MOGADISHU, April 15 (AFP) - Hundreds of
people took to the streets of Somalia's central town of Baidoa on Saturday to demonstrate
against Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh's peace proposals for Somalia, witnesses
The demonstrators marched through the main roads of Baidoa, 250 kilometres
(156 miles) west of Mogadishu, chanting slogans accusing Gueleh's plan of being irrelevant
to the Digil-Mirfle clans dominating the Bay region.
Local authorities addressed the crowd and said that Guelleh's plan to
pacify Somalia had ignored the plight of the clans in Bay and Bakol regions by not
mentioning their lands "occupied" by other clans.
"The people of Digil-Mirifle clans would first make sure that they
regained their occupied lands from rivals," Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) acting
commander, Sheikh Aden Mohamed Madobe, told the demonstrators.
The Digil-mirifle clans, better known as the Rahanwein, occupy Bay and
Bakol areas lying in large parts of southern Somalia's Lower and Middle Juba and Lower
The demonstration, organised by RRA faction's civil group, was aimed at
discrediting a planned visit to Baidoa by a Djibouti government delegation, currently
visiting the Somali capital for talks with factional leaders there over the proposed
national reconciliation conference to be held in Djibouti on April 20. Some respected clan
elders also attended the demonstration.
Bay regional governor Mohamed Aden Qalinle said the the demonstration was
a message to the Djiboutian government on the extent of "people's discontent here
with Guelleh's peace plan." On Saturday, faction leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed urged the
Somali people to accept the Djibouti peace plan. Meanwhile, a Djibouti delegation visiting
Somalia was refused entry into the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in northwest
Somalia and ordered to return home on Friday soon after landing at Hargeisa airport.
The delegation was to discuss the peace plan with Somaliland leaders who,
along with other major warlords in Somalia, have rejected it