27 February 1997


Press Release
SC/6327



SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS FOR HALT TO HOSTILITIES IN SOMALIA, COOPERATION WITH REGIONAL PEACE INITIATIVES

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Commitments Made by Somali Faction Leaders at Meetings In Sodere, Ethiopia, and Nairobi, Kenya, Cited in Presidential Statement

The Security Council this morning called upon all Somali factions to cease immediately all hostilities and to cooperate with the regional and other efforts for peace and national reconciliation.

In a statement read by President Njuguna M. Mahugu (Kenya) on members' behalf, the Council reiterated that full responsibility for achieving national reconciliation and restoring peace rested with the Somali people. Full support was expressed for the regional peace efforts, including the Sodere and Nairobi initiatives.

In Sodere, Ethiopia, on 3 January, some 27 Somali leaders representing 26 political factions signed a declaration of national pledges and commitments by which they agreed to set up a National Salvation Council and a National Executive Committee as part of a preparatory course of action leading to the establishment of a Transitional Central Authority or Provisional Central Government of Somalia. In Nairobi, Kenya, in October 1996, the faction leaders met at the invitation of the President of Kenya and, in a statement issued afterward, committed themselves to, among other things, a cessation of hostilities, removal of all regional roadblocks to allow free movement, and the continuation of dialogue for a peace process.

In this morning's action, the Council also reiterated its call upon all States to fulfil their obligations under the arms embargo imposed by resolution 733 (1992) and called upon them to refrain from any actions which might exacerbate the situation in Somalia.

In addition, the Council encouraged all States to contribute generously to continued relief and rehabilitation activities and to regional mediation efforts. The Secretary-General was encouraged to continue consultations with regional States and organizations on the role the United Nations could play in supporting peace efforts.

Also this morning the President, on behalf of the Council, expressed condolences to the Government and people of China and the bereaved family, at the passing, on 19 February, of Deng Xiaoping, Paramount Leader of China. He


would be remembered for his dedicated contribution to global peace, security and development and for his role as the primary architect of his country's reforms, modernization and unprecedented economic development, the President said.

The representative of China said Deng Xiaoping had devoted all his life to the liberation and development of his country and was the founder of the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. In making significant contributions at all stages of development since the founding of the People's Republic of China, he had drawn a new blueprint for the nation's development and had brought profound changes to China.

Deng Xiaoping, the representative went on to say, had proposed the concept of "one country, two systems", providing a fundamental guarantee for the gradual accomplishment of the cause of China's reunification. The collective leadership, with President Jiang Zemin at the core, would lead the Chinese people in carrying forward the behest of Deng Xiaoping in building China into a prosperous, democratic and civilized socialist country.

Statements of condolence were made by the representatives of Portugal, Japan, Egypt, Chile, United Kingdom, United States, Republic of Korea, France, Poland, Russian Federation, Sweden, Costa Rica, Guinea-Bissau and Kenya.

The meeting, which began at 11:13 a.m., was adjourned at 11:43 a.m.

The full text of the presidential statement on Somalia, which will be issued as document S/PRST/1997/8, reads as follows:

"The Security Council has considered the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Somalia dated 17 February 1997 (S/1997/135).

"The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia, bearing in mind respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. It reiterates that full responsibility for achieving national reconciliation and for restoring peace rests with the Somali people.

"The Security Council expresses its full support for the efforts of regional and other interested States, as well as those of international and regional organizations, particularly the Organization of African Unity, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, and the League of Arab States, to promote a direct political dialogue and facilitate a broad-based political settlement in Somalia.

"The Security Council calls upon all Somali factions to cease immediately all hostilities and to cooperate with the regional and other


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efforts for peace and national reconciliation in Somalia, including the Sodere (S/1997/17) and Nairobi (S/1997/135, annex 1) initiatives.

"The Security Council encourages all States to contribute generously to the appeals of the United Nations to ensure continued relief and rehabilitation efforts in Somalia, including those aimed at the strengthening of civil society. It also encourages States to contribute to regional mediation efforts for Somalia.

"The Security Council reiterates its call upon all States to fulfil their obligations to implement the embargo imposed by resolution 733 (1992) on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia. In this context, it calls upon all States to refrain from any actions which might exacerbate the situation in Somalia.

"The Security Council expresses again its appreciation for all United Nations agencies and other organizations and individuals carrying out humanitarian activities in Somalia. It calls upon the Somali factions to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of all humanitarian personnel and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian relief to the Somali people, including through the opening of the airport and harbour of Mogadishu.

