Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced alarm today at the recent outbreak of violence in the Pacific island nation of Tonga, stressing that all sides must pursue their disagreements through dialogue.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan urged the parties “to persevere with inclusive national consultations to support the democratic reform process.”
The statement added that the Secretary-General “stands ready to support national and regional efforts aimed at facilitating a broad political consensus.”
Earlier this month riots broke out in the capital, Nuku’alofa, amid disputes about democratic reform in the Pacific kingdom. Media reports state that at least eight people died.