Progress during Djibouti talks essential

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A top U.N. official says the time has come for Somalia to commit to a real working government and end the ongoing violence in the war-ravaged country.

Representatives from Somalia's Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia are in Djibouti to discuss the potential formation of a unity government. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, U.N. secretary-general special representative, Tuesday called on leaders involved in the talks to commit to peace and stability, the United Nations reported.


"This is a key moment for Somalia, and it is extremely important to get it right, after almost two decades of violence," Ould-Abdallah said in a statement.

"The committee members are working responsibly to ensure there is a fair process which should lead to the election of a new head of state," Ould-Abdallah said.

After years of internal violence, Somalia has gained recent international attention from a surge in pirate attacks off the coast of the country. Critics have argued that the lack of a functioning government for more than two decades is the root cause, echoing the call from Ould-Abdallah to ensure the Djibouti talks are successful.


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