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United Nations

Somalia needs help, envoy says

July 30, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The top U.N. envoy for Somalia said the country is at a turning point, and needs international support, especially military equipment, training for its security forces and money to pay them.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah told the U.N. Security Council that the Somali government is resisting attempts by Islamist insurgents to overthrow it and seize power illegally.

Abdallah, of Mauritania, told the council the time has come for the U.N. mission for Somalia to move its offices from Kenya to Somalia, and he called for establishment of a well-protected "Green Zone" like the one in Iraq. He also said diplomats and non-governmental organizations should relocate to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

The U.N.-backed government and an undermanned African Union peacekeeping force have struggled to defend government buildings, the port and airport in Mogadishu. The government holds only a few blocks in the city.

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