UN envoy heads to Somalia to urge leaders to 'overcome differences'

News and Press Release
Originally published
The top United Nations envoy in Somalia met today with senior officials in the war-ravaged country, aiming to help the leaders begin a serious dialogue to overcome their differences and end the stalemate over the relocation of the fledgling government and its institutions from Kenya to Somalia.

According to a UN spokesman in New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Somalia, Francois Lonseny Fall, arrived in Jowhar, Somalia - the temporary location of the government - where he held talks today with Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi of the Transitional Federal Government.

The objective of Mr. Fall's initiative is to help in overcoming the current differences within the Transitional Federal Institutions on the way forward. The Horn of Africa nation has had no functional central authority for 14 years following the collapse in 1991 of the government of Muhammad Siad Barre.

The UN believes this can only be done through a constructive dialogue among the Somali leaders on issues related to the relocation of the Transitional Federal Government back to Somalia, the deployment of an African Union/Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) peace support mission and the question of security for Somalia in the future, added the spokesman.