"The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General to continue his consultations with the Somali parties, regional States and organizations on the role the United Nations can play in supporting the peace efforts, including on specific options contained in his report (S/1997/135). It requests the Secretary-General to continue monitoring the situation in Somalia and to report to it in an appropriate manner on those consultations and developments in the situation generally.

"The Security Council will remain seized of the matter."

Report of Secretary-General

In response to a Security Council request, the Secretary-General offers recommendations in a 17 January report (S/1997/135) on the role that the United Nations could play in support of regional efforts for peace in Somalia. Particular attention is given to the efforts of Kenya and Ethiopia who, in a 31 January letter to the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs (Annex II of the report), convey a set of guidelines established by the Member States of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) -- Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda -- for their efforts towards peace in Somalia. The letter suggests that the guidelines could be useful to the United Nations as part of its contribution to the peace process.

According to the guidelines, the most critical support that the United Nations could provide for the regional peace efforts would be through exerting


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the necessary pressure on Somali factions and groups to show greater commitment to national reconciliation. The Security Council should also ensure that all efforts for peace and national reconciliation in Somalia build on the positive achievements thus far made, rather than allowing a further proliferation of initiatives.

Specifically, the guidelines stressed the importance of what had been achieved in Sodere, Ethiopia, by the High-level Consultative Meeting of Somali Political Movements -- some 27 leaders representing 26 political factions. In a 3 January declaration of national pledges and commitments (Appendix III of document S/1997/17 of 8 January), the faction leaders set up a National Salvation Council of 41 members selected from all political movements represented at the meeting. It also set up a National Executive Committee with 11 members led by five co-chairmen with the authority to act and speak on behalf of the National Salvation Council. The National Salvation Council would embark on a preparatory course of action leading to the establishment of a Transitional Central Authority or Provisional Central Government of Somalia.

The declaration calls for pursuit of a five-point programme to: work for the restoration of peace, stability and law and order; help reconcile the differences among the clans in the zones of conflict; draft a Transitional National Charter for the Transitional Central Authority; cooperate and facilitate the provision of emergency relief and rehabilitation programmes and other social services; and, act as the counterpart to the international community in efforts to assist the reconciliation and rehabilitation process. The faction leaders also agreed to convene a National Reconciliation Conference in Bossasso, Somalia to approve the charter of the Central Authority or Provisional Government. It also called on the factions led by Hussein Aidid and Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, who had not participated in the Sodere meeting, to join the process as soon as possible.

The report emphasizes that conflicts within the sub-clans constitute a major obstacle to national reconciliation and settlement of the conflict in Mogadishu. If reconciliation of Hawiye clan leaders -- particularly Ali Mahdi Mohamed, Hussein Aidid, and Osman Atto -- could be brought about, prospects would be improved for reopening Mogadishu seaport and airport and for the establishment of a broad-based government. A statement issued in October 1996 in Nairobi by the faction leaders marked the first participation of the Aidid faction since 1994.

In that statement (Annex I of the Secretary-General's report), the leaders declared their commitment to, among other things, a cessation of hostilities, removal of all regional roadblocks to allow free movement, and the continuation of dialogue for a peace process. They also called upon the President of Kenya, Daniel T. arap Moi, to continue his mediation efforts in conjunction with the leaders of the East African subregion (IGAD). Implementation of the agreement, however, has been adversely affected by the


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reluctance of Mr. Aidid to settle his differences with Mr. Atto, whom he holds responsible for the death of his father, General Mohammed Farah Aidid. Little progress has been made in mediating the differences.

The Secretary-General also states that the Council could call on all the Somali parties to cooperate with the efforts of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and IGAD and serve notice that it recognized the will of the Somali leaders at Sodere and Nairobi, and that it would not tolerate any faction's non-cooperation. Lack of participation by certain factions should not be allowed to obscure the significant progress made in regional efforts towards peace, the Secretary-General states. The Council might also urge all States to observe fully their obligations related to the arms embargo under resolution 733 (1992)

The Secretary-General points out that the participation of the Organization has continued through a number of efforts, including his good offices, facilitation by the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), cooperation with regional organizations and neighbouring States, humanitarian relief assistance and the improvement of respect for human rights.

In light of the United Nations mandate in regional peace efforts and the massive international aid necessary to rebuild Somalia, the Secretary-General suggests that the Council could make an insistent call on Member States to contribute more generously to appeals for aid -- a $46.5 million appeal had been launched in December 1996. The Council could also request the Secretary- General to establish a trust fund to assist the host governments, such as Ethiopian and Kenya, in their efforts, which had thus far led to the Nairobi and Sodere declarations.

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