23 December 1997


Press Release
SC/6459



SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES RESULTS OF SOMALI LEADERS' MEETINGS IN CAIRO

19971223
Presidential Statement Highlights Decision to Adopt Federal System, Form Transitional Government of National Unity

The Security Council this afternoon welcomed the outcome of the meetings of Somali leaders that concluded in Cairo on 22 December, particularly their decision to adopt a federal system with regional autonomy and agreement to form a transitional government of national unity.

In a statement read out by its President, Fernando Berrocal Soto (Costa Rica), the Council, in addition, welcomed the leaders' agreement to hold an inclusive conference of national reconciliation in Baidoa, Somalia, through which a presidential council and a Prime Minister will be elected. The Council also welcomed the signing of the Cairo Declaration on Somalia and other important agreements attached to it, particularly on the creation of an elected constituent assembly, the establishment of an independent judiciary and the preparation of a transitional charter.

The Council called upon all Somali leaders to contribute positively to the current momentum for peace and reconciliation created by the significant progress achieved in Cairo, and by the other previous initiatives of Sodere, Nairobi and Sanaa, through the widest possible participation in the planned reconciliation conference and to cease immediately all acts of violence and to observe the ceasefire.

The Council reiterated its call upon all States to implement the embargo imposed by Security Council resolution 733 (1992) on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia and to refrain from any actions which might exacerbate the situation there.

The Council also encouraged the Secretary-General to continue his consultations with the Somali parties, interested and regional States and organizations concerned on the means with which the United Nations could support peace and reconciliation efforts, including through specific options contained in his report of 17 February (S/1997/135). It requested the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed and to submit a report about those consultations and developments in the situation in due course.

The meeting, convened at 12:20 p.m., was adjourned at 12:25 p.m.


Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6459 3845th Meeting (PM) 23 December 1997

The full statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/1997/57, reads as follows:

"The Security Council has considered the situation in Somalia, including the recent developments in the political, military and humanitarian fields.

"The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the crisis in Somalia, bearing in mind respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. In this context, it stresses that the responsibility for achieving genuine national reconciliation and peace rests with the Somali people themselves.

"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, the League of Arab States, the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to promote a direct political dialogue and facilitate the emergence of a broad-based central Government in Somalia.

"The Security Council welcomes the outcome of meetings between the Somali leaders held in Cairo concluded on 22 December 1997, in particular their decision to adopt a federal system with regional autonomy and their agreement to form a transitional government of national unity and to hold an inclusive conference of national reconciliation in Baidoa through which a presidential council and a Prime Minister will be elected. It also welcomes the signing of the Cairo Declaration on Somalia (S/1997/1000, annex) and other important agreements attached thereto, particularly on the creation of an elected Constituent Assembly, the establishment of an independent judicial system and the preparation of a transitional charter. The Security Council calls upon all Somali leaders to contribute positively to the current momentum for peace and reconciliation created by the significant progress achieved in Cairo, and by the other previous initiatives of Sodere, Nairobi and Sanaa, through the widest possible participation in the planned conference and to cease immediately all acts of violence and to observe the ceasefire.

"The Security Council urges all States to contribute generously to the appeals of the United Nations to ensure continued relief and rehabilitation efforts in all regions of Somalia, including those aimed at the strengthening of civil society. It also stresses the urgent need to address the humanitarian situation in those areas affected by the recent floods.

"The Security Council reiterates its call upon all States to fulfil their obligations to implement the embargo imposed by resolution 733 (1992) of 23 January 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.


Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6459 3845th Meeting (PM) 23 December 1997

"The Security Council expresses also its support for the efforts exerted by the Secretary-General aimed at exploring means for the United Nations to assist in restoring peace and stability in Somalia. In this regard, it notes with appreciation the decision of the Secretary-General to strengthen the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) in Nairobi. In this regard, it stresses the need for closer coordination of all efforts for peace in Somalia.

"The Security Council expresses again its appreciation to all United Nations agencies, other organizations and individuals carrying out humanitarian activities in all regions of 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, including through the immediate reopening of the airport and seaport of Mogadishu.

"The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General to continue his consultations with the Somali parties, interested and regional States and organizations concerned on means for the United Nations to support peace and reconciliation efforts, including through specific options contained in his report of 17 February 1997 (S/1997/135). It requests the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed and submit a report about these consultations and developments in the situation in due course.

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

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