The Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) has reportedly rejected an invitation from the government of Djibouti for talks in Djibouti with the Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia, 'Ayaamaha' a Mogadishu-based daily reported on 10 December. A Djibouti official told IRIN that the RRA had been invited but said "whether and when they will come I cannot say".
The RRA, which controls the Bay and Bakol regions of southwestern Somalia, is a member of the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC), an opposition grouping of southern factions opposed to the TNG. "It would have been a breakthrough in the reconciliation process if the Djiboutians brought the RRA and the TNG together," a regional expert told IRIN. The RRA is the most important group within the southern opposition to the TNG, he added. The invitation was reportedly sent to the RRA chairman Muhammad Hasan Nur Shattigadud and his deputies. "We are always ready to facilitate any talks that will bring Somalis together, and offer them our good offices, but it is up to them to take advantage of that," the Djibouti official said.