UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- A U.N. team will head
to the Horn of Africa next week to explore ways of supporting the African Union
(A.U.) peacekeeping force in Somalia where violence sees an upsurge, U.N. said
on its website Friday.
The team includes the U.N. deputy special
representative for Somalia, Charles Petrie, representatives from U.N. Political
Office for Somalia as well as departments of peacekeeping, field support and
political affairs at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Talks will be held in Nairobi and Addis Ababa to
discuss ways of supporting the A.U. mission as well as Somalia's transitional
security forces and police.
U.N. special representative for Somalia Ahmedou
Ould-Abdallah said he was hopeful that the visit by the team would result in
concrete and swift action.
Violence continues in Somalia, which has not had a
functioning central government since 1991, despite the signing of the
U.N.-facilitated Djibouti Agreement last June by the two sides in the country --
the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of
Both sides agreed in the pact to end their conflict
and called on the UN to deploy an international stabilization force to the
But on Thursday the World Food Programme reported one
staff member was shot dead by gunmen near the capital Mogadishu, the second
killing of its worker in the country within three days.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated that
conditions are not yet right for a UN peacekeeping operation in Somalia, and
recommended strengthening the A.U. mission in the country through financing,
logistical support, training, equipment and other reinforcements facilitated by
the bloc and its member states.
Somalia has a population of some 3.2 million people,
43 percent to whom need humanitarian assistance as a result of conflicts and