Somalia's parliament continue
its meeting Monday in neighboring Djibouti to talk about how to include
the moderate Islamist opposition in a new transitional government that will
hopefully bring peace to the war-ravaged country. The meeting is also expected
to elect a new president.
international community hopes that by expanding the government, the Transitional
Federal Government would be able to convince hard line armed groups to stop fighting
the interim government and the African Union (AU) peacekeepers in the capital
Djibouti, freelance journalist Abdoul Kader Youssouf told VOA expectations are high for this round of Djibouti meeting to yield
positive results for peace in Somalia.
meeting started (today) Sunday; it was not very long, and you had speakers the
first of whom was the Djibouti Minister of Communications representing the host
country, Djibouti, followed by Ambassador Ahmedou Ould-Abddallah who is the
U.N. Special Envoy for Somalia, then followed by the vice president. The
overall note we could have about this introductory meeting is that Somali
people are expecting that this process of reconciliation be completed; that
these participants deliberate and come out of this two-day meeting with an
inclusive parliament and leaders for a central government," he said.
said some parties who have argued that the Somali conflict be resolved in
Somalia and not Djibouti may not attend this week's meeting.
the number of people who were retained for this meeting for the parliament is
240 out of 275. So you see those who did not come are those who are arguing
that the meeting should take place in Baidoa. And they are saying that there is
a lot of external interferences in this process," Youssouf said.
expressed the suspicion of some that this round of Djibouti meeting could turn
out to be just another meeting with no concrete outcome.
you know a lot of people from the media and from the public are saying this is
one more meeting. You know, we have seen hundreds of them and we don't know
what new thing this one is going to bring. However based on the introduction
notes that were made by various speakers, they put a lot of pressure on the
participants of this actual meeting, and they say that if nothing concrete
comes out of this meeting, then the international community will from now on
stay away from getting involved in this issue," he said.
addition to creating an inclusive parliament, this week's Djibouti meeting is also expected to
elect a new president.
Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the
moderate Islamist leader from the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of
Somalia, has reportedly declared his candidacy.
Youssouf said current Prime
Minister Nur Hassan Hussein is also a contender for the presidency.