UN gravely concerned by Somalia threats, famine

By REUTERS
March 5, 2012 20:40

 
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UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council expressed grave concern on Monday at the threat posed by Somali pirates and extremist groups as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the African state's humanitarian situation would likely deteriorate again in the coming months.

For the past two decades, Somalia has been engulfed in anarchy, chaos and conflict. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that fighting, famine and disease have killed up to a million people since Somalia's last government collapsed in 1991.

The international community has become increasingly concerned at Somalia becoming a leading global haven for Islamist militancy and the rising toll of Somali piracy, estimated to cost the global economy some $7 billion a year.

"The Security Council remains gravely concerned about the ongoing threat posed by piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia," the UN council said in a statement that also recognized that instability contributed to the problem.

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