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‘Campaign Of Violence’ Against Somali Government

Ban Deplores ‘Campaign Of Violence’ Against Somali Government

New York, May 28 2009 3:10PM Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the continuing armed attacks against Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, expressing concern at the growing numbers of civilians killed, wounded and displaced by the violence.

Intense fighting between the Government and the opposition Al-Shabaab and Hisb-ul-Islam groups erupted in several north-west areas of the capital, Mogadishu, on 8 May, uprooting over 67,000 people, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“This campaign of violence is aimed at the forceful overthrow of a legitimate government which has reached out to its opponents in a spirit of reconciliation, through an 'open door' policy and negotiations,” read a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

“In the face of this ongoing threat to the peace process, Somalia’s government is appealing for international assistance, and the Secretary-General wishes to strongly and urgently echo that appeal,” the statement added.

Mr. Ban called on the international community to follow through quickly with the urgently needed financial and other forms of support recently pledged in Brussels to both the Government and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as well as to provide direct bilateral assistance to the Government.

“The Secretary-General believes there is a unique window of opportunity for peace in Somalia, but the situation is fragile and international assistance is needed now.”

The Security Council too has condemned the recent resurgence in fighting in the Horn of Africa nation, and called for the end of all hostilities, in a resolution adopted on Tuesday. The 15-member body also authorized an extension of AMISOM’s mandate until 31 January 2010.

ENDS

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