New York, US - The UN envoy in Somalia, Mr. Nicholas Kay, has voiced concern over escalating tensions in Baidoa region in the country and called for calm and dialogue by all parties as they address legitimate concerns.
Mr. Kay, in a statement obtained by PANA in New York, said at a conference on Friday on building a federal state that it was important that all parties remained calm, committed to dialogue and supported reconciliation efforts.
He called on traditional leaders, politicians and all stakeholders to play a 'constructive and reconciliatory' role amid the ongoing process to form a federal state in the region.
'Nobody should risk taking steps that spoil peace and state-building processes,' he said, adding: 'I recognise the need for all stakeholders to meet without delay in Baidoa to address the legitimate concerns and aspirations of all parties.'
The statement noted that the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was working closely with local partners, the Federal Government, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and others to reinvigorate peace talks and reconciliation efforts.
It will be recalled that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a report on Somalia, said the continuing process of forming regional administrations was critical to the development of a federal system in Somalia, although it remained a difficult proposition.
Ban stated: 'Time is of essence, I call upon the Federal Government to redouble its efforts to continue to reach out to the regions and to conclude the constitutional review process as expeditiously as possible, including the formation of federal states.'
He added that the UN stood ready to support Somalia in this endeavour.
Established in June 2013, UNSOM is mandated by the UN Security Council to offer expertise in areas ranging from the political process to disarmament to help create and galvanize an environment in which stabilization and peacebuilding can proceed.