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    Somalia's presidential election to take place in Djibouti late this month
    Release Time: 2009/1/11 0:00:00        From: Made In China.com        Visits: 230167        Font Size: Large  Middle  Small

    ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the rebel Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) have agreed to hold the presidential election in neighboring Djibouti from Jan. 20 to 26, said a statement from the African Union (AU) on Saturday.
    The AU, the troop contributing countries of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Somalia and the United Nations (UN), as well as Ethiopia in its capacity as the chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), held a meeting Saturday at the AU headquarters to review the political and security situation in Somalia and the status of AMISOM buildup.
    "The meeting reviewed the political and security situation in the country, and was informed that efforts are underway towards the formation of an expanded parliament, which would elect the president and other principal officers of the state, in accordance with the provisions of the Transitional Federal Charter, and within the framework of the Djibouti political process on Somalia," said a statement, issued after the meeting.
    "Regarding the security situation, the representatives of Somalia informed the meeting that there has been a significant threat reduction in the country, particularly in Mogadishu. This assessment was corroborated by the briefings provided by the representatives of the United Nations and Uganda," said the statement.
    According to the statement, a UN team will head to the Horn of Africa next week to explore ways of supporting AMISOM.
    Uganda was the first country to contribute troops to the AMISOM in March 2007 and Burundi followed in 2008, but the force is still far short of the 8,000 soldiers initially announced by the AU.
    In another development, the United Nations said on its website that the team includes the UN deputy special representative for Somalia, Charles Petrie, representatives from UN Political Office for Somalia as well as departments of peacekeeping, field support and political affairs at the UN Headquarters in New York.
    Talks will be held in Nairobi and Addis Ababa to discuss ways of supporting the AU mission as well as Somalia's transitional security forces and police.
    Somalia's President Abdullahi Yusuf resigned late in December after four years of leading one of the most violent countries in the world. At present, the speaker of Somalia's parliament stood in as acting president of the country until elections.
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