"Deeply concerned" by the recent outbreak of violence in Somalia's northern Sool region, the top United Nations official in the country called today for calm and urged all parties to resolve political issues through dialogue and reconciliation.
"Violence cannot and will not resolve political issues. All those with a stake in the area must show calm and pursue reconciliation," said Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, in a statement issued by the UN assistance mission in the country (UNSOM), which he heads.
Mr. Kay deplored the loss of life and offered his condolences to the families of those killed in recent clashes. Some news agencies have reported at least 10 deaths and dozens of injuries in the latest fighting in the area.
"Political differences and competing claims should be solved by dialogue. Peace and stability are also critical to the Puntland election process", added the envoy.
According to the statement, Mr. Kay and UNSOM colleagues are in touch with regional leaders to urge restraint and offer support for dialogue and reconciliation.
Mr. Kay wrapped up on 22 November a three-day visit to Puntland with stops in the cities of Garowe, Galkayo and Bosasso ahead of the Puntland Parliamentary selection process in December and the presidential elections scheduled to take place 8 January 2014.