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President resigns, laments lack of international support

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2008-12-30

Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf stepped down on Monday, blaming the international community for failing to support the country's fragile interim government. His resignation follows that of PM Mohamed Mohamud Guled a week earlier.

Reuters - Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf resigned on Monday and blamed the international community for failing to support the interim government in the Horn of Africa nation.

Yusuf told parliament that speaker Sheikh Aden Madobe would take over his duties and left for the airport. It was not clear where he was going.

"As I promised when you elected me on October 14, 2004, I would stand down if I failed to fulfil my duty, I have decided to return the responsibility you gave me," Yusuf said.

"Most of the country was not in our hands and we had nothing to give our soldiers. The international community has also failed to help us," Yusuf told legislators in Baidoa, Somalia's seat of parliament.

The president of Somalia's fractured, Western-backed government had become increasingly unpopular at home and abroad and was blamed by Washington, Europe and African neighbours for stalling a U.N.-hosted peace process.

Diplomats in the region are likely to welcome Yusuf's decision. They have said it would provide an opportunity to form a new, broad-based government in Somalia and get the peace process back on track.

Some analysts, however, fear it could open a potentially violent period of political limbo, with feuding camps reviving clan militias in a power struggle -- at the same time an Islamist insurgency is camped on the outskirts of the capital.

Soldiers from neighbouring Ethiopia have been propping up the government for the past two years, but there only some 3,000 soldiers left and Addis Ababa says they will leave soon.

The insurgency already controls most of southern Somalia outside the capital Mogadishu and Baidoa and analysts expect them to seize the rest when the Ethiopian troops pack up.
 

Date created : 2008-12-29

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