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Somali Parties Reach Peace Deal After UN-Led Talks

Somali Parties Reach Peace Deal After UN-Led Talks

9 June 2008 - Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia today signed a peace deal ending their conflict and calling on the United Nations to deploy an international stabilization force to the troubled Horn of Africa country.

The leaders of delegations from the two sides signed an agreement in neighbouring Djibouti in the presence of representatives of the international community, including the Secretary-General's Special Representative Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, according to the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).

The deal follows 10 days of UN-facilitated talks in Djibouti aimed at ending the political strife that has bedevilled Somalia for nearly two decades. The country has not had a functioning national government since 1991 and deadly fighting in recent months - particularly in and around the capital, Mogadishu - has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Under the pact, the Government and the opposition have agreed to end "all acts of armed confrontation" within 30 days. The initial period of cessation of hostilities is 90 days, and can be renewed.

The UN is asked to authorize and deploy "an international stabilization force from countries that are friends of Somalia, excluding neighbouring States," within 120 days.

The TFG "will act in accordance" with Ethiopia's decision to remove its own troops from Somalia after the deployment of a sufficient number of UN forces.

The opposition, meanwhile, "shall, through a solemn public statement, cease and condemn all acts of armed violence in Somalia and dissociate itself from any armed groups or individuals that do not adhere to the terms of this agreement."

Both sides are required to take all necessary steps to ensure unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to affected populations and to refrain from any statements or actions inconsistent with the agreement.

A high-level committee chaired by the UN is to be set up later this month to follow up on outstanding issues relating to political cooperation and concerns over justice and reconciliation, while a separate joint security committee will also be established.

ENDS

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