ADDIS ABABA, 2 February 2009 (Somalilandpress) – The 34th Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the IGAD Council of Ministers was held in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2010. The Council was chaired by H.E. Seyoum Mesfin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the current Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers.
Present at the Council meeting were H.E. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E. Moses Wetang’ula, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya; H.E. Ali Ahmed Jama, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia; H.E. Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of the Republic of Uganda and H.E. Dr. Tekeda Alemu, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E. Hassan E. El Talib, Ambassador of Sudan to Djibouti and Representative to IGAD.
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The Council was briefed by H.E Ali Ahmed Jama, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the TFG of Somalia, Eng. Mahboub Maalim Executive Secretary of IGAD, Hon. Kipruto arap Kirwa, the IGAD Facilitator for the Somalia Peace and National Reconciliation and Mr. Lissane Yohannes, IGAD Special Envoy to the Assessment and Evaluation Commission of the CPA.
H.E Jean Ping, Chairperson of the Commission of the AU, H.E Ahmadou Ould Abdalla, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations to Somalia, H.E Stefano Pontecorvo, Director (Adjoint), Sub-Sahran Africa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, representing the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) and H.E Ahmed Salah-Eldin Noah Ambassador of the League of Arab states to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to AU and UNECA made statements at the opening of the meeting of the Council.
After deliberating at length on the situation in Somalia, the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the situation in Yemen and institutional matters of the IGAD Secretariat, Council adopted the following communiqué.
1. Takes Note of the briefs on the current political and security situation in Somalia as presented by the Foreign Minister of the TFG and the IGAD Facilitator for the Somalia Peace and National reconciliation as well as the statements made by the Chairperson of the IPF and the Representative of the League of Arab States.
2. Takes note also of the Communiqué issued on 17 December 2009 by the International Contact Group on Somalia at the conclusion of its meeting in Jeddah and the communiqué issued by the AU Peace and security Council on 11 January 2010 both of which affirmed the unswerving support to the TFG for its tireless effort to bring about national reconciliation in Somalia and reiterated that the Djibouti process remains the sole basis for international effort on Somalia.
3. Commends the continued endeavour of the TFG to work for the peace and national reconciliation of Somalia despite enormous challenges and reiterates its unswerving support as the former forges ahead to achieve the targets set for the transition period and in this connection; calls upon the international community to redouble its efforts by providing the TFG the financial, material and technical assistance necessary to rebuild the state institutions.
4. Appeals to the international community and in particular to the member states of the IPF to recognise the efforts made by the TFG to develop a realistic national budget for 2010 and its commitment to raise some of the finance from domestic sources and to provide budgetary support which is critical in terms of stabilisation of the country and reviving of the state institutions. In this connection, Council decides to send a Ministerial delegation to selected partner countries and organisations to solicit their assistance.
5. Underlines the need by the top leadership of the TFI’s to work in unison and avoid recriminations in the interest of devoting their full time and energy to rebuilding the state institutions and carrying out other tasks as envisaged in the Transitional Federal Charter.
6. Welcomes the adoption by the UN Security council of Resolution 1907 (2009) on 23rd December 2009 which imposes sanctions on Eritrea, namely an arms embargo and travel restriction and a freeze on the assets of its political and military leaders for providing political, financial and logistical support to armed groups engaged in undermining peace and reconciliation in Somalia and also as a punitive measure against Eritrea’s acts of aggression and occupation of the territory Djibouti.
7. Acknowledges with appreciation the role played by all member states of the African Union, the AU Commission and in particular the member states of the Peace and Security Council for the steadfast support they rendered to IGAD that eventually led to the adoption of Resolution 1907 (2009). In this connection, Council commends the Ambassadors of IGAD member states at the United Nations and in particular the Ambassador of Uganda for the coordination role that he played representing Uganda as a member of the UN Security Council.
8. Affirms the commitment of member states of IGAD to work closely together with the UN Security council and the Sanctions Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1907 (2009) and take all actions necessary to ensure that the sanction measures are implemented fully. In this connection, Council calls upon all member states of the UN to vigorously pursue the resolution and take appropriate measures as stipulated therein with a view to achieving its objective which is the attainment of peace, security and stability in Somalia and the Sub region at large.
