21 January 2004
Secretary-General Concerned by Increased Tension Threatening Outbreak of Hostilities
NEW YORK, 20 January (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the increased tension between the Administrations of Puntland and Somaliland over Las Anod in Sool region, which threatens the outbreak of hostilities at a critical time in the Somali peace process.
The Secretary-General calls upon the parties to exercise utmost restraint and to refrain from the use of force. He urges them to seek a solution through political dialogue and reminds them of their responsibility to protect the civilian population located in their respective areas, as well as to ensure unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance.
The Secretary-General calls on all Somali parties to reach agreement on national reconciliation that would put an end to all the fighting and bloodshed in the country.
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