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May 15,2007
Somalia to allow U.N. investigation
by UPI

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Officials in Somalia will permit the United Nations to investigate allegations of human rights abuses, a U.N. official said.

John Holmes, the U.N. undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, told the Washington Post the transitional government in Somalia did not accept any of the accusations, many of which concern recent fighting between Ethiopian-backed government forces and Islamic insurgents and clans in the capital.

Holmes, who had just returned to Nairobi, Kenya, from Mogadishu, said the government of Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf also agreed to remove barriers preventing the delivery of aid to 350,000 people who fled the fighting.

"The situation is of enormous concern to us," Holmes told reporters Monday, the Post reported. "Especially with the risk of disease and the rainy season coming soon."

Holmes said some Somalis told him they felt "abandoned" by the United Nations.

Holmes' description of Mogadishu was bleak.

"It's a fairly depressing prospect driving through those areas," Holmes said. "I don't think you can say, 'This is a recovering city.'"

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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