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UN Works to Facilitate Somali Reconciliation

Some African press reports say that Somali prime minister Ali Mohamed Gedi yesterday rejected a new united nations effort at reconciling the country’s factions. South Africa’s Mail and Guardian paper and some other news outlets quote the somali prime minister as saying proposals made last week by the UN were a “road-map” – and an “imposed solution” -- made without consulting the government.

The press says that among the proposals offered by the UN is a plan to recognize Jowhar – 90 kilometers north of Mogadishu -- as the seat of the federal government. Somalia’s president and prime minister are said to support moving the capital to Jowhar or Baidoa because of the uncertain security situation in Mogadishu. On the other hand, other elements of the government – including the speaker of parliament – want the seat of government to return to the former capital.

Other aspects of the UN plan involve the formation of a national security council that would oversee the drafting of a ceasefire agreement, disarmament and the formation of a police force and army.

Francois Fall is the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Somalia. He told Voice of America reporter William Eagle that the news reports were not accurate – and that Prime Minister Gedi is considering proposals put forth to the UN, such as an offer by surrounding countries to help train a police force. Mr. Fall says he’s traveling to Mogadishu Wednesday to discuss the proposals with other government factions in Mogadishu. He says the role of the UN is not to impose a solution, but to help all factions to reach a consensus on the creation of a new and permanent national government, constitution, and state institutions.