The chairman of the Somalia Committee of the Inter-Governmental Authority, IGAD, says the Somali peace talks are making progress. Elijah Mwangale dismisses reports that the talks have collapsed. He says phase one has ended successfully and serious negotiations are underway as the faction leaders enter the second phase, which he says is more important.

The talks, which are being brokered by IGAD, are being held in the Kenyan town of Eldoret. They are aimed at laying a foundation for a sustainable peace in a country that?s witnessed more than a decade of violence among faction leaders.

William Faria is a reporter covering the talks for the Kenyan independent daily newspaper, the East African Standard. From Eldoret, he tells English to Africa reporter Richard Kotey that the number of delegates has been reduced from one thousand to three hundred fifty to cut down the cost and simplify matters.

Mr. Faria says the reported rivalry and suspicions among the various factions have existed for a very long time and although those factors are causing some problems in the negotiations, the warring factions are gradually making progress. He said there are twenty-one factions participating in the talks and they are well aware that this is the last chance for them to achieve peace.

Click above links to hear Kotey interview.