U.N. Somalia envoy to set up talks with opposition

The United Nations' special envoy to Somalia said on Thursday he would try to set up peace talks between the government and its oppositions to end a 15-month insurgency in the Horn of Africa nation.

U.N. Somalia envoy to set up talks with opposition
The West-backed government wants the United Nations and international community to lead negotiations.

"I have no doubt that all Somalis and their concerned friends, governments and organisations will support this move," U.N. envoy Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said.

"As requested by the Somali parties, I will assume the leadership role and will contact all sides to propose the timing and modalities for future discussions," he added in a statement.

And Somali opposition groups -- made up of former parliamentarians, Islamists and some members of the foreign diaspora -- demand Ethiopian troops withdraw before talks.

Ethiopia sent thousands of soldiers into Somalia in late 2006 to back the government to topple Somalia's Islamic Courts Council.

The Islamist fighters regrouped and have waged an insurgency against West-backed government.


Agencies
Last Mod: 13 Mart 2008, 14:06
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