Archive for Sunday, June 10, 2007

U.N. chief visits capital, urges reconciliation

June 10, 2007

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— The international community is willing to help Somalia as long as there is "progress on the ground," the United Nations' political chief said during a four-hour trip to the Somali capital.

U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe also urged more troops for a peacekeeping force, and said the situation in Mogadishu "has been and remains grim."

"The international community is willing to help Somalia in all areas as long as there is progress on the ground," Pascoe said Friday at the end of his trip.

Somalia descended into chaos in 1991, when warlords ousted longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on one another. The government was formed in 2004 with the help of the United Nations, but it has struggled to assert any real control throughout the country.

On Friday, the European Union approved $5.4 million in emergency humanitarian aid to help some 350,000 displaced people in Somalia.

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