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Public Papers - 1992

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Situation in Somalia


The tragedy in Somalia, where vast numbers of people are suffering and dying from famine caused by a senseless civil war, requires the urgent attention of the international community. We strongly support the proposals of U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to mobilize the international community to meet these urgent humanitarian needs and to convince the warring Somali factions to end the fighting. We urge the Security Council at its meeting today to take the actions needed to accelerate the delivery of food and medicine and to promote a peaceful settlement of this dispute.

The United States stands ready to do its part to support these efforts. We have committed million over the past 2 years for humanitarian relief including airlifts of food and medical supplies. We will commit additional resources as needed. However, more must be done to create conditions where this vital assistance can reach the people who so desperately need it.

First and foremost, it is imperative that the leaders of the Somali factions themselves put the needs of their own people first and allow the food to reach all Somalis in need. We urge the United Nations to move as quickly as possible to deploy an effective number of security guards to permit relief supplies to move into and within Somalia. We are prepared to contribute generously to fund such an effort.

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