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UN concerned at rising violence in Somalia

Concerned at rising violence in Somalia, Security Council urges dialogue

Reacting to intensifying violence in Somalia, where Islamic forces were recently reported to have taken control of the capital, Mogadishu, after fierce battles with other groups, the United Nations Security Council today called on all concerned to comply with the arms embargo and avoid any further destabilization.

“Members of the Security Council expressed deep concern over the recent escalation of violence in Somalia and we urged all countries to resume dialogue within the Transitional Federal Institutions for the sake of the stability of the country and the safety of its people,” Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency, told the press at UN Headquarters in New York.

“We also supported all reconciliatory efforts, particularly the efforts made by the African Union and IGAD” the Intergovernmental Authority for Development, she added, urging “all parties – domestic and international – to strictly comply with the arms embargo and avoid any further destabilization.”

Ambassador Løj’s comments came after Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tuliameni Kalomoh briefed the Council in closed session on the latest developments in Somalia.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Somalia, Francois Lonsény Fall, is scheduled to brief the Council next week.

Mr. Fall is expected to travel to Hargeisa tomorrow to discuss UN assistance for Somaliland with Somaliland leader Dahir Riyala Kahin and other local authorities, a spokesman for the world body reported today. Among the issues to be discussed is the UN’s continued commitment of support for humanitarian and development activities in that region of Somalia.

Ambassador Fall will be accompanied by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Eric Laroche, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

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