Monday, May 30, 2005

Bishop Giorgio Speaks

Press clans to establish order in Somalia, bishop advises

Mogadishu, May. 06 (FIDES/ - Bishop Giorgio Bertin, the apostolic administrator of Somalia, has called for increased pressure on warring Somali clans, in order to help the country's new interim government establish effective control over the territory, the Fides news service reports.

Bishop Bertin told Fides that a May 5 explosion in Mogadishu athletic stadium highlighted the need for effective security measures to establish the rule of law in the African country, which has been without a functioning national government for more than a decade.

International news media reported that between 7 and 15 people were killed, and another 40 injured, by the explosion, which occurred during a public appearance by the new head of the interim government, Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi. Somali government officials say the explosion was an accidental detonation of a hand grenade, but other observers are skeptical of that explanation, observing that the blast was larger than what a hand grenade might have produced.

Prime Minister Gedi-- who was making his first visit to the Somali capital, after being chosen for the national leadership post during peace talks in Kenya-- was not hurt by the blast.

"Whether an attack or an accident, the incident shows just how necessary it is for the international community" to rally behind the interim government, Bishop Bertin said.

The African Union has promised 7,500 peacekeeping troops to help the fledgling government establish order.

Source: Catholic World News

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