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Ban Welcomes Peace Deal Reached By Somali Parties

Ban welcomes peace deal reached by Somali parties

10 June 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the peace deal between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, reached yesterday in neighbouring Djibouti following 10 days of United Nations-facilitated talks.

Mr. Ban "commends the leadership of both parties for taking this important step towards a durable political settlement for Somalia, and hopes that other Somali groups and individuals will soon adhere to this agreement," his spokesperson said in a statement.

Under the agreement, 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.

Both sides are also required to take all necessary steps to ensure unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to affected populations in the country, which has not had a functioning government since 1991 and where deadly fighting in recent months has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, as well as set up a joint security committee.

The agreement, signed in the presence of representatives of the international community, including the Secretary-General's Special Representative Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, also asks the UN to deploy "an international stabilization force" to the East African nation.

Mr. Ban called on the international community to provide "strong diplomatic and financial support for the effective implementation of this agreement."

He also thanked the Government of Djibouti and the relevant regional organizations for their contributions to this "positive outcome."

ENDS

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