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DATE=12/2/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-N SOMALIA (L-O) NUMBER=2-256752 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A U-N human rights expert says there is growing stability in Somalia. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the U-N expert recently returned from an 11- day fact-finding trip to Somalia. TEXT: The U-N expert, Mona Rishmawi, says the northeastern and northwestern parts of Somalia are quite stable. The areas, Somaliland and Puntland, comprise about half of the country. Ms. Rishmawi says the two areas are not without problems. But, she says local governments, in general, are functioning well. But the situation in southern Somalia remains turbulent. Ms. Rishmawi says fighting and human rights abuses are a daily staple of life in the capital, Mogadishu, and outlying areas. But, even there, she says positive changes are occurring. She says a number of Somali clan leaders have suffered defeat. Although their factions are still fighting, she says their leadership has been weakened and many of the leaders now live outside Somalia. /// RISHMAWI ACT ONE /// I am very cautious about this. But, there are reasons to be optimistic. Why I am cautious -- because still there is no central government. The capital itself, Mogadishu, is still extremely dangerous. A lot of the areas in the south also -- there is a lot of fighting there and so on. But, there are areas which are stable. /// END ACT /// Ms. Rishmawi says the business community in southern Somalia is becoming a positive force for change. She says business people are demanding more security and are beginning to get it. Also, she says many areas have set up Islamic courts that are successfully enforcing law and order. The U-N expert says another encouraging sign is a peace initiative by the president of Djibouti. She says the initiative appears to be gaining momentum. She says it has attracted a lot of support because it excludes the clan leaders as intermediaries. /// RISHMAWI ACT TWO /// One has to be very cautious with regard to peace initiatives in Somalia because, as we know, Somalia has been fighting since 1991 and there are so many peace plans and we do not know. It seems that this one has a different tone and it might work out. /// END ACT /// The Djibouti peace initiative emphasizes the role of civil society, institutions, and traditional leaders. It also makes the clan leaders accountable for crimes against humanity and recommends they be prosecuted in an international tribunal. (SIGNED) NEB/LS/JWH/RAE 02-Dec-1999 10:18 AM EDT (02-Dec-1999 1518 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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