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UN Appeals For Solidarity Among Somali Leaders

Top UN envoy appeals for solidarity among Somali leaders

17 November 2008 – The senior United Nations envoy to Somalia today urged the country’s leaders across all sectors to put aside their differences and unite to consolidate stability in the war-ravaged Horn of Africa nation.

“I appeal to all Somalis within the Government, the opposition, the diaspora, the business community and other interested parties, especially as we are coming close to Eid al Adha, to think of their country’s dignity and its future and end their disagreements,” said Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative.

With there now being an agreement to set up a broad-based unity government, he called on the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to quickly end the ongoing power struggle.

“Somalia has made significant progress recently with the Djibouti Agreement, the agreements on a ceasefire and an enlarged parliament,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative said in a press release issued by the UN Political Office for Somalia.

The TFG and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) signed two accords last month, agreeing on a ceasefire to end their deadly conflict, to establish a unity government and military forces, and the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops.

“I believe that the unanimous support of the international community to stability and reconciliation in Somalia is now bearing fruit,” the envoy said.

Somalia, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991, has been plagued by fighting and humanitarian suffering for decades, and a surge in violence this year has caused widespread displacement in the country, with at least one million people displaced.

“After so many years of war and suffering it is vital to keep moving forward and not to allow personal interests, sensitivities or misunderstandings to get in the way of the continuing peace process,” Mr. Ould-Abdallah said.

ENDS

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