Somali peace talks postponed

CAIRO - A conference to reconcile Somalis has been postponed for security reasons for one month, a senior Arab League official said yesterday.

CAIRO - A conference to reconcile Somalis has been postponed for security reasons for one month, a senior Arab League official said yesterday.

Samir Hosni, who deals with African affairs at the league, said the Somali government had asked for the delay because of security conditions in Somalia.

The proposed reconciliation conference is the main domestic political initiative to end a conflict in which more than 1000 people were killed between March 29 and April 1.

The fighting is between the weak Ethiopian-backed government of Somalia and insurgents who include Islamist fighters and militia from the dominant Hawiye clan, who oppose the presence of troops from Ethiopia.

A preparatory committee that met on Tuesday called on the international community to contribute R227 million to finance the reconciliation conference. - Reuters

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