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Somali Parties Agree To Tackle Problem Of Impunity

Two Somali Parties Agree To Tackle Problem Of Impunity, UN Reports

New York, Nov 24 2008 4:10PM

Welcoming a workshop at which the parties to a recent Somalia peace accord tackled the challenge of impunity, the top United Nations official for the strife-torn country has called on the international community to support them in the endeavour, which could include a commission of inquiry and an international court.

“Impunity has been addressed in many post-conflict countries such as Burundi, Cambodia, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said in a statement on the two-day workshop “on the critical challenges of Justice and Reconciliation,” attended by the Transitional Federal Government (TGF) and the Islamic Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS).

“Time has come to address impunity and crimes committed by Somalis since the beginning of the civil war. I am very happy that Somalis and representatives of the international community have convened to focus on this crucial issue.”

Last month the TFG and the ARS signed accords in neighbouring Djibouti on a ceasefire to end their deadly conflict, the establishment of a unity government and military forces, and the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops who have been backing the TFG. But fighting is still continuing with other Islamic and rebel groups in a country that has been riven by factional conflicts and has not had a functioning central government since 1991.

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Mr. Ould-Abdallah noted that both parties stated their commitment to work closely together to address vigorously the problem of impunity.

“To this end, it was agreed to establish a working group to facilitate a process of broader consultation leading to the formation of appropriate mechanisms to address impunity,” he said. “They agreed in particular to examine the possibility of establishing a Commission of Inquiry and an international court. I urge all parties, and the international community, to support the cooperation between Somalis to bring an end to impunity.”

Mr. Ould-Abdallah noted that the talks were taking place at a time when piracy, a result of violence and impunity in Somalia, continued to threaten international shipping off the coast of Somalia with negative economic and environmental effects.

ENDS

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