RealNews

Chaos surrounds Somali peace talks

The speaker of Somali’s interim parliament, Abdallah Derow Isaak, has declared himself the new president of Somalia. A day after throwing a chair at his deputy in a hotel in the Kenyan capital, Mr Isaak told a news conference that his government had impeached the incumbent president, Abdulkassim Salat Hassan. Somalia has been without an effective central government since the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991. A transitional national government (TNG) was set up 2000 but only controls part of the capital, Mogadishu. This latest announcement will do little to boost the credibility of the TNG as a united force at the ongoing Somali peace talks in Nairobi. Mr Isaak said that he would head the TNG until a new president is appointed, although his claim is unlikely to be taken seriously by most Somalis. The BBC’s Yusuf Hassan, who attended the news conference, says that many delegates regard Mr Isaak’s action as unconstitutional. The delegates maintain that it is only the Somali supreme court that has powers to declare a new president. Full Story

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