While Somalia “is indeed a difficult case,” the challenges presented by the country should not be cause for inaction, the head of the UN Office for Somalia told the Security Council on Wednesday.

Ahmedou Ould Abdallah

Ahmedou Ould Abdallah

Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, who is based in neighbouring Kenya, said past failures should not discourage future action in support of Somalia’s stability.

” The time has come for the United Nations to show it is serious about moving to Somalia. Our temporary presence in Nairobi has lasted far too long-15 years. We can only work effectively for peace with the Somalis and address pressing humanitarian needs if we are close to the victims of famine, violence and other different abuses.”

Mr. Ould Abdallah stated that his office, together with leading UN agencies, concerned diplomats and non-governmental organizations, should be moved to Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. And he suggested the establishment of a “Green Zone” would facilitate this process.

He said Somalia is at a turning point, with the population and traditional leaders rejecting violence and those behind it. This makes support from the international community all the more crucial right now.

Dianne Penn, United Nations Radio.

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