Somalia

Somalia: UN teams visiting Puntland

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NAIROBI, 5 February (IRIN) - A high-level United Nations team is visiting the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, to consolidate cooperation, according to a UN source.
The team, led by Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, will be in the region from 5 to 9 February, and will explore "the potential for the UN to do more work in Puntland", the source told IRIN on Wednesday.

The team will also be trying to strengthen the "working relations with the Puntland authorities, which we have been developing in the last six months".

UN staff members were evacuated from the region in early May 2002 for security reasons, but on 15 October of the same year, UN agencies and the Puntland administration signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation.

In a related development, a team from the UN Development Programme was also visiting Puntland with a view to "re-establishing specific programmes", the UN source told IRIN.

These included the reintegration of refugee returnees and internally displaced persons into local communities, as well as establishing the scope of capacity building for "enhanced governance" and of "reforming and training the police and the judiciary".

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