NAIROBI, Feb 27 (AFP) — Influential warlords in Somalia on Sunday rejected the possible deployment of troops from Ethiopia and Djibouti as part of a regional mission to help the country’s transitional government set foothold after relocating from exile in Kenya.
"We endorse the deployment of troops from the international community without the involvement of contingents from Somalia’s immediate neighbours," Ethiopia and Djibouti, they said in a statement released in Nairobi after overnight talks.
The stern statement was signed by warlords Hussein Mohamed Aidid, also deputy premier, Mohamed Qanyare Afrah, minister of national security, Musa Sudi Yalahow, minister of trade, Botan Isse, minister for demobilisation and Omar Mohamud "Finnish", minister for religious affairs.
The warlords from the dominant Hawiye clan who control the capital Mogadishu, said they planned to visit the bullet-scarred city to flush out gunmen roaming there who have vowed to oppose the deployment of foreign troops.
The warlords said they agreed to surrender parts they controlled in Mogadishu to the transitional government, which is still holed up in Kenya owing to insecurity in Somalia.
Early this month, African Union authorised the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which groups Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, to deploy an interim peace mission in Somalia ahead of a proper AU force.