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  • [SW Country] COMMUNIQUE ISSUED FOLLOWING THE IGAD FOREIGN MINISTERS COMMITTEE MEETING ON SOMALIA, 14TH FEBRUARY, 2002   :Posted on [16 Feb 2002]

 IGAD FOREIGN MINISTERS COMMITTEE MEETING ON SOMALIA, 14TH FEBRUARY, 2002.

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED FOLLOWING THE IGAD FOREIGN MINISTERS COMMITTEE MEETING ON SOMALIA, 14TH FEBRUARY, 2002  

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1.                  At the invitation of Hon. Marsden Madoka, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of the Republic of Kenya, IGAD Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail of the Sudan, current Chairman of the IGAD Council of Ministers, Seyoum Mesfin of Ethiopia, Ali Abdi Farah of Djibouti, Col. Kahinda Otafiire, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Attalla Hamad Bashir, Executive Secretary of IGAD attended the IGAD Foreign Ministers Committee Meeting on Somalia held in Nairobi on 14th February, 2002.

 

2.                  Observers present at the Opening Session included members of the Diplomatic Corps resident in Kenya, members of the IGAD Partners’ Forum, the European Union and a representative of the United Nations.

 

3.                  In conformity with the Resolution with the 9th Khartoum IGAD Foreign Ministers reviewed the Somalia National Reconciliation Process with particular emphasis on its current status, the situation in Somalia and the concerns of the Frontline States and the region.  In addition, the committee discussed at length the harmonization of the reconciliation process under the aegis of IGAD and considered ways and means of moving forward the regional initiative.

 

4.                  The Ministerial Committee expressed concern regarding the grave situation in Somalia over the last decade whose spill-over effects had impacted negatively beyond that country’s borders posing a threat to peace, security and stability in the region.  While noting that the Frontline States had born the socio-economic fallout of the crisis, it further noted that the conflict in Somalia had resulted in an exodus of refugees to neighboring countries and that arms destined to factions had contributed to illicit trade and proliferation of small arms leading to insecurity.  It was noted that a worsening of the security situation in Somalia could have a disastrous impact on the precarious humanitarian situation in that country.

 

5.                  The Committee observed that the absence of a central authority over the last decade in Somalia had created a situation whereby terrorists and extremist groups operate freely in Somalia thereby threatening the national security of neighboring states.  It urged the TNG an all other parties in Somalia to commit themselves to combat terrorism in all its forms.  The committee also reiterated that the establishment of peace and governance in combating terrorism in Somalia are inseparable.

 

6.                  The urgent need of intensifying efforts in the national reconciliation process aimed at working towards a broad based and all-inclusive government while maintaining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the country was underscored.  In this context, the Committee appealed to all Somali political leaders to participate in the reconciliation process in the interest t of their people and country.  The Committee reiterated its commitment to a comprehensive, just and lasting political settlement to the problems of Somalia.

 

7.                  The Committee was briefed on the efforts being undertaken by the Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia to facilitate implementation of the Agreement it signed with some Somali factions in Nakuru, Kenya, on 24th December, 2001.  It welcomed the TNG’s willingness to co-operate with the international community in combating terrorism.

 

8.                  The Committee recognized the achievements attained thus far in the reconciliation process in the endeavor to work towards establishing an all-inclusive political framework in Somalia.  To this end, a Technical Committee comprising the Frontline States (Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti) chaired by Kenya and including the IGAD Secretariat was established to work out modalities to facilitate the proposed national Reconciliation Conference for Somalia.  It was decided that Kenya convenes the Conference during the 2nd half of April 2002, that would include the TNG and all other Somali parities without any conditionality.  The Technical Committee’s mandate was outlined as follows:

 

·        Draw up the terms of reference for the conference;

·        Determine criteria for participation;

·        Decide on number of participants;

·        Monitor and guide the peace process;

·        Report to the chairman of the Council of Ministers;

·        Propose convening of a Ministerial Committee Meeting if necessary and

·        Work out the budget for the peace process.

 

9.                  It was decided that the IGAD Secretariat in conjunction with the current Chair o f the IGAD Council of Ministers and the Foreign Ministers of the Frontline States will be responsible for sourcing for funds.

 

10.              The Ministerial Committee appealed to the international community and humanitarian agencies to continue providing assistance to Somalia.  In particular, it appealed for the active involvement of the United Nations in the Somali National Reconciliation process in the rehabilitation, and restoration of peace and stability in Somalia.  It underlined that the effort to resolve the crisis in Somalia was a collective objective that required each and everyone’s support.

 

11.              At the end of the meeting, the IGAD Foreign Ministers expressed their gratitude and appreciation to Hon. Marsden Madoka, the Government and the people of Kenya for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded them during their stay in Kenya.

 

Done at Nairobi on 14th February, 2002

 


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