[dehai-news] (AFP) Ethiopia raps UN Security Council over Somalia

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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Tue Jan 06 2009 - 08:32:51 EST

*Ethiopia raps UN Security Council over Somalia*
Web posted at: 1/6/2009 10:9:3
Source ::: AFP

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia's foreign minister yesterday denounced the
international community, and particularly the UN Security Council, for
having failed to do enough to help

war-wracked Somalia.

But Seyoum Mesfin also called for greater unity among the leadership of
Somalia's beleaguered transitional government, in comments to the Ethiopian
News Agency. Seyoum was speaking after talks here with Somali Prime Minister
Nur Hassen Hussein and interim president Adan Mohamed Madoobe,

earlier yesterday.

The UN's top body's inaction had led to a worsening of regional security,
including the recent rise in piracy along its coast, he

told the agency.

"The problem in Somalia needed much more attention from the international
community," Seyoum said. This much should be obvious from the deteriorating
situation there, he added.

"(I) would not hold with claims, if there were any, that the UN Security
Council had played due roles in supporting the peacekeeping mission in
Somalia to bear fruits," said Seyoum.

Ethiopian troops entered Somalia in 2006 to rescue the embattled
transitional government and oust the hardline Islamic Courts Union (ICU),
which had control of most of the country. It announced last week that its
military withdrawal from Somalia was already under way and would last
several more days, but pledged not to leave a power vacuum when it completed

its pullout.

Islamist Shabab fighters have gained ground in recent weeks in their
onslaught to capture the whole of Somalia.

Seyoum also blamed the transitional government's (TFG) inner squabbles for
the insurgents' upperhand. "(Shabab) was given the field to roam, not
because of its actual strength, but owing to the failure of the TFG to
extend its structures throughout the country. Leadership is what is needed,"
he said.

Also present in Somalia is an African Union peacekeeping mission AMISOM,
comprising 3,600 soldiers from Burundi and Uganda. Their mission has been
hampered by a lack of equipment and funding and they have been unable to
restore stability in Somalia, which has been embroiled in civil

war since 1991.

Burundi and Uganda on Sunday warned they would withdraw their peacekeepers
from Somalia if the African Union failed to boost troop numbers with the
AMISOM mission there.

Much would have been achieved had the UN given the Horn of Africa nation as
much attention as it did to the strife-torn Sudanese region of Darfur,

he added.

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