Somalia Factions Agree On A Reconciliation Conference
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ A dozen Somali factions said Thursday they would hold a reconciliation conference within two months to reassemble the remains of their shattered nation.
The announcement followed talks in Nairobi presided over by Osman Hassan Ato, who claimed to have ousted Gen. Mohamed Farrah Aidid in June as chairman of the Somali National Alliance, a clan-based grouping of factions.
Numerous earlier agreements by Somali faction leaders have failed to produce any lasting peace. Somalia has lacked a government since the ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
``It is now very clear that time has come for the vast majority of the Somali political leaders to ... break with the failure of the past practices and attitudes,″ Ato said in a statement.
He said all factions were represented at the talks except Aidid’s and the Somali National Movement of Ibrahim Egal, the self-proclaimed president of the secessionist Somaliland Republic in northern Somalia.
Somalia disintegrated into chaos after Siad Barre’s ouster. An estimated 250,000 people died in fighting and famine before a U.S.-led multinational force went to Somalia in December 1992 to safeguard relief convoys.
The United Nations took over the job three months later. It left last March after failing to restore order.