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Somalia: UN envoy appeals to Muslim States to help bring peace and reconciliation

26 February 2007 The top United Nations envoy for Somalia today called on Muslim countries to redouble their efforts to promote stability and reconciliation in the war-ravaged State which has seen a sharp rise in fighting, especially in Mogadishu, since the Transitional Government ousted Islamist groups with Ethiopian help two months ago.

At a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Contact Group on Somalia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative François Lonsény Fall urged OIC States with contacts with the leaders of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), especially Yemen, to encourage the Islamist leaders to accept the Transitional Federal Charter and join in national reconciliation.

Since the ouster of the UIC, which had seized control of Mogadishu in June and progressively extended its control, UN officials from Secretary-General Ban and Mr. Fall on down have underscored the historic opportunity the various parties now has to restore peace and stability to a country that has had no functioning central government since the regime of Muhammad Siad Barre was toppled in 1991.

But just 10 days ago, the UN reported that a steady flow of displaced persons was leaving Mogadishu to escape insecurity and violence.

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