12/03/2003
Press Release
SC/7686



Security Council

4718th Meeting (PM)


IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS CONTINUED FIGHTING

IN SOMALIA, AND CALLS FOR END TO VIOLENCE


The Security Council this afternoon expressed its strong regret that even after the signing of the Declaration on Cessation of Hostilities and the Structures and Principles of the Somalia National Reconciliation Process in Eldoret, Kenya, on 27 October 2002, fighting continued to break out in Somalia.


In a statement read by the Council President, Mamady Traoré (Guinea) (document S/PRST/2003/2), the Council condemned all those involved in the fighting and called for an immediate end to all acts of violence in Somalia.  The Council shared the Secretary-General’s conclusion that it was those that had weapons of war who continued to hold the people of Somalia hostage to the cycle of violence, and that those people would be held accountable by the Somali people and the international community for their actions if they persisted on the path of conflict.  It also called on all States and other actors to comply scrupulously with the arms embargo established by Council resolution 733 (1992).


Insisting that persons and entities must not be allowed to take advantage of the situation in Somalia to finance, plan, facilitate, support or commit terrorist acts from the county, the Council emphasized that efforts to combat terrorism in Somalia were inseparable from the establishment of peace and governance in that country.


In the presidential statement, the Council reiterated its firm support for the Somali National Reconciliation Process and the ongoing Somali National Reconciliation conference in Eldoret, Kenya, launched under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).  It urged all parties involved to fully participate in the six reconciliation committees of that Process and to resolve the representation issue.


While some parts of Somalia remained unstable, the Council noted that relative stability continued to prevail in significant portions of the country.  It welcomed the evolution of the community-based peace-building activities and requested the Secretary-General to continue putting in place preparatory activities on the ground for a comprehensive post-conflict peace-building mission, once security conditions permit.  That mission should take into account combating poverty and strengthening public institutions.


The meeting was called to order at 12:42 p.m. and adjourned at 12:57 p.m.


Presidential Statement


Following is the complete text of today’s presidential statement on Somalia:


“The Security Council, recalling its previous decisions concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular the statements of its President of 13 December 2002 (S/PRST/2002/35) and of 28 March 2002 (S/PRST/2002/8), and welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 26 February 2003 (S/2003/231), reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia, and its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of the country, consistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.


“The Security Council reiterates its firm support for the Somali National Reconciliation Process and the ongoing Somali National Reconciliation Conference in Kenya, launched under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and led by the Government of Kenya.  The Council strongly encourages all parties throughout Somalia to participate in the process, which offers a unique opportunity for all Somalis to end the suffering of their people and to restore peace and stability to their country.  The Council demands the Somalia parties to abide by and implement expeditiously the decisions adopted throughout the process, including the Declaration on Cessation of Hostilities and the Structures and Principles of the Somali National Reconciliation Process, on

27 October 2002, hereafter referred to as the ‘Eldoret Declaration’ (S/2002/1359), as well as the December 2002 agreements reached by five Mogadishu faction leaders and the Transitional National Government mentioned in paragraph 26 of the report of the Secretary-General of 26 February 2003 (S/2003/231) regarding the restoration of security and the reopening of the International Airport and Seaport in Mogadishu.


“The Security Council commends the Government of Kenya for its crucial role in facilitating the Somali National Reconciliation Process, and calls on the IGAD Technical Committee comprised of the three Frontline States (Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya) to continue their active role in promoting the Process.  The Council welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat as the Special Envoy of Kenya to the Process.  The Council also welcomes the appointment of Mr. Muhammad Ali Foum as the Special Envoy of the African Union for Somalia, the generous financial contribution of the European Union, Norway and the U.S., and the sustained engagement of their envoys, as well as those of the IGAD Partners Forum and the League of Arab States.  The Council strongly encourages their continued active and positive role in support of the reconciliation process.


“The Security Council notes that the six reconciliation committees of the Somali National Reconciliation Process have continued their work despite difficulties faced by the Somali participants regarding representation.  The Council urges all parties involved to fully participate in the six reconciliation committees and to resolve the representation issue, and welcomes the establishment of an arbitration committee in this regard.  The Council supports the Secretary-General’s commitment to assist in the work of the six reconciliation committees with technical support and relevant expertise.


“The Security Council expresses its strong regret that even after the signing of the ‘Eldoret Declaration’, fighting continued to break out in Somalia in particular in Mogadishu and Baidoa.  The Council condemns all those involved in the fighting and calls for an immediate end to all acts of violence in Somalia.  The Council shares the Secretary-General’s conclusion that it is those that have weapons of war who continue to hold the people of Somalia hostage to the cycle of violence.  The Council also shares the Secretary-General’s view that these people will be held accountable by the Somali people and the international community for their actions if they persist on the path of confrontation and conflict.  In this regard, the Security Council welcomes the establishment of a mechanism by the IGAD Frontline States’ to monitor compliance with the ‘Eldoret Declaration’ and their intention to consider appropriate measures against all individuals and groups violating the ‘Eldoret Declaration’ and December 2002 agreements.


“The Security Council notes with serious concern the continued flow of weapons and ammunition supplies to Somalia, as well as allegations of the role of some of the neighbouring States in breach of the arms embargo established by resolution 733 (1992) of 23 January 1992 and calls on all States and other actors to comply scrupulously with the arms embargo.  The Council welcomes the work of the Panel of Experts, established pursuant to resolution 1425 (2002) of 22 July 2002, and expresses its intention to give full consideration to and take appropriate action regarding the Panel’s report as a step towards reinforcing the arms embargo and disarmament.


