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UN Security Council denounces use of force

The UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned a recent attempt on the life of Somalia's Interim Prime Minster Ali Muhammad Gedi and denounced the use of force as a means of addressing political differences in the country's transitional federal institutions.

"The Security Council expresses its concern over recent reported military activities and hostile rhetoric and emphasizes that any resort to military force as a means for dealing with the current differences within the transitional federal institutions is unacceptable," said Andrey Denisov of Russia, who holds the Council's rotating presidency for November.

"The Council condemns in the strongest terms the assassination attempt on 6 November, against Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi in Mogadishu," he added.

In June, the transitional federal institutions moved to Somalia from Kenya, where they were created last year, but the interim administration has been divided over where the seat of government should be situated.

President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Gedi and their supporters pitched camp in Jowhar, 90 km north of the capital, Mogadishu. The two leaders cited insecurity as the reason behind their decision not to work from Mogadishu.

More than 100 members of the 275-strong transitional parliament, led by speaker Sharif Hassan Shaykh Aden, went to Mogadishu, saying they would attempt to restore stability to a city largely destroyed in nearly one-and-half decades of factional warfare that followed the toppling in 1991 of the Muhammad Siyad Barre regime.

A section of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), including several prominent faction leaders, disagreed with the decision to install the administration in Jowhar. The proposed deployment of peacekeepers, particularly from Somalia's neighbours, has also divided the interim government.

There have been numerous attempts by the international community and the UN to mediate an end to the divisions. In August, François Lonsény Fall, special representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, presented an "agenda for dialogue" to Somalia's interim leaders, which was aimed at helping them overcome their current differences. There has been no face-to-face meeting of the leaders, however.

The Council's statement came after a closed briefing by Fall.

It emphasised that the primary responsibility for restoring an effective functioning government lay with Somalia’s leaders.

The Council expressed "its concern and disappointment over the lack of progress in ameliorating the contention between the leaders of the transitional federal institutions, and over the non-functioning of the Transitional Federal Parliament, which has an essential role in promoting the peace process".

It also strongly condemned the increased inflow of weapons into the Horn of Africa country. The UN imposed an arms embargo on Somalia in 1992, but weapons continue to come into the country. A report released on 4 October by a UN monitoring team said the increased influx of arms was a manifestation of aggravated political tensions between the TFG and the opposition.

The Council reminded all states of their obligation to comply fully with the measures imposed on them and urged them to take all necessary steps to hold those who violate the embargo accountable.

In a related development, Fall said the Council has asked the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the East African regional body that brokered the peace pact between the various Somalia groups, and the Africa Union to work out an agreement on the composition of the proposed IGAD Peace Support Mission to Somalia (IGASOM).


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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