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UN chews over Somali air and sea blockade

Sunday May 22 2011

By LEE MWITI [email protected]

The African Union has confirmed that the United Nations is actively considering an air and sea blockade of Somalia but gave no indication if a decision was imminent.

The AU maintains that a blockade on Somalia is necessary to prevent infiltration of foreign insurgents into the Horn of Africa country and to cut off their supply lines, in addition to meeting the crippling piracy challenge.

The security organs of the two bodies also called for an “immediate” ceasefire in Libya after a joint meeting at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Saturday.

“This matter (of Somalia) is being reviewed by the United Nations Security Council. We will take it step by step,” an AU spokesperson told journalists after the meeting.

Government forces and the AU Mission in Somalia (Amisom) have made considerable gains on rebel positions in recent months, and the meeting urged the international community to continue funding the mission “without caveats”.

The AU and UN said they were committed to the full implementation of UN resolutions 1970 and 1973 on the protection of civilians in Libya and called for a political solution to the crisis that “responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people”.


The AU also called for an extraordinary heads of state meeting on Libya on May 25-26 in Addis Ababa.

They also urged Ivorian President Alassane Outtara to fully investigate human rights violations following post-election violence in that country.

The crisis review meeting also said the international community would help Cote d’ Ivoire rebuild its institutions and return to peace following Mr Ouattara’s inauguration as president on May 21.

The AU and UN have also called for a speedy resolution of the status of the disputed Abyei region following incidences of increased violence in the region ahead of the emergence of Southern Sudan as an independent state this July.  

The UN Security Council delegation, which will also visit Khartoum, Juba and Nairobi, was also scheduled to meet Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.