19 May 2007 04:14

SOMALIA WATCH

 
SW News
  • Title: [SW News] (DJIBOUTI/(AFP) Djibouti forum draws up nine-point peace plan for Somalia
  • From:[]
  • Date :[27 March 2000]

Monday, March 27 5:19 PM SGT

Djibouti forum draws up nine-point peace plan for Somalia

DJIBOUTI, March 27 (AFP) -

A forum preparing a national reconcilation conference for conflict-ridden
Somalia has drawn up a peace plan, which Somalis gathered in Djibouti hope
will be a base for restoring a government.

Details of the nine-point plan were issued Monday after a week-long
meeting  among some 60 prominent Somalis at the initiative of Djibouti's President
Ismael Omar Guelleh, who has international support for his scheme, but
lacks that of many Somali warlords.

The programme calls on leaders and people of the Horn of Africa nation to
turn their backs on the past and achieve reconciliation, and includes
measures to prevent Somalia sliding back into clan strife once peace is achieved.

It calls for steps to restore peace in war zones such as the Shebelle
region in the south, demands an end to hostilities and the disarming of
the  warring parties, and mechanisms to define the structures of a future
federal state.

The forum also considered that responsibility for past repression in the
self-styled republic of Somaliland was the responsibility of the regime
there and not of the Somali people.

The international community refuses to recogise Somaliland and another
breakaway northern entity, known as Puntland.

The forum called for definition of forms of both regional and tribal
representation in a future assembly to be set up at a conference Guelleh
plans to host here on April 20.

It said Mogadishu should remain the capital of the Federal Republic of
Somalia.
Finally, the programme calls for a decision to be made on a home for a
provisional government to be formed at the conference.

According to Radio Djibouti, Libya on Sunday denied a report by one of the
warlords opposed to the Guelleh plan, south Mogadishu strongman Hussein
Aidid, that Tripoli was organising its own conference on April 6.
A note by the Libyan foreign ministry was quoted as denying Aidid's
assertion, and reaffirming Libya's support for the Djibouti initiative.

Warlords and representatives of civil society remain divided over whether
they should participate. Rival clan factions have battled for control of
parts of the country since the 1991 ouster of dicator Mohamed Siad Barre
and the collapse of central government.

Guelleh's plan, which enjoys considerable support from the international
community, differs from its dozen precursors in giving more emphasis to
civil society than to the warlords.

"What a lot of people don't understand is that this is not another
power-sharing agreement for faction leaders," UN envoy for Somalia David
Stephen said of the plan, which enjoys the express support of Secretary
General Kofi Annan.

However, Guelleh last Friday received another blow to his ambition to
restore peace to Somalia when two important groups added their voice to a
growing body of naysayers.

Following a conference in Addis Ababa, Somalia's allied Digil and Mirifle
clans, present in south central regions, resolved "to withdraw support of
the ongoing Djibouti peace initiative," according to a fax received by AFP
in Nairobi.


This decision was taken "because it is unacceptable to our community to
participate and sit (at the same) table with the forceful occupiers of
(our) ancestral land who killed, tortured and intimidated the innocent
civilians of the community," the fax added.

The Arab League, the Organisation of African Unity and the east African
regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development also back Guelleh's
initiative.

The first concrete measure envisaged in Guelleh's plan is the April 20conference in Djibouti to appoint a Somali parliament charged with naming a president.
Last Thursday, authorities in the the self-declared autonomous state of
Puntland withdrew support for the plan and accused Guelleh of "hijacking
the Somali peace process from the very rightful people whose fate and
destiny was being decided: the Somalis."

The move followed a similar decision by leaders of Somaliland, which
declared independence from the rest of Somalia in May 1991. The leaders
have said they would regard as "traitors" anyone attending the Djibouti conference.


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