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Don't lose focus in Somalia, U.N. warns
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Somalia's political gains are fragile and could be erased without coordinated action from the government and international community, a U.N. envoy said.

Somalia last year established its first functioning central government in Mogadishu since 1991. The government has struggled to extend its influence beyond the capital amid separatist campaigns and terrorist activity tied to al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabaab.

U.N. special envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay said during an African Union summit on Somalia held in Ethiopia international support for the country helped usher in political gains.

"Progress is being made in Somalia, but the goals are reversible if we do not maintain and increase our collective efforts," he said in a statement Monday. "To fail to do this would have serious consequence in and beyond Somalia."

Relief agency Doctors Without Borders announced it was leaving Somalia because of the security situation. It said last week it was frustrated an acceptance of violence targeting healthcare workers has permeated all facets of Somali society.

Kay called on the international community to remain focused on Somalia despite lingering security concerns.

"Collectively, we have achieved a lot and I genuinely believe we are on the brink of achieving great things in terms of helping Somalia in its task of peacebuilding and state-building," he said.


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