Somali warlords furious with OAU over recognition

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- A group of Somali warlords warned Friday that the OAU's decision to recognise the eight-month-old government of President Abdikassim Salad Hassan could spark renewed fighting in the Horn of Africa.
The OAU accorded Somalia's seat to Hassan's government, which was formed last year after an all-party conference in Djibouti.
But a group of warlords who fought bitter sectarian wars for years, said the OAU's decision was divisive and likely to plunge Somalia into renewed fighting.
"The move is illegal and is considered a violation of the aspirations of the Somali people," the warlords, grouped under the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC), said.
"It would further provoke a complication of the Somali crisis and would only contribute to the deterioration of the conflict situation in Somalia, since it will negatively affect the prospects of peace and reconciliation in the country as early as possible, in accordance with the wishes of our people throughout the country," they said in a statement.
Somalia's seat at the OAU has been vacant for 11 years because of the absence of a central government, but the organisation has now decided to give it to Hassan's government.
Earlier, the OAU spared Somalia sanctions it imposed Thursday on 14 member-states for non-payment of annual membership contributions for more than two years.
It said the action was intended to promote unity and reconciliation in Somalia, and help stabilise Hassan's government.

06 july 2001 09:42:00

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