20 January -- The Secretary-General's Representative for Somalia and head of the
UN political office there, Mr. David Stephen, is to go to Djibouti for two months to help
organize a reconciliation conference for Somalia, his spokesman said today in New York.
Mr. Stephen will advise on the conceptualization and organization of the conference,
which is part of the peace initiative of Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh for
Somalia, the spokesman, Mr. Fred Eckhard, said.
With this latest expression of support for President Guelleh's efforts, Mr. Kofi Annan
reiterates his view that the establishment of a central authority based on wide
consultations and agreement will be the only way to reach a lasting settlement to the
conflict in Somalia, the spokesman said.
The Secretary-General hoped that this, along with the various other types of assistance
provided by the UN to the people of Somalia, would make a meaningful contribution to that
country's quest for peace, Mr. Eckhard added.
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