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UN envoy hopes stability can return to Mogadishu
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19:36, July 13, 2009

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UN Special Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah on Monday expressed the hope that gains made by the Somali security forces over the weekend will allow some stability to return to Mogadishu and its residents to return to normal lives.

Ould-Abdallah said in a statement issued in Nairobi that the recent attacks on the Somali Security Forces and others have caused the displacement of a large number of residents including those who returned to Mogadishu earlier this year in the hope of a peaceful life.

He expressed the wish that events over the weekend would allow them to go back to their homes and humanitarian assistance to reach those in desperate need.

"Despite the restraint from the Somali forces and others, attacks continued against the government institutions and innocent civilians with massive abuses of human rights and killings. It is in response to this that the government forces had no alternative but to defend Mogadishu's population," he said.

"The continued suffering of Somalis caused by Somalis can not be justified," said the UN envoy following major attacks carried out over the weekend by the Somali government forces backed by African union forces against Islamist insurgents.

Despite the signing of a peace accord last year and the formation of a new government this past February, the ongoing violence has caused enormous suffering and massive displacement in the Horn of the African nation.

More than 200,000 people have been forced to flee the capital, Mogadishu, since the latest round of fighting began in early May between the government and the Al-Shabab and Hisb-ul-Islam groups.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said last week that it is clear that grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, possibly amounting to war crimes, are being committed in strife-torn Somalia.

"In this new wave of attacks, it is clear that civilians -- especially women and children -- are bearing the brunt of the violence," Pillay said, noting that attacks against civilians have been one of the main features of the conflicts that have engulfed the country since 1991.

"There needs to be a much greater effort to protect civilians. Displaced people and human rights defenders, aid workers and journalists are among those most exposed and in some cases are being directly targeted," Pillay said in a statement.

Source:Xinhua



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