IGAD leaders chart way forward to support Somalia Government
Addis Ababa (Alshahid) – The two day Summit of the 15th Extraordinary Session of the Inter Governmental Authority on Development(IGAD )Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Somalia ended on Monday with several concrete actions to chart the way forward in solving political and security crisis in the country including sending over 20,000 more troops throughout Somalia.
The IGAD leaders outlined a series of measures that need to be taken to contain the deteriorating security situation in Somalia which poses serious threat to the peace, security and stability to the people and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somali, the region and the international community.
In a joint communiqué issued on Monday and read by the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister H. E Seyoum Mesfin who is also the chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers, IGAD leaders emphasized the need for an urgent and robust response by the international Community led by the UN Security Council to arrest the escalating danger facing Somali and the sub region.
They reiterated the previous call to the UN to convert AMISOM into a UN peace keeping operation without delay.
The leaders decided to deploy more 2000 peace keepers under AMISOM to Somali immediately and further called upon the African Union Commission to mobilize the necessary resources, logistics and equipment for the deployment.
The IGAD Summit also resolved to work with all parties including AMISOM and the UN Security Council to raise 20,000 troops to be deployed throughout the country. In this regard, the Summit embraced the need to mobilize Somali forces internally with possible intervention by neighboring countries.
The leaders also endorsed the recommendations of the Military Mission to Somalia and directed the Chiefs of Defense Staff of IGAD Members States to review and implement, as appropriate, the recommendations made by the IGAD Military Mission to Somalia.
The leaders also directed IGAD Secretariat to strengthen its office in Mogadishu within 15 days to enable AMISOM and IGAD establish in Mogadishu an operational level coordination mechanism to strengthen and harmonize their support to the TFG in the areas of training, establishment of command and control structure.
Towards this end, the leaders urged Somalia government to enhance institutional cohesion and unity in the face of the enormous challenges that Somalia is facing currently.
Kenya’s President Kibaki noted that the situation in Somalia has reached a defining moment and concrete actions must now be taken in order to turn the country around.
“In this regard, I fully support the proposal for an AU Eminent Person to be the apex coordinator in helping raise the profile of the Somali problem as well as mobilize resources and equipment required for sustainable engagement,’ said President Kibaki.
Kibaki further noted that a resolute and decisive AU position on the stabilization of Somalia will help elevate the Somali problem into a matter of great international peace and security concern, away from the existing benign neglect by the international community.
President Kibaki noted that the crisis in Somalia has resulted in large displacements of Somalis observing that Kenya today hosts about 400,000 Somali refugees at tremendous financial and social cost to the country.
The President expressed the hope that other countries will be able to join recently launched Common Market in East Africa community including Somalia, once she has settled down.
President Kibaki encouraged the TFG to continue engaging with those parties willing and ready to renounce violence and support the Djibouti Peace Process.
The Summit was attended by Presidents Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Omar Hassan El Bashir of Sudan, Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and Sheik Shariff Ahmed of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.