“The Security Council, insisting that persons and entities must not be allowed to take advantage of the situation in Somalia to finance, plan, facilitate, support or commit terrorist acts from the country, emphasizes that efforts to combat terrorism in Somalia are inseparable from the establishment of peace and governance in the country.  In this spirit, the Council urges the international community to provide assistance to Somalia for the further and comprehensive implementation of resolution 1373.


“The Security Council expresses serious concern regarding the humanitarian situation in Somalia, in particular the internally displaced persons, especially in the area of Mogadishu.  The Council urges the Somalia leaders to live up to their commitments under the ‘Eldoret Declaration’, to facilitate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance, to assure the safety of all international and national aid workers, to provide immediate safe access for all humanitarian personnel, and to support the return and reintegration of refugees.  The Council calls on Member States to respond urgently and generously to the United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for 2003.


“The Security Council notes that while some parts of Somalia remain unstable, relative stability continues to prevail in significant portions of the country.  The Council welcomes the evolution of the community-based peace-building activities and calls for the acceleration of comprehensive peace-building activities.  The Council requests the Secretary-General to continue putting in place, in a coherent manner, preparatory activities on the ground for a comprehensive post-conflict peace-building mission in Somalia once security conditions permit, as stipulated in the statement by the President of the Council of 28 March 2002 (S/PRST/2002/8), which should take into account combating poverty and strengthening public institutions.


“The Security Council stresses that a comprehensive post-conflict peace-building programme with special emphasis on disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration will be an important contribution towards the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia.  The Council welcomes the contribution of Ireland, Italy and Norway to the Trust Fund for Peace-building in Somalia and calls on other donors to do so without delay.


“The Security Council commends the work done by the United Nations Country Team, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movements and non-governmental organizations in support of peace and reconciliation in Somalia.  The Council encourages the Secretary-General to continue to support actively the IGAD-sponsored Somalia National Reconciliation Process and to continue to implement and enhance ongoing humanitarian and peace-building activities on the ground.


“The Security Council reiterates its commitment to assist the Somali parties and support the IGAD mediation in the implementation of the steps and conclusions for peace, as adopted throughout the Somalia National Reconciliation Process.”


Background


The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in Somalia.


Following a decade of anarchy and famine, a national reconciliation process began with a multi-faction peace conference in Arta, Djibouti, in the middle of 2000, and the formation of a transitional government.  As several Somali parties did not support the process, major challenges of security, reconstruction and development still confront the country.


On 12 December 2002, the Council welcomed the Declaration on Cessation of Hostilities and the Structures and Principles of the Somalia Reconciliation Process, signed in Eldoret, Kenya, on 27 October.  That Declaration was issued by the Somali National Reconciliation Conference, launched under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional organization of States in the Horn of Africa, aiming to achieve regional cooperation and economic integration, to hold a peace and reconciliation conference. 


According to the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Somalia (document S/2003/231), the international community continues to support the Somali national reconciliation process launched under the auspices of IGAD and led by Kenya.  The appointment of the new Special Envoy of Kenya, Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat, was a welcome development and is expected to help to infuse renewed vigour in the peace process.

The Secretary-General commends the IGAD frontline States for the recent decision of their foreign ministers to meet at least once a month to discuss the progress made and the challenges faced in the effort to restore reconciliation and normalcy to Somalia.  He also takes note of their decision to set up a mechanism to monitor compliance with the Eldoret Declaration.  Also, the Secretary-General encourages all the Somali leaders participating in the Somali National Reconciliation Conference (Eldoret Conference) to rededicate themselves to the search for national reconciliation in their country.

The report states that the first phase of the Somali national reconciliation process ended with the signing of the Eldoret Declaration on 27 October 2002, by

which the participants, pledged, among other things, to cease hostilities and guarantee the security of all humanitarian and development personnel and installations.  Similarly, in another positive development, Somali leaders in Mogadishu committed themselves, in early December, to ceasing hostilities and bringing an end to killings and abductions of innocent people, as well as to solving differences through dialogue and goodwill.  They also agreed to cooperate through peaceful means to reopen the Mogadishu seaport and airport and to restore public services in the city.

It is encouraging that the work of the six reconciliation committees has continued despite controversy regarding representation at the plenary meeting of the Conference, according to the report.  The United Nations and its agencies stand ready to assist in the work of those committees with technical support and relevant expertise.

Since then, however, serious hostilities have occurred involving the militias and supporters of some of the very leaders who signed the Eldoret Declaration and the December agreements, the report continues.  As a result, the delivery of essential humanitarian and development assistance continues to be seriously affected, the Mogadishu seaport and airport remain closed, and recent fighting in and around Baidoa has blocked off an essential port of entry for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.  The Somali leaders are urged to live up to their commitments to assure the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance and the safety of all international and national aid workers.

The Secretary-General welcomes the contributions of Ireland, Italy and Norway to the Trust Fund for Peace-Building in Somalia and the early contributions of Canada, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and the European Community to the 2003 Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Somalia.  He calls on other donors not only to contribute generously to the appeal, but also to do so without delay so as to allow the effective implementation of a full, coherent and balanced humanitarian and peace-building programme.


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