Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf's sacking of his Prime Minister Hassan Hussein will be condemned on Tuesday as an unwelcome dist r action to the efforts to save the country from its crisis at a UN meeting.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected at lead discussions during a United Nations brainstorming session on Somalia, where President Yusuf's sacking of the Prime Minister and the growing cases of piracy are expected to continue t o dominate.
UN Special Envoy Ahmedou Ould Abdullah said the sacking of the premier was an at tempt to distract Somalia from its efforts to attain peace at this time.
"The Somalis must grasp this opportunity offered by this current peace process a nd not let down their people.
The fighting must stop particularly at this key mo m ent," the UN envoy said in a statement preceding the International Contact Group meeting on Somalia.
The Contact Group, which brings together an alliance of powerful countries and a llies, considered as "friends of Somalia" is due to hold its annual meeting in N e w York ahead of a special session of the UN Security Council meeting on the cris i s there.
The Group comprises a selected group of countries and regional organizations inc luding the African Union and League of Arab States.
It is chaired by the UN env o y Ould-Abdallah.
The meeting will cover several key issues relating to the political, security an d humanitarian situation in Somalia including areas such as political cooperatio n , human rights, piracy and reconstruction and development.
UN officials said the meeting would be held shortly before a UN Security Council meeting which was expected to include piracy around Somalia on its agenda.
"We are expecting a large number of participants to attend the Contact Group mee ting at a very senior level," said Mr Ould-Abdallah.
"This reflects the growing interest in Somalia both regionally and international ly and an increased willingness to help Somalis move towards peace and to addres s impunity, one of the main causes of the continued violence in the country," he s aid.
He said the international community's efforts would remain limited unless the So malis themselves made major efforts to unite and work together towards ending th e conflict.
Mr Ould-Abdallah said: "It is my understanding that the continued dispute within an already weak TFG, as reflected in today's statements coming from Baidoa, is r ejected by the vast majority of Somalis, as well as by the regional organization IGAD and all members of the international community starting with my Office.
"The Somali leadership within the TFG, ARS and other groups must know that peace is irreversible.
The days of unnecessary confrontation are numbered and can onl y lead to more violence.