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Political Dialogue Key To Solving Strife

Political Dialogue Is The Key To Solving The Strife In Somalia, Not Military Action: Annan

New York, Oct 27 2006 7:00PM

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan emphasized today that all sides in strife-torn Somalia must settle their differences through dialogue and not military action, as he repeated calls for the international community, and especially the country’s neighbours, not to make the situation worse in the East African nation.

“The Secretary-General stresses that the solution in Somalia is political and not military. He urges the Somali parties to settle their differences through dialogue,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.

“And he calls on the international community, especially Somalia’s neighbours, to avoid any action that could further aggravate the situation,” Mr. Dujarric said, adding that all countries should also respect and abide by the arms embargo on the country.

The spokesman’s remarks came in response to a question regarding media reports that Ethiopian and Eritrean troops are in Somalia. Mr. Dujarric said that as a matter of policy the UN does not comment on such reports because it is not in a position to verify them.

Earlier this month, Mr. Annan expressed concern about the heightened tensions in Somalia between the Transitional Federal Government, which is based in Baidoa, and the Union of Islamic Courts, which has control over the capital, Mogadishu.

Somalia has been riven by factional fighting and has not had a functioning national government since President Muhammad Siad Barre’s regime was toppled in 1991.

The most recent round of talks – which have been held in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum – took place at the start of last month and another round has been scheduled for 30 October.


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