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Security Council Demands Stability in Somalia - 2002-03-11

In the past three-weeks, one U.N. representative has been killed in Somalia, and another kidnapped.

UNICEF employee Ahmed Moalim Mohamed was taken at gunpoint on March 1 and driven away by rebels. He was later released. But Hassan Sheikh Ali, a consultant for UNICEF, was not so lucky. He was caught in crossfire in Mogadishu near his home, and killed.

In the wake of these events, and in response to a recent report on Somalia by Secretary General Kofi Annan, Security Council members renewed their demands for political reconciliation in the country. Somalia has been embroiled in civil war for the past 10 years.

Council members were unanimous in their call for the re-establishment of a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid, the promotion of economic development, and the end of long-term governmental upheaval.

Security Council representative Richard S. Williamson took time to address the U.S. belief that Somalia is a safe haven for terrorists. "We remain committed to removing the terrorist threat in Somalia, and insuring against Somalia's use as a terrorist base," he said. "To that end, we call upon all parties in Somalia to observe the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1373."

Resolution 1373 focuses on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. It was adopted September 28, 2001.

Clan warfare inside Somalia has claimed many thousands of lives, including dozens of U.S. and U.N. troops, since 1990, when Siad Barre's post-colonial dictatorship collapsed.

The Security Council is expected to issue a presidential statement on Somalia next week.