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Countries Continue Push for End to Somalia Conflict


The international community is keeping up its push for an end to the fighting in Somalia.

The European Union released a statement late Sunday, saying it is gravely concerned about the clashes between Ethiopia and Somalia's Islamist movement.

The EU condemned artillery battles it said could endanger civilians, and urged the parties to stop fighting and seek a peaceful solution.

In Cairo Monday, Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit called for renewed peace talks between the Islamists and the Ethiopian-backed Somali interim government.

He warned the fighting in Somalia could trigger a wider regional war that threatens the entire Horn of Africa region.

Diplomats fear a prolonged conflict could drag in Ethiopia's rival and neighbor, Eritrea, which is believed to be supporting the Islamists.

Meanwhile, in Nairobi Monday, the U.N. humanitarian agency called on the warring parties to allow civilians to flee the conflict areas.

The agency noted that many Somali civilians are still trying to recover from recent flooding that displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

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