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Somalia: UN role with Islamic Courts discussed

Annan’s envoy discusses UN role with Islamic Courts leader in Somalia

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative to Somalia today discussed the world body’s role in promoting peace and security in the country with the Chairman of the Union of Islamic Courts based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

During their telephone conversation, UN envoy Francois Lonsény Fall also briefed Somali leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed on UN efforts to encourage dialogue between the Transitional Federal Government and the Union of Islamic Courts, according to a UN spokesman.

Mr. Fall reported that Sheikh Ahmed expressed a willingness to work with all parties to promote peace in Somalia. He also thanked the UN for the role it has been playing so far, and agreed to meet with Mr. Fall in the near future, the spokesman said.

Yesterday in Nairobi, Mr. Fall held separate meetings on the latest developments with the Somali Prime Minister, Ali Mohammed Gedi, and the Speaker of the Parliament.

Earlier this month, militias associated with the Union of Islamic Courts drove warlords out of Mogadishu and took control of parts of Somalia, which has not had a functioning government since the collapse of President Muhammad Siad Barre's regime in 1991.

Officials with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and representatives of the Union of Islamic Courts reached an agreement on 22 June which Mr. Annan hailed as a positive development.

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