"Addis Reportedly to Mediate in Puntland Leadership Wrangle."
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
Jama Ali Jama, the President of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, has left for the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where he is scheduled to hold talks with his rival, former Puntland leader Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf. Jama has gone to Ethiopia with a mandate from his parliment to "negotiate an end to the uncertainty in Puntland." Jama has streesed that he would not "negotiate the dismantling of the duly elected administration in Puntland."
The Ethiopians have offered to mediate between the two leaders. Previous discussions betweeen the two sides have been rather fruitless. Representatives from Jama have reservationsthat the Ethiopians will be able to find a common ground between the leaders. "If the Ethiopians can find a solution to this problem, then they are welcome to try it, but both are claiming to be the legitimate leader, and neither is willing to step aside for the other."
The controversy over the Puntland's leadership began after Abdullahi Yusuf, whose term was to have ended on June 30, 2001, claimed that hsi mandate had been extended by parliament. The Puntland traditional elders rejected Yusuf's claim and subsequently the general congress elected Jama Ali to a three-year term in the hope that this would end the leadership wrangles.
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