government and the opposition alliance are talking - and that he is hopeful the talks could lead to reconciliation in the war-torn nation.

In an interview Tuesday Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah tells VOA that there are almost daily telephone contacts between the government and opposition members.

He says he has proposed small-group discussions between the sides on how to advance reconciliation.

Ould-Abadallah says the goal could be achieved because he believes Somalis are tired of fighting.

An estimated six-thousand people have been killed in Mogadishu over the past year as Islamist insurgents battle the government and allied Ethiopian troops.

Witnesses say a passenger vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the capital Tuesday, killing at least two people and wounding at least four others.

Details are unclear but the witnesses say the incident took place in the northern part of the capital.

The insurgency began last January after government and Ethiopian forces pushed Islamists from strongholds in southern and central Somalia.

The United Nations estimates about 600,000 people have fled Mogadishu for safer areas.

Somalia has not had a stable central government since 1991.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

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