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Somali Leaders Accused Of Delaying Peace Process - 2004-03-12

East African foreign ministers say Somali leaders are needlessly delaying the country's peace process and jeopardizing international financial aid.

A meeting of East African foreign ministers in Nairobi to discuss the Somali peace process opened on a pessimistic note Friday.

The ministers, representing the region's Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, complained that Somali political and tribal leaders are letting petty differences drag out the peace process.

The executive director of the I-G-A-D group, Attalla Hamad Bashir, said the slow progress jeopardizes international aid for Somalia.

"This process cannot go on forever. We have to come out with something that can make a difference. I have noticed donor fatigue. The support we used to receive from the donors last year was completely different from what we are noticing this year."

The Kenyan foreign minister, Kalonzo Musyoka, said Somali leaders must rise above their narrow self-interests for the greater good of the Somali people.

He said it has emerged that some Somali leaders are now upset with parts of a transitional federal charter they signed in January, holding up its final implementation.

Mr. Musyoka last week invited Somali leaders to a ceremony in Nairobi on Saturday to formally launch the charter, but it remained unclear late Friday, which Somali officials might attend.