Iran willing to help resolve Somali crisis

May 28th, 2011 - 5:46 am ICT by BNO News  

BALI, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) — Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Friday announced Iran’s readiness to help Somalia end the longstanding crisis in the Horn of Africa country.

Press TV reported that Salehi offered to use all the country’s capacities to help end the bloodshed in the war-ravaged country during a meeting with his Somali counterpart on the sidelines of the 16th ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement on the island of Bali in Indonesia. Meanwhile, Somali State Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Ali Hamud hailed Iran’s humanitarian aid as well as its efforts to help resolve the crisis.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991 when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, and it has had a transitional government since 2004. The country’s transitional parliament voted in February to extend its term for three years after the end of the transitional period, a move rejected by the ruling party, which has instead proposed extending the interim period for one year.

Somalia remains one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally displaced people in the world. An estimated 1.5 million Somalis are internally displaced due to the violence in the southern and central regions, while an approximate 678,000 Somalis live as refugees in the neighboring countries.

In Mogadishu, fighting, terrorist attacks and indiscriminate shelling are causing death and destruction, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee the city. In 2011, more than 200,000 people have been displaced in Somalia while another 70,000 have fled to neighboring countries.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported in April that the number of Somali refugees arriving in neighboring countries during the first quarter of 2011 has more than doubled compared to the same period in 2010.

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