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Somalia: UN Condemns Deadly Violence In Port City

Somalia: UN Envoy Condemns Deadly Violence In Port City

New York, Aug 23 2008 1:10PM

The top United Nations envoy to Somalia today deplored this week's outbreak of deadly violence that has engulfed the southern port city of Kismayo and displaced thousands of people from the area.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN Special Representative for Somalia, said in a statement that the fighting in Kismayo -- which has led to the deaths of many civilians -- was aimed at controlling the city's port for resource generation and not over political or other issues.

He also voiced his sadness at the large number of killings last week in the areas around Mogadishu and Afgoye as a result of fighting between forces backing the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia.

Field reports indicate many civilians were shot dead in a series of indiscriminate attacks against buses on the road between Mogadishu and Afgoye, and that at least another 2000 people were displaced from their homes. Both the TFG and the Alliance have accused each other of carrying out the killings.

The attacks could be serious violations of international law, Mr. Ould-Abdallah said, warning that those responsible may be brought to justice.

"I call upon all parties to the conflict in Somalia to respect international human rights and humanitarian law, and to stand by their commitments under the Djibouti agreement," he said, adding that he offered his sympathies to the victims of the latest violence and their families.

The Djibouti agreement, which was formally signed on Monday by representatives of the TFG and the Alliance, commits the two sides to ending all armed confrontation between them and to stop making inflammatory statements. It was brokered by Mr. Ould-Abdallah as part of UN efforts to bring peace to Somalia, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

ends

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