The U.N. Security Council has declared its support for a Somali reconciliation conference to be held in Nairobi next month.
In a statement issued Thursday, Security Council President Peter Kolby of Norway called on other countries in east Africa to use their influence to convince hold-out Somali groups to participate in the conference.
The U.N. statement also expressed support for an initiative offered last month by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a consortium of seven east African nations - of which Somalia is a member. The organization has resolved to coordinate Somali reconciliation efforts and act as facilitator for the conference.
The Security Council also called on U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to establish a trust fund to support peace efforts in Somalia.
Next month's reconciliation conference would bring together members of Somalia's Transitional National Government and leaders of armed factions who oppose it
The government has little influence outside of the capital, Mogadishu. Most of the rest of Somalia has been without a central authority since the ouster of the country's ruler, Mohamed Siad Barre, more than 10 years ago (January, 1991).
Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.