Somalia strikes deal with former Islamist over port city

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 28, 2013 9:53 AM

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Somalia's central government agreed on Wednesday to recognize a former Islamist commander as the interim leader of the southern Juba region, in a deal that could help end months of clan fighting that has killed dozens of civilians.

A government official signed the deal in Ethiopia's capital with Sheikh Ahmed Madobe, who was vying for control of Jubaland's port city of Kismayu and its hinterland against a clan warlord widely seen as a proxy for Mogadishu.

Diplomats said the deal was a major step to stabilizing the fractured state.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho and Richard Lough; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Janet Lawrence)