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Saturday, June 25, 2011

United Nations Security Council calls for inclusive peace strategy in Somalia

New York, United States - The UN Security Council on Friday reiterated the need for a comprehensive and inclusive strategy to encourage the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia. It also stressed 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 Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) agreed to end the conflict and form an inclusive government to end two decades of factional warfare and instability. The President of the Security Council for June, Mr Noel Nelson Messone of Gabon, in a statement at the end of a meeting on the situation in Somalia, reaffirmed the Council's support for the Djibouti Agreement and peace process in Somalia.

It called for the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in Somalia to ensure stability in the country.

It 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, however, urged signatories to the Kampala Accord to honour their obligations.

It noted the naming of a new Prime Minister, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, adding that it looked forward to a prompt appointment of a new cabinet.

It further 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.

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

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday 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 said in a statement.

She recalled that 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,” Fleming noted.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also reported that the number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance in Somalia had risen to 2.5 million, a 25 per cent increase since the middle of last year.

OCHA also added 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,' it stated.

Pana 25/06/2011


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