UN envoy appeals for unity among Somali leaders

Other News Materials 17 November 2008 15:42 (UTC +04:00)

The United Nations top envoy for Somalia on Monday appealed to all of Somalia's leading warring leaders to put aside their differences and unite their efforts in the interests of their people and their country.

In a statement issued in Nairobi, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, UN Special Representative for Somalia, called on the transitional government, opposition and the Diaspora to put the interest of the country first by denouncing violence which has wracked the Horn of Africa nation for many years, reported Xinhua.

"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 ul Adha, to think of their country's dignity and its future and end their disagreements," he said.

The UN envoy aid the transitional federal government should agree on a new cabinet quickly because a continuing power struggle did not serve Somalia's interests, particularly as there was now an agreement to establish a broad-based unity government.

"Somalia has made significant progress recently with the Djibouti Agreement, the agreements on a cease-fire and an enlarged parliament and the IGAD summit," he said.

"I believe that the unanimous support of the international community to stability and reconciliation in Somalia is now bearing fruit."

"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."

The statement came barely a week after Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf admitted that Islamist insurgents have now control most of the country and raised the prospect his government could completely collapse.

Islamist fighters have been making some advances to the capital, raising the stakes in their two-year violence and undermining fragile U.N.-brokered peace talks to end 17 years of chaos in the Horn of Africa nation.