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UN Delegation Meets Somali Leaders In Djibouti

Visiting Security Council Team Meets Somali Leaders During Stop In Djibouti

2 June 2008 - Members of a Security Council delegation currently touring Africa met today with Somali leaders in Djibouti, where talks are being held between representatives of the Government and the opposition in the neighbouring strife-torn nation under the auspices of the United Nations.

Djibouti is the first stop for the delegation which is on a 10-day mission that will also take Council members to Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Côte d'Ivoire.

The team was briefed by the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, on the talks that he is chairing between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia.

The Council also met with Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf and members of his cabinet.

South Africa's Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, who is leading this segment of the mission, said the talks represented an opportunity for a new chapter in Somali history after 18 years of debilitating armed conflict.

Somalia, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991, has witnessed deadly fighting in recent months, including in and around the capital, Mogadishu, which has seen an exodus of hundreds of thousands of civilian residents in the past year.

Delegation members then met with an African Union (AU) team, with representatives of the Somali opposition and with the UN Country Team. Meetings are also planned for tomorrow with a cross-section of Somali civil society.

The team will proceed to Juba, in southern Sudan, tomorrow morning.

ENDS

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