Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Can anything good come from this? Somali warlords 'to merge forces'

BBC News reports Somali warlords 'to merge forces'
The most powerful warlords in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, have agreed to set up a united force, which they say will restore security to the lawless city.

They say they will withdraw some of their battle wagons and gunmen from the city, to make it safer.

The BBC's Hassan Barise, just back from Mogadishu, says this is a big step forward in the peace process.

However, some rival members of the exiled government fear that the new force could be used against them.

The Mogadishu warlords are opposed to a peacekeeping force.
Like the entire country, Mogadishu is divided between rival warlords, whose gunmen can be seen operating roadblocks on many street corners, where they demand money from commercial vehicles.

Somalia has not had a functioning national government since 1991, when Siad Barre was ousted.

A government has been formed in neighbouring Kenya but it says Mogadishu is too dangerous for it to return to.

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