Global perspective Human stories

Security Council calls on armed groups in Somalia to lay down weapons, talk peace

Security Council calls on armed groups in Somalia to lay down weapons, talk peace

Council President Wang Yingfan of China
Reminding neighbouring countries not to interfere with the peace process in Somalia, members of the United Nations Security Council today called on all armed groups in that country to put down their weapons and engage in peaceful dialogue with the Transitional National Government.

The Council President for the month of July, Ambassador Wang Yingfan of China, said in a press statement that Council members underlined the importance of "full implementation" of the arms embargo on Somalia imposed through an earlier resolution.

"Council members reiterate [their] call on neighbouring States to refrain from any action that will be detrimental to the peace process, including political dialogue and national reconciliation," the statement said. It also expressed the Council's support for the position of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on Somalia and reaffirmed that the country's sovereignty and territorial should be directly respected.

Council members "strongly urged" the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) countries, especially those neighbouring Somalia, as well as other interested States, to coordinate their efforts in supporting the peace process, Ambassador Wang said.

His statement followed closed-door consultations of the Council during which it was briefed by an official from the UN Department of Political Affairs on the political and humanitarian situation in Somalia. According to Ambassador Wang, Council members noted with concern the situation there and urged the international community to help the vulnerable population, including by making contributions to a UN fund.