Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Huseen Aideed Announces Run for Somalia Presidency
NAIROBI, 6 MAY 2003 (VOA)--Somali warlord Huseen Aideed Tuesday declared his intention to run for the presidency of his war-torn country. His announcement comes as delegates at a reconciliation conference in Kenya are working to select an interim leader for Somalia.

Mr. Aideed, a former U.S. Marine and the son of the famous Somali warlord Mohamed Aideed, says he wants to become the first president of the re-united republic of Somalia.

"My intentions are that I support the federal system but that it should be done through referendum. And that [there should be] a commission of by independent intellectual Somalis, outside and inside, to study very carefully the borders of the federal [state]," he said. "And the Somali population has the responsibility, not the politicians [to decide] what type of federal [state] we should have."

Speaking to reporters in Nairobi Tuesday, he outlined his vision for Somalia.

"Once elected, I promise to lead our beloved country towards reconciliation, reconstruction and to build a Somali society based on the ideals of democracy, economic prosperity and social justice for all Somalis," he said. "I promise to build a society that respects and upholds the reality of the Somali culture and tradition." MORE

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