U.N. creates Somali assistance mission

May 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, May 3 (UPI) -- A U.N. mission for Somalia would help the fledgling government build on political gains made since last year, the U.N. Security Council said.

The Security Council backed a resolution that creates the U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia for an initial one-year period starting June 3.

"UMSOM would help build the federal government's capacity to promote respect for human rights and women's empowerment, promote child protection, prevent conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, and strengthen justice institutions," the Security Council said.

Somalia last year established a functioning central government for the first time since the 1990s. The new U.N. mission would help the country prepare for elections in 2016 as well as assist with justice and reconciliation efforts.

Somali Ambassador to the United Nations Elmi Ahmed Duale said he welcomed the resolution, noting there was now only "one door" from the United Nations to knock on in his country.

Duale told the Security Council last month, however, that Somalia has made significant progress but wasn't "at a place where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel."

A report published this week by the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization said more than 250,000 people in Somalia, about half of whom were children under 5, died due to famine from October 2010-April 2012.

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