A United Nations mission is due to visit Somalia next week to carry out an extensive security assessment. The UN is seeking to elevate its engagement with the East African country amidst emerging positive signs in this conflict-ridden country. This announcement was made in the United Nations in New York on Wednesday.
According to the Kuwait News Agency, the team will examine ways that the UN staff can continue or increase their commitment to Somalia, in light of the political and military developments unfolding in the country. According to the United Nations, recently there have been encouraging developments on the political front, which resulted in increasing stability in several areas throughout the country.
During its visit, which will take place on January 15-24, the seven member delegation will travel to as many areas of Somalia as possible and will speak with as many authorities as they can, in order to get a wider picture of the current security conditions.
The mission, which initially was recommended by the UN Security Council last October, will review conditions and circumstances pertaining to the safety and security of all staff and operations. In addition, they will consider the needs for access to security venues such as airports and seaports.
Following the devastating September 11 attacks on United States cities, the international community has expressed concerns and fears that Somalia would eventually end up like Afghanistan – a safe haven for terrorists – unless close attention and focus is paid to the situation evolving there.
Meanwhile, the Washington Times has reported Wednesday that Secretary of States, Colin Powell said Tuesday that the United States is informing several countries, Somalia in particular, that they must deny safe haven to terrorists if they hope to avoid becoming battlefields in the U.S. war against terrorism. The warnings were made in the framework of major diplomatic efforts aimed at countries that either harbor terrorists or are likely to attract them. (Albawaba.com)