Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Somalia: Summit urges International Community to support Somalia peace process

summit urges the International Community to support Somalia peace process mike hitchen onlineSource: Government of Kenya Date: 05 Jul 2010

The two day Summit of the 15th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Somalia ended today with several concrete actions to chart the way forward in solving political and security crisis in the country.

Acknowledging the deteriorating security situation in Somalia which poses serious threat to the peace, security and stability to the people and Transitional Federal Government of Somali, the region and the international community, the IGAD leaders outlined a series of measures that need to be taken to contain the crisis.

In a joint communiqué issued today and read by the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister H. E Seyoum Mesfin (photo) who is also the chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers, IGAD leaders emphasized the need for an urgent and robust response by the international Community led by the UN Security Council to arrest the escalating danger facing Somali and the subregion and reiterated its previous call to the UN to convert AMISOM into a UN peace keeping operation without delay.

Noting that the approved level of AMISOM troops has not been achieved, the leaders decided to deploy 2000 peace keepers under AMISOM to Somali immediately and further called upon the African Union Commission to mobilize the necessary resources, logistics and equipment for the deployment.

The IGAD Summit also resolved to work with all parties including AMISOM and the UN Security Council to raise 20,000 troops to be deployed throughout the country. In this regard, the Summit embraced the need to mobilize Somali forces internally with possible intervention by neighboring countries.

The leaders also endorsed the recommendations of the Military Mission to Somalia and directed the Chiefs of Defense Staff of IGAD Members States to review and implement, as appropriate, the recommendations made by the IGAD Military Mission to Somalia.

The leaders also directed IGAD Secretariat to strengthen its office in Mogadishu within 15 days to enable AMISOM and IGAD establish in Mogadishu an operational level coordination mechanism to strengthen and harmonize their support to the Transitional Federal Government in the areas of training, establishment of command and control structure.

Towards this end, the leaders urged the Transitional Federal Institutions to enhance their cohesion and unity in the face of the enormous challenges that Somalia is facing currently so as to achieve progress in the accomplishment of the numerous tasks envisaged for the transitional period.

In his remarks during the Summit that was Chaired by the current IGAD Chairperson Meles Zenawi, President Kibaki noted that the situation in Somalia has reached a defining moment and concrete actions must now be taken in order to turn the country around.

President Kibaki further underscored the need to elevate the Somali problem and place it right at the centre of global concern for international peace and security in order to facilitate the participation of the international community in the Somali crisis.

"In this regard, I fully support the proposal for an AU Eminent Person to be the apex coordinator in helping raise the profile of the Somali problem as well as mobilize resources and equipment required for sustainable engagement,' said President Kibaki.

The President further noted that a resolute and decisive African Union position on the stabilization of Somalia will help elevate the Somali problem into a matter of great international peace and security concern, away from the existing benign neglect by the international community.

President Kibaki noted that the crisis in Somalia has resulted in large movements of people of Somalia into neighboring countries observing that Kenya today hosts about 400,000 Somali refugees at tremendous financial and social cost to the country. This situation would be unnecessary if the Somalia political question is settled.

Saying that the meeting comes at a very critical time in the history of the sub-region, President Kibaki pointed out that countries of the East African Community recently launched a Common Market with immense opportunities for trade, investment and prosperity for the entire Eastern Africa. The President expressed the hope that other countries will be able to join the community including Somalia, once she has settled down.

Noting that stabilization efforts will greatly assist if the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) embraces cohesion and unity of purpose within its different institutions, President Kibaki encouraged the TFG to continue engaging with those parties willing and ready to renounce violence and support the Djibouti Peace Process.

The Summit was attended by Presidents Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Omar Hassan El Bashir of Sudan, Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and Sheik Shariff Ahmed of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

Later President Kibaki returned home this evening from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after the two-day official visit.

The plane carrying President Kibaki and his entourage touched down JKIA shortly before 7PM.

On arrival the President was warmly received by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, Chief of General Staff, Gen Jeremiah Kianga, Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Amb. Francis Muthaura among other senior government officials.