Somalia: UN appeals to factions to spare civilians
Somalia: UN envoy appeals to warring factions in Mogadishu to spare civilians
As heavy fighting continued in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, the senior United Nations envoy for the fractured Horn of Africa country today appealed to the leaders of the warring parties to end their hostilities and respect the security of civilian populations caught in their crossfire.
“I am deeply troubled by reports of recent fighting in Mogadishu and the news that civilians, including children, are among those who have been killed and wounded,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative François Lonsény Fall said.
“I am also alarmed by reports that hundreds of families have been forced from their homes by the indiscriminate exchange of fire from heavy weaponry. It is totally unacceptable that the lives, homes and security of Somali civilians should be the theatre for such violence.
“I appeal to those in charge of these forces in Mogadishu to resolve their grievances peacefully,” Mr. Fall concluded.
Somalia, which has been torn by factional fighting ever since the collapse of President Muhammad Siad Barre’s regime 15 years ago, is at present also suffering the effects of a severe drought and nearly 2 million people need emergency aid.
Last year a plague of piracy closed the usual supply lines by sea that the UN World Food programme (WFP) used and forced the agency to open an arduous, more expensive 1,200-kilometre land route from the Kenyan port of Mombasa.