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General News
Kufuor urges action on Somalia 9/27/2007
From: Kwaku Osei Bonsu, GNA Special Correspondent, New York

New York, Sept. 26, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has asked UN Security Council not to close its eye on the dire political situation in Somalia.

The Council, he demanded, should show equal attention and commitment towards bringing to an end the protracted conflict and restore stability as it was doing for Sudan''s Darfur Region. President Kufuor, who is Chairman of African Union (AU), made the call when addressing a Special Session on Africa by the Council in New York.

Somalia on the horn of Africa with a population of about 8.9 million has been engulfed in a bloody anarchy since 1991. President Kufuor described promised support provided so far from the international community to equip and lift troops mobilized by the Union to keep peace in Somalia as both "inadequate and slow in coming." He therefore, called on the Council to step in with immediate assistance.

"The Council must also consider a contingency plan for possible deployment of a UN Force to replace the AU''s operation," he added. President Kufour said the Union and its members had resolved to take the initiative in tackling problems in trouble spots on the Continent and were making progress.

He said the international community should nevertheless, continue to complement the AU''s efforts.

Meanwhile, the Council has established a UN-mandated, multi-dimensional presence, including European Union military forces, in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR) to help protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian aid to thousands of people displaced due to insecurity in the two countries and neighbouring Sudan.

To deal with the humanitarian threat posed by armed groups on the borders of Sudan''s troubled Darfur region, the 15-member body set up for a year, the UN presence "intended to help create the security conditions conducive to a voluntary, secure and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons".

The deployment of EU military force, would be for a year and authorised to "take all necessary measures" in support of UN presence. The Council in a resolution, unanimously endorsed the establishment of a new unit of Chad''s police to maintain law and order in refugee camps and areas with large numbers of displaced civilians in the eastern part of the country. According to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon''s latest report on the situation in Chad and the CAR, the humanitarian situation "has shown no signs of improving". The Council has already authorized deployment of a 26,000 strong joint UN-African Union force (to be known as UNAMID) to suppress ongoing violence in Darfur, which has had a spill over effect in the region. 26 Sept. 07


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