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Top UN envoy in Somalia welcomes reaction to Government's reconciliation plan

14 March 2008 – The senior United Nations envoy for Somalia has welcomed the positive reaction to the announcement by the Transitional Government in the Horn of Africa country that it will hold discussions with the political opposition.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN Special Representative for Somalia, issued a statement today in Nairobi saying he was “very pleased” by the reaction from several Somali groups, especially the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia.

Mr. Ould-Abdallah said he would now discuss the timing, agenda and venue for the talks with all the concerned parties in Somalia, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

“I would like thank all the parties for finally thinking of the fate of the Somali people and for realizing that reconciliation can lead to a win-win situation for all sides,” the envoy said, according to a press release issued by the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).

In recent months, Somalia has been wracked by violence which has displaced around one million people and has caused some three million others to flee the country as refugees.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says there are up to two million vulnerable people in need of humanitarian aid within the country. In addition, aid workers face difficulties and the transport and delivery of crucial items such as food is being impeded by roadblocks, taxes and banditry.



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