[dehai-news] (Garowe Online): Somalia: 'There is no government': President Yusuf

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sat Nov 15 2008 - 18:43:30 EST

      Somalia: 'There is no government': President Yusuf
      15 Nov 15, 2008 - 12:43:39 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 15 (Garowe Online) - Somalia's interim President, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, has told a group of lawmakers that the Horn of Africa country's interim government has collapsed.

Speaking on Saturday to Somali MPs at a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, President Yusuf said he visited the United Kingdom last week for a routine medical checkup and that he is "very healthy."

Yusuf remarked that is "unfortunate" that the Somali interim government (TFG) was invited to Nairobi four years after it was first established there.

      Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf

"But the failure came from us," President Yusuf admitted, while referring to a recent conference hosted by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) whereby Ethiopian and Kenyan leaders criticized the TFG for endless feuds and failing to implement major governance initiatives.

He specifically linked the ousting of ex-Mogadishu Mayor Mr. Mohamed "Dheere" Omar to violence that is spiraling out of control in Mogadishu and elsewhere, including rebels seizing several key towns near the capital this month. READ: Islamist al Shabaab seize Marka port

"My dispute [with the Prime Minister] ever since it was said that they [opposition] be given [the post of] Mogadishu mayor, before that, most of the country was under our control and now you all know how the situation is," the Somali President told the MPs.

He cited a recent Islamist incursion into displaced peoples' camps near Mogadishu, asking: "How far is Elasha Biyaha from Mogadishu?"

President Yusuf said he asked Prime Minister Nur Adde to form "a government in the interests of the Somali people" before he can approving by signing off on the new Cabinet list.

"Today, there is no government in the country [Somalia]," he said.

The Somali leader urged the MPs in Nairobi to return home. Many MPs remained behind in Kenya following the IGAD conference, where the entire 275-seat parliament was invited.

President Yusuf' s strong words come a day after Ethiopian mediators in Addis Ababa failed to bring Yusuf and Nur Adde to common ground.

Islamist militia now control vast territory in central and southern Somalia, including towns in the outskirts of Mogadishu and Baidoa, the remaining TFG strongholds.


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