Somali peace talks delegates reject agreement signed in Libya
NAIROBI (AFP) Nov 14, 2003
The spokesman for Somali delegates still party to Kenya-based peace talks on Friday rejected a deal reached in Libya this week by groups that have quit the Nairobi negotiations.

"The agreement, signed in Libya on Thursday, is counter-productive and is aimed at crippling the internationally supported peace talks that are at the final stage of ending the Somali conflict," Mawlid Ma'an Mohamed, spokesman for the Somali leaders' committee at the Nairobi peace talks, told AFP.

On Thursday, the Libyan official news agency, JANA, reported that President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan -- who enjoys very limited recognition -- and several Somali armed groups signed a reconciliation pact in Tripoli in the presence of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.

Among those who signed the agreement were Mogadishu warlords Musa Sudu Yalahow, Osman Hassan Ali "Atto", Engineer Mohamed Husseein Addow, Barre Hirale of southern Juba Valley Alliance and other warlords and politicians who quit the Nairobi forum earlier this year.

The Kenyan talks, mediated by the seven-nation regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), comprising Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and, nominally, Somalia, began on October 15 last year.

Delegates have already reached a ceasefire agreement and struck an accord on a transitional charter and parliament.

But the ceasefire has already been broken in several parts of the country, while the adoption of the charter and parliament accords were rejected by the Transitional National Government headed by Salat, and by warlords who have signed the Tripoli accord.

"If those people in Libya are serious about establishing normalcy for Somalia, then let them come back here and join the genuine talks with other leaders," Mohamed said.

Other delegates at the peace talks also condemned the agreement, describing it as a "forum shopping."

Somalia has not had a recognised government and has been ruled by warring clan leaders since the 1991 ouster of the late dictator General Mohammed Siad Barre.