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|Thursday, July 12, 2001, updated at 09:00(GMT+8)|
Security Council Calls on Armed Groups in Somalia to Lay Down ArmsReminding neighboring countries not to interfere with the peace process in Somalia, members of the UN Security Council Wednesday called on all armed groups in the African country to put down their weapons and engage in peaceful dialogue with the Transitional National Government.
The council president, Ambassador Wang Yingfan of China, said in a press statement that council members underlined the importance of "full implementation" of the arms embargo on Somalia imposed through an earlier resolution.
"Council members reiterate its call on neighboring states to refrain from any action that will be detrimental to the peace process, including political dialogue and national reconciliation, " the statement said.
The statement also expressed the council's support for the position of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on Somalia and reaffirmed that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia should be directly respected.
The council president read the statement to the press following the council's closed-door consultations to hear a briefing by an official from the U.N. Department of Political Affairs on the political and humanitarian situation in Somalia.
According to Ambassador Wang, council members noted with concern the situation there and urged the international community to help the vulnerable population, including by making contributions to a U.N. fund.
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