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State's Frazer Visits Somalia To Support Peace Efforts

07 April 2007

Security and stability should be upheld, assistant secretary says

Washington -- Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer visited Baidoa, Somalia, April 7 to reiterate the U.S. commitment to support the Somali people in their efforts to achieve and uphold security and stability in their country. Frazer’s visit to Somalia was the first visit by a senior U.S. official in more than 10 years.

According to a statement released by the U.S. State Department that day, Frazer met with Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi, as well as leaders of the Transitional Federal Institutions, clans and civil society. She urged them to follow an “inclusive political process” based on the Transitional Federal Charter, which provides a United Nations-backed framework on ways to restore peace and good governance to Somalia. (See related article.)

Frazer and local officials who met with her agreed that an inclusive reconciliation process “should be open to all Somalis who eschew violence, extremism and terrorism,” the statement said.

Moving ahead expeditiously with the national reconciliation process will lay the groundwork to carry out successfully the transition to an elected government set for 2009, it added.

Prior to her visit to Baidoa, Frazer attended a meeting in Cairo of the International Contact Group on Somalia. The International Contact Group emphasized concern about the violence in Mogadishu and the need for monetary aid to help install security forces in Somalia. (See related article.)

Frazer noted that the U.S. government will continue with its plan to offer $40 million in aid to Somalia. She has requested from Congress an additional $60 million for security, support development and humanitarian needs and to assist in the deployment of an African Union Mission in Somalia.

Somalia has been ravaged by years of clan warfare. In December 2006, a coalition of TFG and Ethiopian forces took power from the radical Islamic Courts Council to create a national unity government. (See related article).

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice noted in January that “[t]he Somali people and the international community have an historic opportunity to begin to move beyond two-decades of warlordism, extreme violence, and human suffering.”

(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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