Somali leader targeted in blasts – BBC

August 15th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Somali insurgents have attacked the president’s convoy as he was preparing to leave for Ethiopia to attend talks to resolve a rift in the government.

Reports say the insurgents detonated two landmines near the convoy.

President Abdullahi Yusuf and Premier Hussein Nur Adde are to hold face-to-face talks in an attempt to end differences between the two leaders.

There are fears that the rift could affect a ceasefire agreement signed with the opposition in June.

Following the attack on the president’s convoy, Ethiopian-backed government troops responded by opening fire, killing five civilians. (more…)

Somali insurgents have attacked the president’s convoy as he was preparing to leave for Ethiopia to attend talks to resolve a rift in the government.

Reports say the insurgents detonated two landmines near the convoy.

President Abdullahi Yusuf and Premier Hussein Nur Adde are to hold face-to-face talks in an attempt to end differences between the two leaders.

There are fears that the rift could affect a ceasefire agreement signed with the opposition in June.

Following the attack on the president’s convoy, Ethiopian-backed government troops responded by opening fire, killing five civilians.

Ethiopia helped government forces oust the Islamists, who controlled much of Somalia in 2006, but has since become bogged down in the country.

Impatience

Relations between the president and his premier have been strained in the past few weeks.

The BBC’s Elizabeth Blunt in Addis Ababa says Ethiopia is growing increasingly impatient with the constant feuding within the Somali government’s ranks.

The rift between the two leaders has spread to parliament, where supporters of President Yusuf have threatened to pass a vote of no confidence in the prime minister.

Mr Nur Adde and top Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed signed a three-month ceasefire agreement in June.

Delegations from both sides are to consider political and security issues at a meeting in Djibouti on Saturday.

Another prominent Islamist leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, has refused to negotiate until all Ethiopian troops had left the country

Our correspondent says Ethiopia should have some influence over President Yusuf as his government would be extremely vulnerable without Ethiopian military support.

Former Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Ghedi was forced out of government in October after a series of disagreements with President Yusuf.

When Mr Nur Adde replaced Mr Ghedi, he was seen as a neutral figure who would make competent prime minister.

Somalia has experienced almost constant civil conflict since the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime in January 1991.

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