The long-awaited presidential elections for Somalia will be held here on Sunday, hopefully to bring stability to the Horn of Africa nation after more than a dozen years of violence and chaos.
A total of 28 contestants including one woman will compete for the presidency in what is widely seen as the culmination of a tortuous two-year peace process in Kenya, mediated by the regionalInter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Since the breakdown of the Somali central government in 1991, conflict and famine have killed hundreds of thousands of people, plunging the country into anarchy.
Under the auspices of IGAD, which groups Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Somalia, Somali National Reconciliation Conference began in October 2002 in Kenya.
The presidential elections come after the election of the speaker of the transitional federal parliament of Somalia on Sept.15 and his two deputies on Sept. 22 and the inauguration of the transitional parliament on Aug. 29.