Concerned over rising violence in Somalia, UN official urges peaceful settlement
“Somalia has become a watchword for violence and anarchy around the world,” said Winston Tubman, the Representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “This vicious cycle of violence must stop,” he added, calling on all Somalis to seek peaceful means to settle disputes.
The Representative pointed out that the pervasive climate of insecurity was not conducive to preparations under way for the Somalia National Reconciliation conference. “Somalis should not squander another opportunity to find peace, but should be seeking ways to reconcile among themselves before the international interest in their country dissipates,” he said.
Mr. Tubman’s statement came in response to outbreaks of sporadic fighting in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Puntland and the Gedo region. The clashes caused heavy loss of lives, while the UN itself has seen four of its staff taken hostage in Mogadishu over the last six months.