13/10/08 (B469) Garowe On Line / Conférence en Afrique du Sud : arrivée d’une délégation gouvernementale somalienne et des représentants de l’opposition . // Somalia: Joint govt-opposition committees attending South Africa seminar (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

A delegation composed of government officials and opposition representatives from Somalia arrived in South Africa, Radio Garowe reported Sunday.

The 21-member delegation includes members of the Joint Political Committee and the Joint Security Committee – two special committees established under the tenets of the Djibouti Agreement.

The Somali delegation was invited to South Africa by the UN Political Office for Somalia, officials said.

While in South Africa, the delegates will participate at a seminar on political and security affairs.

Mohamed Mohamud Hayd, a Somali lawmaker, told the media that the delegations will jointly participate at a seminar on political and security affairs.

Delegation members plan to hold direct talks with South African government officials regarding a spate of recent killings targeting Somali immigrants, including the brutal murder of a mother and her three children earlier this month.

The Djibouti Agreement, signed between the Somali government and a faction of the armed opposition in June, calls for a ceasefire and the orderly withdrawal of Ethiopian forces.

But some armed groups have rejected the peace deal and vowed to continue the insurgency, which has led to the deaths of at least 9,500 people since January 2007.

Nearly 3 million people in Somalia are in need of food assistance, according to UN estimates. The current interim government, backed by Ethiopia, is the 14th attempt to restore national order in the war-torn Horn of Africa country since 1991.