AU mission in Somalia extended

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mogadishu - The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution on Somalia, extending the African Union mandate to 31 January 2010.

The extension comes as clashes between government forces and rebels took a new toll in the Horn of Africa state.

The Security Council has also condemned the recent upsurge of fighting in Somalia and called on all Somali parties to support the Djibouti Agreement.

The UN Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the latest escalation of fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, has displaced over 67 000 people.

UNHCR warned that the escalating violence between government forces and rebel groups that tried to make a coup also hinders the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the displaced population.

The agency's spokesman in Geneva, Ron Redmond, said that most of the displaced persons are directed to Afgooye corridor, southeast of Mogadishu, where they are housed in makeshift camps housing more than 400 000 Somalis who have fled the capital due to violence during the past two years.

"Local agencies that have provided vital assistance to the displaced are increasingly facing security problems in trying to help those who need it so much," he said.

UNHCR staff on Wednesday launched an emergency operation for the distribution of commodities to some 50 000 people.