Somalia: UN envoy lauds Government’s willingness to talk with opposition

12 March 2008
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah addressing a Security Council meeting (file photo)

The top United Nations envoy to Somalia today welcomed the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that it is ready to hold talks with the opposition in the Horn of Africa nation which has not had a functioning government since 1991.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah in particular lauded the official confirmation by President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein and Speaker Sheikh Hassan Madobe of their commitment to talk about stability.

“Their brothers in the opposition, civil society organizations and the diaspora have repeatedly expressed to me the same desire to join the discussion for peace and reconciliation,” Mr. Ould-Abdallah said in a press release issued by the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).

“I have no doubt that all Somalis and their concerned friends, governments and organizations will support this move and that everyone would refrain from any action that might hinder these important steps.”

The Special Representative noted that, as requested by the parties, he will take on a leadership role and will be in contact with all sides regarding the timing of future discussions.

In recent months, Somalia has been wracked by violence which has displaced around 1 million people and has caused some 3 million others to flee the country as refugees.

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.


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