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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:37, March 08, 2007
Somalia gov't set to relocate to Mogadishu
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The Somali transitional government plans to relocate to the capital Mogadishu after the deployment of the African Union peacepeeking force in the war ravaged nation, a senior official said Wednesday.

Addressing a news conference in Nairobi, Somali Ambassador to Kenya Mohammed Ali Nor said the relocation would enable the government to move services closer to the people.

"The government is planning to relocate to Mogadishu immediately after the deployment of the AU peacekeeping force in Somalia. This would enable it to service its people more efficiently and be closer to them," Nor told reporters in Nairobi.

"In fact, the President, the Speaker of the Parliament and the Prime Minister reside in Mogadishu," he added.

Nor said despite recent violent attacks in Mogadishu, the Somali government has restored calm after engaging its people in preparations for the grand entry of the Somali troops.

Security has been stepped up following the killing of two policemen near Mogadishu's airport Wednesday after the arrival of hundreds of AU peacekeepers, said the ambassador, adding, the government was working jointly with the civil society to restore calm in the entire country.

"Its clear the people of Somalia are tired of war and are ready for peace. Their support for the Uganda peacekeeping force is overwhelming and the transitional government is doing all it can to ensure peace for the Somali people is guaranteed," Nor said. " However, there still remain few remnants of the Islamist extremists who don't want peace and stability in Somalia."

The Islamist militias have vowed to attack the peacekeepers at every opportunity, though the motive for Wednesday's shootings was unclear.

The Somali envoy said the government has initiated a community policy security program where over 8,000 former militias have been reintegrated and are already undergoing intensive training in Balidogle, about 90 kilometers from Mogadishu.

"We believe these young people will play a great role in securing peace in their own country and ensuring economic stability is retained. Also several young groups have volunteered to patrol the crime prone areas in Mogadishu with the police forces," said Nor.

The Ethiopian-backed transitional government has been fighting an insurgency since they defeated the powerful Islamist movement, which previously controlled south and central Somalia in January.

Source: Xinhua

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