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Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of recent conflict in Mogadishu; what steps she is taking with (a) the EU, (b) the UN and (c) bilateral relationships, to prevent escalated conflict in Somalia; and what discussions she has held with the (i) Ethiopian Government and (ii) Somali Government based in Baidoa. (110384)

We are concerned about the conflict in Somalia. With our international partners we are working actively to promote a peaceful resolution to Somalia’s difficulties on the basis of a sustainable peace process.

We have frequent bilateral contacts with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and countries in the region including Ethiopia. We are working closely with EU partners and in the UN Security Council to achieve peace and stability in Somalia.

We urge rapid implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1725, adopted unanimously on 6 December 2006, which authorises the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the African Union to establish a protection and training mission in Somalia. In this regard, we look forward to Ethiopia withdrawing its troops from Somalia as quickly as it can, as it has stated it wants to.

We are also encouraging all parties inside and outside Somalia to use the current opportunity to embed a political process across Somalia as envisaged in the Transitional Federal Charter. We will support the Transitional Federal Institutions and Transitional Federal Government in pursuing this.