Friday, May 02, 2003

Warlords delay Somalia’s long search for peace
By Jonathan Clayton
Our correspondent says 12 years of anarchy may end, if the right deals can be struck
NAIROBI, 2 MAY 2003(Timesonline)--AS SOMALIA’S warlords go, Hassan Mohamed Nur is refreshingly honest. “Ambition is now the main problem. Everyone wants a position in government, everyone wants to be satisfied,” he said.
“Shatigudud”, or Red Shirt, as he is known to his supporters in the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA), is explaining why the Somali peace talks, which are about to enter a critical stage, will have to last a little longer. The talks, hosted by the Kenyan Government, have been going on for more than seven months.

“Everybody wants peace and stability, you see — we have killed enough people and destroyed enough, but every leader first wants his position to be satisfied,” he said.

The talks are already the longest in more than a dozen failed internationally sponsored attempts to broker peace in the country, which collapsed in anarchy over a decade ago and was carved up into fiefdoms by armed, clan-based groups, each with their own “warlord” or, in United Nations jargon, “faction leader”. The previous deals fell apart before the ink was dry. MORE

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