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Faction Leader Leaves Talks
NAIROBI, 6 Aug 2003 (IRIN) - Prominent Mogadishu-based faction leader Muse Sudi Yalahow walked out of the Somali peace talks in Nairobi on Wednesday, saying he was unhappy over the draft charter and lack of reconciliation among leaders.
"We want reconciliation among leaders first," he told IRIN. "In nine months of talks, there has not been any reconciliation. Leaders who came here as enemies remain so to this day. I thought this whole conference was about reconciliation."
He said he was displeased his suggestions and comments had been rejected by the chairman of the talks - which are sponsored by the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)- particularly his proposal that "Somali legal experts assisted by foreign experts" be given time to "correct mistakes" in the draft charter.
"This charter in its current form will lead to a new civil war in Somalia," he warned. "We want a successful outcome from these talks and the way things are going now, this will not happen."
Yalahow said the talks should not be hurried simply because they had already been underway for nine months. "If it takes a year for a workable outcome, it is better," he said.
If his suggestions were not taken into account, he added, "then there is no reason for us to be here".
Yalahow's walkout comes a week after that of Abdiqassim Salad Hassan, president of Somalia's Transitional National Government (TNG), who said his concerns had been "ignored and trivialised".
The IGAD-sponsored talks on Somalia began in October 2002 in the western Kenyan town of Eldoret, but were moved to the capital, Nairobi, in February this year.