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Top UN envoy welcomes agreement on presidential polls in Somaliland

2 October 2009 – The top United Nations envoy to Somalia today congratulated officials in the self-declared autonomous region of Somaliland in the Horn of Africa nation for striking an agreement to end a stalemate on delayed presidential elections.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, hailed the parties for taking a “courageous step towards a peaceful and successful outcome to the impasse that had characterized their political life of late.”

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by officials, he said, is a “step in the right direction” which should result in a free and fair plebiscite.

The agreement is a “testament to the Somalilanders’ tradition of resolving internal conflict peacefully as well as a credit to the public officials who understand their role as civil servants,” Mr. Ould-Abdallah noted.

It should also encourage all Somalis to achieve peace through dialogue, compromise and tolerance, he stressed.

“Violence will never achieve what peaceful dialogue can.”

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