On January 4, 1993, representatives of fourteen
Somali factions met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to begin discussions on political
resolution. Secretary General Ghali opened the talks by saying that
the aim of the first session was to make the Somali people feel like they
were participating in their own national rehabilitation and that the multitude
of soldiers and relief workers in their country were not a foreign army
(48). This first session
established the significant political organizations and leaders.
A second meeting, beginning on March 15, 1993,
lasted for three weeks. Conference participants debated on whether
reconstruction should begin on a regional, decentralized basis, or on a
national one. Aideed and his supporters favored the regional approach
as it gave more power to clan groups, while Ali Madhi, whose interest was
to protect the smaller clans, favored a national approach (49).
An agreement was reached to form a Transitional
National Council (TNC) for a two-year period. The council would consist
of 74 seats, representing each faction and each region of the country.
The national executive would be a rotating president. The agreement
also called for “complete, impartial, and transparent disarmament” within
The agreement spoke about Somalia in its entirety,
with representatives in the regions proclaimed as the Somaliland Republic,
even though leaders from the new country did not agree to it. Nevertheless,
the Addis Ababa agreements offered the best chance for political rehabilitation
in Somalia since the state collapsed (51).
Following the agreement, Somalia became the most peaceful it
had been since the downfall of Siad Barre’s regime. The prospect
of peace gave the hope to many Somalis that stability would return to their
country. The clan-leaders wanted now to be regarded not as warlords,
but as “freedom fighters” by the western media (52).
The American troops stationed in Somalia then
began to pull out. Replacing them was a UN peacekee ping force
composed of troops from other nations, mainly Belgium and Morocco (53).