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Somali Leaders Head to Djibouti for Presidential Election


Somali political leaders are headed to neighboring Djibouti for a presidential election to be held within the next few days.

U.N. special envoy to Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah says Djibouti would be the election site, though the date has not been finalized.

A Somali journalist tells VOA the envoy has dispatched planes to Somalia to pick up members of parliament and fly them to Djibouti for the vote.

Somalia has been without a president for about a month, since Abdullahi Yusuf resigned in a power struggle with Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein.

The infighting weakened the government as it fights a rising Islamist insurgency.

Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Program is demanding that Somali authorities provide better protection following the killing of two of its staffers.

The WFP says it wants Somali community leaders to provide "clear assurances" that agency workers can do their jobs safely.

Unidentified gunmen shot one WFP staffer in the Gedo region January 6th and another near Mogadishu on January 8.

The WFP feeds millions of Somalis in need of assistance because of rising food prices, periodic drought, and years of internal conflict.

The country has not had a strong central government since 1991.

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