Washington, D.C., June 26, 2007 - The Prime Minister of Somalia's interim government, Ali Mohamed Gedi, says he will talk to the United Nations Security Council this week about sending U.N. peacekeepers to Somalia to replace African Union troops. In an exclusive interview with the Voice of America (VOA), Mr. Gedi also said that he would request greater humanitarian aid from the international community.
Mr. Gedi was in Washington to meet with officials at the White House, Congress and the State Department.
Asked about the unrest in Mogodishu, Mr. Gedi responded that his administration has proof that al-Qaida is involved in the violence. According to Mr. Gedi, the suicide bombings in Mogadishu are "typical of the al-Qaida network" and, in addition, a number of foreign fighters have been captured in the capital city. Mr. Gedi also rejected the idea of holding a planned national reconciliation conference outside Somalia and blamed recent delays on international funding not arriving on time. Mr. Gedi also appealed to Somali citizens to "play a role in the peace and security of the country."
The interview was part of VOA's Somali broadcasts carried on AM, FM and shortwave radio to Somalia. The story is also available on the VOA website at www.VOANews.com.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
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