A national reconciliation conference aimed at creating a broad-based government for strife-torn Somalia is likely to be held here in mid April, a senior Kenyan official said Wednesday.
"We are still working on the finest details for the national conference to be held probably by mid April," said Peter Odoyo, assistant minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
"The conference, bringing together Somalia's Transitional National Government (TNG) and other factions, will be convened during second half of April," Anthony Adanje, a senior official ofthe Kenyan foreign ministry, confirmed to Xinhua in an interview over the phone.
Adanje also disclosed that a technical committee comprising themembers of the Frontline States bordering Somalia, which are Kenya,Ethiopia and Djibouti, is expected to meet in Nairobi, Kenya, between April 3-5 to decide the date for the national conference.
Foreign ministers from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) agreed in a meeting in Nairobi last month on the conference to be held during the second half of April.
The IGAD groups seven east African states of Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, the Sudan, Uganda and Somalia.
However, Odoyo said that so far some countries have not yet submitted participants' names to Kenya, the host country.
"We hope they will do so this week or early next week," Odoyo added.
Somalia had its last fully recognized national government in 1991, when the regime of President Mohamed Siad Barre collapsed.
The country plunged into factional bloodletting as rebel leaders who had waged war against Barre turned against each other to battle for territory and resources.
More than 10 previous reconciliation conferences have failed torestore stability to Somalia.