UN envoy urges UNSC to push ceasefire in Somalia

The top UN envoy in Somalia urged the UN Security Council to call for an immediate ceasefire between Ethiopian forces backing Somalia's weak government and the powerful Islamic militia that controls most of the country, saying talks are the only way to solve the conflict. Qatar, which holds the council presidency, circulated a draft presidential statement calling for an immediate ceasefire and the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces, specifying Ethiopian troops. But other council members - including the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and African members Ghana and Tanzania - objected to singling out Ethiopia and calling for an immediate withdrawal, saying an urgent resumption of talks between the parties and a political agreement are essential to achieve stability before foreign forces withdraw.