Clinton: US encouraged by Somalia progress

NAIROBI - Somalia's political leaders are making encouraging progress toward meeting an Aug. 20 deadline to lay the groundwork for a new constitutional government, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday.
Clinton met Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, president of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, and other Somali leaders in Nairobi, during a seven-nation African tour.
"We urge that the nation come together and prepare for elections which will be a real model for the entire world," Clinton told reporters in Nairobi.
Somalia has been mired in civil strife, grinding poverty, Islamist militancy and maritime piracy since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, leaving the nation without an effective central government.
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