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How to Implement Recent Somali Peace Deal?

UN-Led Group Discusses How to Implement Recent Somali Peace Deal

A United Nations-chaired international group of countries and organizations supporting the consolidation of peace in conflict-wracked Somalia has met in neighbouring Djibouti to discuss how to put a recent reconciliation agreement by the Horn of Africa nation’s warring political groups into practice.

The International Contact Group (ICG), led by Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, met yesterday to confer on how best to implement to implement the so-called Djibouti Agreement signed between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the rebel group known as the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) last month.

Somalia has not had a functioning national government since 1991, and the country was further plunged into violence when the TFG, backed by Ethiopian forces, dislodged the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) from Mogadishu and much of the country last December.

“Members of the ICG urge the parties to the Djibouti Agreement to agree on concrete measures to implement the cessation of armed confrontation to allow the timely withdrawal of Ethiopian forces and the deployment of the stabilization force requested” in the pact, according to a communiqué issued by the participants.

The Group voiced its readiness to support the pact both politically and financially, as well as addressing justice, impunity and the political future of the two sides, among other issues.

“The ICG condemns the continuing violence in Somalia especially the most vulnerable members of society – women and children,” it said. “It condemns all attacks against humanitarian workers and calls on all parties to immediately cease all hostilities and allow free and unhindered access for humanitarian aid and calls for an increase in international support for humanitarian needs.”

The communiqué voiced its strong support for the efforts of the UN-backed African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to stabilize the country, condemning attacks against its troops and urging the international community to contribute more resources to allow it to deploy at full capacity.

It also expressed concern over the rise in piracy off the country’s coast, which threatens the delivery of urgently-needed relief, welcoming support by countries for UN World Food Programme WFP seaborne shipments to Somalia.

ENDS

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