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SOMALIA: New government gets African diplomatic recognition

NAIROBI, 15 October 2004 (IRIN) - Eastern and central African leaders said on Friday they would recognise "with immediate effect" the new government in Somalia, which will be led by the newly elected President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and urged the UN to send a mission to the Horn of Africa country.

Their announcement, made following a meeting in the Kenya capital, Nairobi, came a day after Yusuf was inaugurated. The Somali president has not yet appointed a prime minister, who is expected to form the cabinet.

At Friday's summit - attended by the presidents of Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda and senior officials from Eritrea and Ethiopia, as well as the vice president of Sudan - the leaders appealed to the UN to "take immediate action to deploy a mission to Somalia to assist in securing the new government and also help train security forces for Somalia".

They also pledged to give diplomatic, political, technical and financial support to Somalia's transitional government and appealed to the international community to do the same.

The leaders, who included South Africa's Deputy President Jacob Zuma, resolved "to take collective action on any person or groups of persons whose actions are directly or indirectly inimical to the achievements" made at the Somali reconciliation conference in Nairobi.

Somalia ceased to function as a modern state in 1991 when armed groups overthrew the regime of Muhammad Siyad Barre, precipitating a ruinous civil war that saw numerous warring warlords and their militias carve the country into fiefdoms.

The new president is expected to appoint a prime minister before the new administration can relocate to Mogadishu. The president and his government have a five-year mandate, after which, general elections will be held inside Somalia.

Theme (s): Governance,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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