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Somalia reviewed ahead of London summit

Feb. 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Somali authorities should work closer with the international community to curb smuggling and human trafficking, a U.N. human rights official said.

At least 11 Somalis were killed and another 34 are missing off the coast of Somalia after smugglers forced passengers off a boat en route to Yemen last week when the engine failed.

Shamsul Bari, a U.N. human rights expert for Somalia, said the tragedy highlights the need for peace in Somalia.

"To that end, I urge the Somali authorities at the national and sub-national level to work in close cooperation with the international community, including the United Nations," he said in a statement.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation said it reviewed Somalia's efforts to establish a more permanent government during talks with regional partners during a summit in Djibouti.

London next week is the site of an international conference on Somalia. British Prime Minister David Cameron briefed U.S. President Barack Obama on the meeting during a Monday telephone conversation.

"They agreed on the importance of next week's London conference, at a time when the world had the best possibility in a decade to make progress in Somalia and tackle the problems of piracy, terrorism, conflict, poverty and famine there," said Cameron's spokesman in a statement.

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