Somalia: Security Council appeals for dialogue towards national reconciliation

19 December 2007 – The Security Council today called on all sides in Somalia to use peaceful means to consolidate peace in the East African nation that has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

Foreign Minister Massimo D’alema of Italy, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month, read out a statement urging “all Somali parties to reject violence and… to enter into substantial dialogue aimed at achieving a full and all-inclusive national reconciliation.”

The 15-member body lauded last month’s appointment of Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, which “offers a renewed opportunity to make further progress on dialogue and political reconciliation,” as well as on tackling the humanitarian crisis in the country.

Mr. Hussein’s appointment, the Council said, also bodes well for the implementation of the National Reconciliation Congress’ outcomes, “leading to a road map for the remainder of the Transitional Period and democratic elections in Somalia, as set out in the Transitional Federal Charter.”

The Council also welcomed a briefing it received earlier this week from Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, who warned the body that “the situation in Somalia is dangerous and becoming more so each day.”

He cautioned that “business as usual” would have dire consequences for both the country and the greater region, and called for immediate and effective action on the political and security fronts, with the objective of forming a government that can support itself and administer the country effectively.

In today’s statement, the Council also took note of the 6 December briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes, who recounted his recent visit to Somalia and estimated that some 1.5 million people there are in need of aid.

“The Security Council expresses its deep concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation, aggravated by the prevailing security conditions in Somalia, and emphasizes again the need for strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Somalia,” Mr. D’alema said.

In addition, the Council appealed for unobstructed access for aid workers to vulnerable populations.

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