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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:38, September 08, 2005
UN envoy tours Europe to resuscitate Somali peace talks
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UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Somalia (SRSG) Francois Lonseny Fall is traveling to Stockholm Wednesday as part of a tour to Europe on the issue of Somali peace talks.

A statement from the UN Political Office for Somalia said Fall is traveling at the invitation of the Swedish State Secretary for Development Annika Soder, to discuss with Swedish officials on their sustained support for peace and development in Somalia.

The SRSG's visit to Sweden follows similar meetings on the Somali situation in London this week with Britain's Secretary for International Development Hilary Benn on Monday and with Lord David Triesman, under secretary for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Tuesday.

"Fall said later that both British leaders expressed support for the SRSG's initiative and the need for dialogue within the Transitional Federal Institutions," said the statement.

"They also expressed the desire to work under the United Kingdom's EU Presidency to ensure that Europe spoke with one voice on this issue," it added.

The SRSG said they had spoken frankly on the way forward in Somalia and had agreed on the need for dialogue within the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs), without preconditions.

"Fall remains in close contact with leaders of the TFIs in the hope that he can be helpful in resolving their differences," it added.

The Somalia's transitional institutions have been divided over where the seat of government should be in their country after their relocation from Nairobi in June this year.

President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi and their supporters in the transitional institutions relocated to the town of Jowhar, 90 km north of the capital, Mogadishu.

They maintain that Mogadishu must be secured before they can transfer the government to the city.

But a section of the government, including several prominent faction leaders, strongly disagreed with the decision to install the administration in Jowhar.

The proposed deployment of peacekeepers, particularly from Somalia's neighbors, has also deeply divided the new government.

Last month European Union diplomats warned the Somali authorities to swiftly resolve their differences or lose development aid.

Fall toured Egypt and Ethiopia at the end of last month to hold discussions with regional organizations on ending a rift within Somalia's Transitional Federal Institutions.

Earlier in August, the UN envoy presented an "agenda for dialogue" to Somalia's interim leaders, aimed at helping them overcome the current differences.

Somalia has had no operational government for the past 14 years, following the collapse in 1991 of the government of the late president Muhammad Siad Barre. Civil war erupted soon after Barre was toppled, as various factions leaders fought for power.

Source: Xinhua

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