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Vol 48 No 2

Published 19th January 2007


Somalia

Peace but no keepers

To survive, the new government must widen its support base and bid farewell to Ethiopia's soldiers

African Union leaders will meet in Addis Ababa on 22-24 January to discuss sending 8,000 peacekeepers to Somalia. Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi said that an AU force will start deploying by the end of January, as Ethiopia starts pulling out the 5,000 troops who keep the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in power. Negotiations are moving painfully slowly and there is much scepticism about the willingness of African troops to fill the vacuum left by the Ethiopians. Some of Premier Ali Mohamed's allies talk of extending the Ethiopian stay but that would almost certainly provoke a violent counter reaction, given the strength of Somali nationalism and historical enmities with Ethiopia.

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