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Somalia Should Not Be Theatre for Proxy War

UN Envoy Warns Neighbours Against Using Somalia as Theatre for Proxy War

New York, Nov 7 2006 4:00PM

Postponed peace talks for solving the crisis in Somalia, now scheduled to be held in mid-December, offer the best hope for the war-torn country, and neighbouring States must avoid interfering in its affairs and using it for a “proxy war,” a United Nations envoy said today.

“We will continue to prepare the ground for the success of this round in mid-December with all the key actors,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Somalia, François Lonsény Fall, told reporters after briefing the Security Council, noting that the third round of talks in Khartoum on 30 October were postponed because the two parties came with some preconditions.

“We think now this is the best way how we can solve peacefully the Somali crisis,” he said of the conflict, which has increased in scope since the Union of Islamic Courts seized control of Mogadishu, the capital, earlier this year and began expanded its authority against the Transitional Federal Institutions based in Baidoa.

The third round is set to discuss security and power sharing in the impoverished drought-afflicted country has been wracked by factional fighting and has not had a functioning national government since President Muhammad Siad Barre’s regime was toppled in 1991.

Asked how he would rate the chances of a wider conflict developing, Mr. Fall said the regional dimension of the problem was one of the issues he discussed with the Council.

He recalled that in a report to the Council in July he highlighted “the fact that there’s a real danger of engulfing this crisis to all the Horn of Africa because we see there is some interference in the Somalia issue” and added that the Council “is well aware about it and that’s why we are doing our best there to recall to all the Member States in the region to respect the maximum restraint, to not interfere directly in the Somalia issue because we know that Somalia can be the theatre of a proxy war between some countries in the region.”

“That’s why we’re trying to work closely with all of them… to avoid that conflict to be spread in the region.”


ENDS

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