The international community must maintain the United Nations arms embargo on Somalia, refrain from interfering in the strife-torn Horn of Africa country’s internal affairs and urge the disputing parties there to resume dialogue, the senior UN envoy to the nation told the Security Council today.
In a closed-door briefing to the Council, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative Francois Lonsény Fall called on the 15-member body to press both the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) and the Supreme Court of Islamic Courts to not take any provocative measures that might cause a further deterioration of the situation.
Speaking later to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Fall said he was disappointed that the second round of dialogue – proposed for later this month in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum – has been postponed again.
Mr. Fall said his office was informed this morning by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Islamic Courts, that talks with the TFIs would not be possible as long as Ethiopian troops remained in Somalia.
Asked if he could confirm reports that Ethiopian troops were operating in Somalia, Mr. Fall said his office had no monitoring capacity on the ground to make such a confirmation. But he added that all countries should refrain from interfering in the affairs of Somalia, which has not had a functioning national government since President Muhammad Siad Barre’s regime was toppled in 1991.
Representatives of the TFIs, which are based in Baidoa, and the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts held talks in Khartoum in June after militias associated with the Courts drove warlords out of Mogadishu, to take control of the capital earlier that month.