Center for Peace and Democracy (CPD)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

UN envoy in Jowhar to meet President Yusuf


NAIROBI, 25 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) to Somalia, François Lonseny Fall, left Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday for the Somali town of Jowhar to meet senior members of the transitional government.
"The SRSG is principally going to consult with President Abdullahi Yusuf while in Jowhar," Babafemi Badejo, the deputy SRSG, told IRIN on Tuesday.
He added that the one-day trip was part of the SRSG's ongoing efforts to foster dialogue and end differences within the transitional government.
Following their relocation in June from Nairobi, Somalia's transitional government institutions have been divided over where the seat of government should be in the country. President Yusuf and Prime Minister Ali Muhammad Gedi and their supporters relocated to Jowhar, 90 km north of the capital, Mogadishu. They maintain that Mogadishu must be secured before they can transfer the government to the city. More than 100 members of the 275-strong Transitional Federal Parliament, led by Speaker Sharif Hassan Shaykh Aden, are in Mogadishu attempting to restore stability to the war-scarred city.
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 neighbours, has also deeply divided the new government.
There have been numerous attempts by the international community and the UN to mediate an end to the divisions. In August, Fall presented an "agenda for dialogue" to Somalia's interim leaders, aimed at helping them overcome the current differences but so far there has been no face-to-face meeting of the leaders.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said recently that friction between Somalia's leaders was preventing the country's federal institutions from functioning effectively. He warned that if the divisions intensified the fragile structures could be undermined and called on the Somali leaders and countries of the region not to aggravate the situation.
Fall’s visit follows recent consultations on the Somalia situation with leaders in Ethiopia, Egypt, Russia, Sweden and at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The SRSG has also been in contact with the League of Arab States, the Commission of the African Union and countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, according to a statement issued by his office on Monday.
[ENDS]

Source: IRIN, Oct. 25, 2005

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