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Somalian Goverenment Must Be Fortified: Annan

Transitional Government In Somalia Must Be Fortified: Annan


The Transitional Government in Somalia, which, since establishing itself within the country earlier this year has been besieged by renewed factional fighting and the territorial gains of Islamic militias, must be strengthened so that the painstaking gains in the long-chaotic country are not lost, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a <"http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=s/2006/418">report released today.

Effective transitional federal institutions will enable Somalia to strengthen its internal security and deal with such threats as terrorism, Mr. Annan writes in his analysis of political and humanitarian developments since February to be formally presented to the Security Council on Monday by François Lonsény Fall, his Special Representative for the country.

Among current priorities, Mr. Annan urges measures to ensure a sustainable end to factional fighting in Mogadishu, the traditional capital, and Baidoa, the seat of the Transitional Federal Institutions of a country which has been without a functioning Government since the collapse of President Muhammad Siad Barres regime 15 years ago.

Reviewing the recent flare-up of violence in both cities, he said that Mogadishu saw some of the worst fighting for nearly a decade during the reporting period, pitting militias loyal to the courts of Islamic law, or Shariah, who have been providing basic security and social services in the city, against the coalition of business leaders, Government Ministers, and faction heads that oppose them, called the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT).

The stated aim of ARPCT, which has no clear relationship to the Transitional Federal Government, is to uproot terrorist elements reportedly linked to some of the Shariah Courts operating in Mogadishu. Between February and early June, the fighting between the two groups resulted in the deaths of scores of civilians and control by the Islamic Courts over most of the city, the report says.

In regard to the humanitarian situation, Mr. Annan says that despite plentiful spring rains, the plight of the 2.1 million people affected by Somalia's worst drought in a decade remains alarming, compounded by the continued fighting.

If the dire effects of the humanitarian crisis are to be mitigated, he says, praising the work of the UN humanitarian agencies that have continued to deliver desperately needed supplies despite the mounting difficulties, the international community and especially the major multilateral and bilateral partners must respond generously to the Revised 2006 Somalia Consolidated Appeals Process and meet their pledges in timely fashion.”

In a related development, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today released a summary of its wide range of activities in support of the Somali Transitional Federal Government in Baidoa, from the rehabilitation of structures to be used as conference facilities to technical assistance in governance.

Ends

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