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Somalia's New government now accepted

 

In a press briefing in New York, the Secretary-General's representative for Somalia, David Stephen, said the international community had accepted there was now a government in Somalia.

He told journalists that it was "no longer a case of armed factions and the need for mediation. It is a case of a destroyed State and a traumatised society, which has stopped using violence and warlords to settle disputes and now wishes to move in a new direction."

But he said the new interim government should now be supported in its efforts "to reach out to those leaders whose support it did not have, in order to complete the process."

On the issue of demobilisation, he said that although the presence of some 20,000 militia "sounded terrifying", the majority were working for private sector companies or for Islamic courts, which were sectors supporting the Transitional National Government.

The problem was "not armed elements facing each other down... Rather the challenge now was youths with guns who had no training and only a doubtful future." Rehabilitation, demobilisation and reintegration must be high on the agenda, said the Secretary-general's representative.

Stephen pointed out that other problems in the country were lack of infrastructure, administration and government buildings.

He said a lack of land writs meant there was need for a system to determine to whom land belonged.

He also drew attention to environmental damage, including the dumping of toxic waste.

Stephen said the United Nations was working in peaceful parts of Somalia, including Somaliland, but had no presence yet in Mogadishu because of security concerns.

 





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