UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council has again failed to act on the escalating violence in the Horn of Africa.
For two late afternoons and early evenings the panel of 15-failed to reach an accord on how handle the situation, or even make a statement about it.
It was left to outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to appeal Wednesday night to Somalia's neighbors to stay out of the spiraling violence in the country, where Ethiopia has admitted sending troops amid fighting between the Transitional Federal Government and the Union of Islamic Courts.
"It is essential that neighboring governments stay out of this," said Annan, who had spoken to Ethiopia's president on the issue.
The secretary-general made his remarks after leaving a closed-door meeting where council members were discussing their response to the fighting in Somalia.
"The council is in genuine debate," he said, meaning there were real differences, believed to be whether countries involved could be named in any kind of a statement.
Representatives of the African Union, the League of Arab States and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Thursday discussed Somalia in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
"IGAD has indicated that they would want to deploy troops to Somalia," Annan said, adding, "I'm not sure they would be able to do it in the current climate."
He recalled his own plea to the parties to return to the negotiating table in an effort to resolve their differences through dialogue and seek reconciliation.
"I would also appeal to neighboring countries to stay out of the crisis in Somalia and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia," the secretary-general said.