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Senior UN envoy meets with Government leaders in Somalia

Senior UN envoy meets with Government leaders in Somalia

The top United Nations envoy to Somalia will soon wrap up a three-day visit to the Horn of Africa nation where he has met with Government and local leaders, as well as with representatives of civil society.

Today, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, is in Baidoa, the seat of the transitional Government in the south-west.

During talks with the President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament, he briefed them on his contacts with international partners and his efforts to gain support for the transitional federal institutions (TFIs), UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

Following these meetings, Mr. Ould-Abdallah addressed the Somali parliament.

Yesterday, the Special Representative stopped in the north-eastern town of Bossasso, where he paid a visit to the new airport and seaport and also conferred with local authorities.

He visited Garowe, a northern town, where he met with its leadership, civil society representatives and local members of the national parliament.

Somalia, which has lacked a functioning government since 1991, has been wracked by violence in recent months which has displaced around 1 million people and has caused some 3 million others to flee the country as refugees.

Last week, the Security Council extended for another six months the African Union-led mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which has been helping the war-wracked country to achieve national reconciliation and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are up to 2 million vulnerable people in need of humanitarian aid within the country. In addition, aid workers face difficulties and the transport and delivery of crucial items such as food is being impeded by roadblocks, taxes and banditry.