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Somalia

Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent fighting in Somalia.

On Wednesday 18 December I issued the following statement:

"The British Government is deeply concerned at the continued fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Apart from the senseless destruction of the city, there arc distressing reports of heavy civilian casualties caused by indiscriminate shelling. The British Government particularly deplores the recent shooting of aid workers and the failure of those in charge of the warring factions to ensure that medical and relief supplies can safely enter the port and be distributed to innocent civilians.
Along with its European Community partners, the United Kingdom has already called on all parties to reach a peaceful negotiated settlement. It reiterates that call and strongly urges all concerned, including the elders of the clans in Mogadishu, to implement an immediate ceasefire which will permit aid agencies to attend to the desperate needs of the Somali people. It appeals to all protagonists in this conflict to put an end to the iolence."