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Somalia: Security Council calls for inclusive and comprehensive peace strategy

24 June 2011 – The Security Council today reiterated the need for a comprehensive and inclusive strategy to encourage the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia, stressing that a peace agreement signed in neighbouring Djibouti in 2008 remains the basis for resolving conflict in the Horn of Africa country.

Under the Djibouti Peace Agreement, the Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) agreed to end conflict and form an inclusive government to end two decades of factional warfare and instability in the country.

After a Security Council meeting on the situation in Somalia today, the UN body, in a presidential statement, reaffirmed “its support for the Djibouti Agreement and peace process in Somalia.”

It also reiterated the need for “a comprehensive strategy to encourage the establishment of peace and stability in Somalia through the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders.”

The Council welcomed the signing on 9 June of the Kampala Accord, which provides for the extension by one year of the tenure of the current president, the term of Parliament, and the appointment of a new prime minister.

The Council urged signatories to the Kampala Accord to honour their obligations. It took note of the naming of a new Prime Minister, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, adding that it looked forward to a prompt appointment of a new cabinet.

It called for cohesion, unity and focus on the completion of the transitional tasks set out under the Djibouti Agreement and Somalia’s Transitional Charter. The Council urged the country’s Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) to build broad-based representative institutions through an inclusive political process, taking into account the need to ensure the participation of women in public life.

Members of the Council welcomed the upcoming consultative meeting, with the participation of the TFIs and all Somali stakeholders, they said should agree on a roadmap of key tasks and priorities to be delivered over the next 12 months, with clear timelines and benchmarks, to be implemented by the TFIs.

In a related development, the international Joint Security Committee on Somalia (JSC) also recognized the major territorial gains made by TFG security forces, with the support of AMISOM and commended the support of all international partners actively engaged in the so-called Somali Security Sector Development initiative.

At the end of its meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, yesterday, the JSC stressed the need for the TFG to improve its security partnership with regional administrations and friendly forces, and urged all partners to provide the necessary support, including logistical, technical and financial, to the security sector development efforts in Somalia.

A JSC communiqué issue after the meeting noted that there are still a number of outstanding tasks requiring support, including support for the ministries of defence, interior and national security, justice and religious affairs, parliamentary oversight and civil society.

It also called on the TFG to take further steps in address the presence of children in the armed forces.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today voiced alarm at the dramatic rise in the number of new refugee arrivals from Somalia into Kenya, saying more than 20,000 had arrived in the Dadaab camps in Kenya’s northeast over the past two weeks.

The new arrivals are mostly farmers and livestock herders from Somalia’s Lower Juba region and the city of Dhobley, UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.

Last year the three camps in Dadaab received an average of 6,000 to 8,000 Somalis every month. This year the monthly average has risen to 10,000 refugees, with more than 55,000 new arrivals since the beginning of the year.

“The physical condition of these people is a matter of significant concern to us. Many families have walked for days, and are exhausted and desperate for food and water,” said Ms. Fleming.

Inside Somalia, the number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance has risen to 2.5 million, a 25 per cent increase since the middle of last year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported, adding that the new figures mean one in every three Somalis needs help.

Global rates of acute malnutrition among the new Somali refugees in Kenya and Ethiopia are as high as 45 per cent, exceeding all emergency thresholds.

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