UN envoy leaves for Somalia to mediate government feuding

News and Press Release
Originally published
NAIROBI, Aug 1, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) to Somalia Francois Lonseny Fall left Nairobi Monday for Somali town of Jowhar to meet Somali transitional government officials over their longtime feuding.

"The SRSG is there to foster dialogue within the Transitional Federal Institutions as mandated by the UN Security Council," a statement from the UN Political Office for Somalia said Monday.

In the 14th attempt to reestablish government in the war- shattered Horn of Africa nation since 1991 when warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed flew from his personal stronghold in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland to the town of Jowhar last Tuesday.

The move to Jowhar, along with the proposed deployment of peacekeepers, particularly from Somalia's neighbors, has deeply divided the new government.

President Yusuf and his Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi maintain that Mogadishu must be secured before they can relocate there. But a section of the government, including prominent faction leaders, strongly disagreed with the decision to install the administration in Jowhar.

Setting up his presidency in the town of Jowhar, President Yusuf defied the strong protests from most of his cabinet led by Parliament Speaker Sheriff Hassan Sheikh Adan.

About 100 members of the 275-strong interim parliament, led by Adan are currently in Mogadishu attempting to restore stability to the war-scarred city.

"The SRSG would be in Jowhar today to meet with the president and prime minister and will later this week visit Mogadishu," the UN said in the statement.

Yusuf and Adan met in Yemen in June but failed to resolve their differences over the government's location and the deployment of foreign peacekeepers.