19/08/08 (B461) Daily Nation (Kenya) L’Ethiopie cherche à mettre un terme à la querelle entre les leaders somaliens / Ethiopia seeks end to row between Somali leaders (En Anglais – Info lectrice)

Somalia’s interim President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and his Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein Adde, including parliament Speaker Sheikh Adan “Madobe” Mohamed met Ethiopian authorities at the weekend following the rift between the top leaders that has deepened since last month.

On Saturday, ahead of the second round Djibouti peace talks, the delegation met and discussed with Ethiopian officials including Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa on the growing divide in Somali government leadership despite the ongoing pace effort.

Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mr Wahde Belay told the Nation the discussion also touched other issues.

Mr Wahde said Ethiopia is very concerned about the rift between the Somali leadership which may seriously affect the peace effort including Ethiopian troop’s timely withdrawal from Somalia.

Mr Wahde added: “We discussed the ongoing peace process and bilateral cooperation between Ethiopia and the Somali interim government.”

The row between President Yusuf and Prime Minister Nur Adde emerged after the sacking of Mogadishu Mayor, Mr Mohamed Omar Habeb alias Mohamed Dhere, by Mr Adde last month.

Mr Adde said he sacked Mr Dhere because of financial mismanagement and failure to improve security of the capital city.

President Yusuf is against his Prime Minister decisions and the president’s supporters in the country’s parliament have threatened to suspend the Prime Minister.

Roadside bombs

On Friday, President Yusuf’s convoy was attacked by two roadside bombs as he drove to the airport on his way to Addis Ababa but he escaped unhurt.
Ethiopia sent troops in support of Somali’s shaky transitional government in 2006 as it faced strong resistance from Islamist insurgents.

The force was scheduled to withdraw soon but the rift among the leaders and the lack of a peace deal between the interim government and the opposition worries Ethiopian officials.

Meanwhile, the African Union and United Nations representatives resumed another round of peace talks on Saturday in Djibouti with the Somali transitional government and Islamist opposition, an AU spokesperson in Addis Ababa said. Mr Nicolah Bwakira, Africa Union’s special representative to Somalia, leads the peace talks.