From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sat Feb 07 2009 - 07:38:37 EST
Sheikh Ahmed in Mogadishu for dialogue
Sat, 07 Feb 2009 11:13:58 GMT
Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has arrived in Mogadishu to
hold talks aimed at forming an inclusive coalition government.
"My trip to Mogadishu is aimed at having consultations with elders,
politicians and Islamic resistance groups," AFP quoted Sheikh Ahmed as
saying upon his arrival in the Somali capital.
The young cleric and former leader of the opposition Alliance for
Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) was elected as Somalia's new president on
January 31 by Somali lawmakers who convened in Djibouti and was sworn in on
Earlier this week, the newly-elected president traveled to the Ethiopian
capital Addis Ababa to take part in the African Union summit and then
returned to Djibouti.
Sheikh Ahmed has vowed to form an inclusive government and hold negotiations
with armed opposition groups to join a UN-sponsored reconciliation effort
which saw him leave his exile in Eritrea.
Meanwhile, several politicians are hoping to succeed outgoing Prime Minister
Nur Hassan Hussein.
According to Somalia's transitional charter, the president, the premier and
the parliament speaker have to come from three different major tribes.
Sheikh Sharif and Hussein are both from the Hawiye clan.
Over 3m Somalis dependent on food aid
Sat, 07 Feb 2009 01:05:15 GMT
Over three million Somalis, or a third of the total population, are in dire
need of humanitarian assistance this year, UN analysis says.
According to the assessment by the United Nations Food Security Analysis
Unit (FSAU), the UN's World Food Program (WFP) has distributed 34,000 tons
of food in 2008 to 3.4 million people in this strife-torn country.
The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), for its part, is working to create a
permanent sustainable water system. UNICEF and the UN World Health
Organization (WHO) are helping to protect some 1.5 million children aged
five and under against preventable and water-borne diseases, the UN report
said on Friday.
Supplying steady assistance to Somalia will remain the biggest challenge as
less aid is coming in, and the situation is certain to worsen now that the
European Commission has pulled out from among the top donors, it added.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported
that only 18 percent of funds needed for humanitarian work in the Horn of
Africa country has been disbursed.
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