Twenty elders from the Rahanweyn clan of Bay and Bakol regions, southern Somalia, were arrested by the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA), accused of holding talks with the Mogadishu-based Transitional National Government (TNG). Muhammad Ali Qalinle, the governor of the southern town of Baidoa, confirmed the arrests to IRIN and said the elders were detained “somewhere in the Bakol Region”. He said they had not been charged, but would be brought to court “soon”.
According to local media reports, the elders were arrested on 31 March in Bur-Hakaba, about 145 km southwest of Mogadishu, after they returned from Mogadishu. They were reportedly attempting to arrange reconciliation talks between the TNG and the RRA.