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First convening of Somalia’s transitional legis.

Security Council hails first convening of Somalia’s transitional legislature

The United Nations Security Council today welcomed the convening of the first session of the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) in Somalia, while condemning the increased inflow of weapons there and calling on all parties to cease the fighting that continues to claim innocent life and hamper critical humanitarian aid.

“The Council calls on the TFP to promote peace and reconciliation in its work towards implementing the Transitional Federal Charter,” the 15-member body said in a statement read out by its March President, César Mayoral of Argentina.

The Council said that recent violence and abductions in the Somali capital Mogadishu and elsewhere could undermine the current political progress achieved by the leaders of the transitional institutions as they develop “a framework for addressing the complex and divisive issues” that still plague the faction-torn country.

The continued clashes, as well as pirate attacks against aid ships, have hampered UN efforts to provide emergency food at a time when severe drought has affected nearly 2 million people, the Council noted.

It urged all Somali leaders to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to those in need and encouraged States whose military vessels and aircraft operate off the coast of Somalia to be vigilant and take action against piracy by protecting cargo ships and prosecuting pirates.

In condemning the violations of the UN arms embargo against Somalia, the Council urged all States to hold violators accountable while indicating its readiness to consider an exemption to the embargo in the case of the deployment of a proposed peace support mission by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) succeeded by an African Union (AU) mission.

The Council reiterated its expectation of a detailed mission plan from the AU and IGAD, developed in close coordination with the Somali transitional institutions and consistent with the national security and stabilization plans.

Somalia has lacked a working Government ever since the collapse of President Muhammad Siad Barre’s regime 15 years ago.

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