Home | News    Monday 31 January 2011

UN chief concerned on situation in Egypt, Sudan, and Somalia

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January 30, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday expressed his concern over the peace and security situation in Africa, particularly regarding the unrest in Egypt, referendum-related issues in Sudan and the situation in Somalia, and called for a collective effort to tackle challenges, threats and crises facing the continent.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged for calm in relation to the continued nation-wide demonstrations in Egypt that led to deadly clashes between protesters and police.

"Restraint, non-violence and respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms and human rights” was needed he said in remarks to the African Union summit that opened in Addis Ababa on Sunday.

"We must listen attentively to the voice of the people, their aspirations, their challenges and their hopes for a better future," he added.

Ban urged a stop to further violence that claimed the lives of at least 100 Egyptians.

In case of Sudan, the UN chief commended the peaceful conduct of the south’s independence referendum, however, he has concerns over the issues that still need to be resolved between the north and south.

Of the issues that remain outstanding, Ban specifically mentioned border demarcation and the future of the disputed region of Abyei, which was supposed to hold its own referendum to decide whether it would join the south. The poll did not take place due to a failure to agree on who would be allowed to vote.

He urged the international community to extend consistent support to Sudan to smoothly maintain post-referendum arrangements. In Juba, southern capital preliminary results announced on Saturday show that 99.57 percent of voters opted to the south to secede.

The region is now expected to officially separate from the north on July 9.

Speaking on Somalia, Ban called for adequate technical logistical and financial support for the peace keeping force there.

The UN chief, who noted a need for an additional 4,000 troops to Somalia, called on AU countries to contribute troops.

The African Union summit is being held under the theme "Towards Greater Unity and Integration through Shared Values," is to discuss further integration as well as peace and security.

The political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire, the unrest in Tunis and Egypt, the post-referendum developments in Sudan as well as the situation in Somalia are all on the agenda to discussed on day two of the assembly.

(ST)

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