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New UN Involvement In Somalia Must Increase Slowly

Security Council Says Any New UN Involvement In Somalia Must Increase Slowly

Anticipating a call for the United Nations to intensify its peace-building activities in Somalia, the Security Council today said any enhanced role for the Organization must be incremental and based on the outcome of discussions with the new transitional government.

The Council's position echoed that of Secretary-General Kofi Annan and came in a presidential statement read by the British permanent representative, Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, who is holding the rotating Council presidency for October.

He said the parties in the Horn of Africa country may want UN assistance in implementing the agreement they recently reached in Nairobi, Kenya, after long negotiations to unite a country that has lacked effective national government since President Mohammed Siad Barre fell from power in 1991. Col. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed of the Puntland region was inaugurated as head of the Transitional Federal Parliament in Nairobi last Thursday.

The Council urged "the Somali leaders to create a favourable environment for the future Transitional Federal Government by making a determined effort to bring about improvements in the security situation on the ground," the President said. It also emphasized that "those who persist on the path of confrontation and conflict will be held accountable."

The United States, fielding soldiers under its own command, and UN peacekeeping troops, under separate command, withdrew from Somalia in 1993.

The Council statement advised Col. Yusuf Ahmed and the Transitional Federal Parliament to select a prime minister "and an effective and efficient cabinet" and to develop a preliminary programme of action and timetable for the transition, while involving women fully in post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction.

It commended the Kenyan Government and other members of the East African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for having supported the reconciliation for the past two years.

The Council appealed for funding for the African Union's (AU) Peace Support Mission, which envisages options for Somali disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.

It also sought support for broad-based efforts to work out a peace-building framework leading to a rapid assistance package for Somalia.

The Nairobi-based UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) was established in 1995 to advance the cause of peace and reconciliation in the country through contacts with Somali leaders, civic organizations and the States and organizations concerned.

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