9. Calls upon the Sanctions Committee to designate, as a matter of urgency, the concerned Eritrean military and political leaders to enable an effective sanctions regime to be implemented. It further calls on the Security Council to take prompt action as per earlier requests of IGAD and AU on the imposition a no-fly zone and blockade on specific ports of Somalia to prevent the entry of foreign elements and logistical supplies to the terrorist groups of Al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam.
10. Reiterates its serious concern over the acts of terrorism by Al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam that continue to target officials and armed forces of the TFG, AMISOM Peace Keeping troops and the civilian population in general; and notes in particular that the terrorist groups have recently expanded their acts of terrorism to the relatively stable regions of Somaliland and Puntland. In this regard, Council calls upon the authorities in Somaliland and Puntland to coordinate their response and also work closely with the TFG to overcome the common threat that they are facing from the Al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam.
11. Urges the TFG and Ahlu Sunnah Wal-Jama to continue their dialogue with a view to creating a united front against the extremist and terrorist groups. In this connection Council notes with encouragement the recent resistance and victories scored by the Ahlu-Sunnah Wal-Jama against the Al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam militia in the Gulgudud and Hiran regions.
12. Underlines the need for close coordination between the TFG, AMISOM and the IGAD member states on the one hand and the international partners involved in providing security assistance to Somalia on the other hand so that the objective of attaining peace in Somalia is achieved within the shortest time possible. Council further emphasises the urgent need to put in place a unified command and control structure and ensure that the Somalia security forces are well equipped.
On the situation in the Republic of Yemen
13. Expresses serious concern over the security and political developments that would have a grave consequence to the peace and stability of Yemen as well as the neighbouring countries including all IGAD Member States; and affirms its solidarity and support to the Government of Yemen while encouraging the latter’s efforts to resolve the problem with opposition groups through dialogue.
14. Calls upon the forthcoming AU Summit to send a clear message of support to the Government of Yemen and warn against any interference by foreign forces aimed at undermining the unity and stability of the Republic of Yemen.
On the Sudan
15. Takes note of the report of the Special Envoy of IGAD to the AEC on the status of the implementation of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
16. Expresses its concern regarding the progress in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and urges the two parties to commit themselves to the spirit and intent of the Agreement.
17. Reiterates its support to the efforts being exerted by the two parties to deal with outstanding issues in the implementation of the CPA and urges them to move swiftly towards the full implementation of the Agreement and encourages the parties to continue the dialogue.
18. Welcomes the acceptance of the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Abyei by both parties and the spirit manifested following the decisions by the Ngonk Dinka and Messeriya as well as the ongoing demarcation of the Abyei border as per the ruling of the Court and urges the committee to complete the demarcation as soon as possible.
19. Welcomes also the on-going efforts by both parties to prepare and conduct a free and fair election during the month of April 2010.
20. Welcomes further the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Government of United State of America, Rtd. General Scott Gration in facilitating the ongoing tripartite mechanism on outstanding issues and recognizes the Points of Agreements tabled to the two parties as possible solutions to the impasse on various issues including the census results.
21. Urges the parties to exert more efforts to overcome the delays in the demarcation of the North-South border, redeployment of forces and disbandment of militias, the integration of “joint/integrated units” and the impasses on the census results.
22. Directs the IGAD Secretariat to come up with programs and seminars to inculcate the culture of peace in the Sudan.
23. Decides to dispatch a high level Ministerial delegation to the Sudan within the month of February 2010 to discuss with the signatories of the CPA for the full and speedy implementation of the CPA and resolve the outstanding issues.
On Institutional Matters of IGAD
24. Takes note of the brief presented by the Executive Secretary on the progress made in the development of an IGAD Peace and security Strategy, the Minimum Integration Plan and the organizational restructuring.
25. Appreciates the progress made so far and encourages the Executive Secretary to complete, in close collaboration with the Committee of Ambassadors, the tasks as entrusted to the Secretariat by the Council of Ministers.
Done in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30th January 2010