Fri, February 10, 2012
World > International Organizations > Maldives crisis - Trouble in paradise

UN official calls for calm, no violence in Maldives

2012-02-09 21:47:06 GMT2012-02-10 05:47:06(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- A senior UN official on Thursday called for calm and an end to all violence in Maldives, saying that "there can be no externally-generated solutions, and that any peaceful solution in the Maldives must be nationally-led and supported by the people."

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco made the statement after he arrived in the Maldives late on Thursday, and held a press encounter at the airport in Male, the capital of the country known as the world's holiday paradise, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a note to reporters here.

Fernandez-Taranco "urged calm and a stop to all violence or any action that would further exacerbate tensions," the note said. "He said it would be critical to avoid retribution against political rivals, and to ensure in particular the continued safety of Mr. ( Mohamed) Nasheed," the former president of Maldives.

"He stressed that there can be no externally-generated solutions, and that any peaceful solution in the Maldives must be nationally-led and supported by the people," the note said.

The UN official said that he planned to hold meetings in the coming days with leaders of the government and the political parties, including the newly sworn-in president and his predecessor, as well as civil society, the note said. "He said the purpose of the visit would be to encourage Maldivian leaders to find ways of stabilizing the situation and moving forward on the basis of dialogue and consensus."

"He expressed the UN's readiness to offer support to a process of dialogue and consensus-building," the note added. "He emphasized the importance of preserving the democratic gains that have been made in the Maldives."

Nasheed announced his resignation on Tuesday, following overnight violence and protests. Former Vice President Mohammad Washid has taken office as the new president.

Following Wednesday's violent protests throughout a number of islands by supporters of Nasheed's party, a criminal court on Thursday issued an order to arrest Nasheed together with his former defense minister.

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