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Aydid accuses states of arming interim government

Mogadishu faction leader Husayn Muhammad Aydid on Thursday accused Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Sudan of arming the Mogadishu-based Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. Aydid said Sudan and Yemen had “sent weapons” and that Saudi Arabia “had provided US $7.5 million for the purchase of equipment for a new army”, said AFP. Aydid also accused neighbouring Djibouti of buying weapons for the TNG “on behalf of certain Arab states”, AFP said. Aydid is the current chairman of the opposition Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC) that was recently set up following Ethiopia-hosted talks. It brings together most of the southern faction leaders opposed to the TNG.

Aydid returned to Mogadishu on Tuesday from the south-central town of Baidoa, where the SRRC has been meeting. He told news agencies that he and other faction leaders would hold a national reconciliation conference within six months to bring about the setting up of a “truly representative and legitimate government”. He said the SRRC would draft a charter outlining the agenda of the conference, which would be held in held in Somalia, “to minimise foreign influence”, said AFP.

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