14/07/2004
Press Release
SC/8148



Security Council                                           

5003rd Meeting (PM)                                         


SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT CONDEMNS THOSE OBSTRUCTING SOMALI


PEACE PROCESS, WELCOMES PROGRESS AT KENYA RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE


The Security Council today condemned those obstructing the peace process in Somalia and reiterated that any who persisted on the path of confrontation and conflict would be held accountable.


Promising to continue to monitor the situation closely, the Council, through a statement read out by its President, Mihnea Ioan Motoc (Romania), welcomed the launching of Phase III of the Somali National Reconciliation Conference in Kenya, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and encouraged the parties to continue ongoing efforts for a durable solution to the conflict and establishment of a transitional government.  The Council also asked the Secretary-General for timely recommendations on what additional measures could be taken by the Council in support of the Conference.


In a series of related provisions, the Council reiterated that the Somali parties should abide by and implement expeditiously the Eldoret Declaration of 27 October 2002 on the cessation of hostilities.  It further reiterated that the parties themselves bore the main responsibility of achieving a comprehensive ceasefire and called on them to fully implement the ceasefire, ensure security, and resolve their differences through peaceful means.


Further, the Council welcomed the African Union’s decision to dispatch a reconnaissance mission to prepare the ground for the deployment of military monitors to Somalia, and called on the Somali leaders to cooperate with that initiative.  It also reiterated its concern over the continued flow of weapons and ammunition supplies to Somalia, as well as the humanitarian situation there, and called on Somali leaders to facilitate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance and to assure the safety of all international and national aid workers. 


The meeting began at 1:17 p.m. and was adjourned at 1:26 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as S/2004/PRST/24, reads as follows:


“The Security Council, recalling its previous decisions concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular the statement of its President of 25 February 2004 (S/PRST/2004/3) and welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of June 2004 (S/2004/469), 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 commends the IGAD leaders and in particular the Government of Kenya for their efforts in the search for peace in Somalia.  The Council also commends the international observers for their active engagement in the process.


“The Security Council welcomes the outcome of the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh IGAD Ministerial Facilitation Committee Meetings on the Somali National Reconciliation Conference, which demonstrated the coherent regional approach and commitment of IGAD member States to national reconciliation in Somalia.


“The Security Council welcomes the launching of Phase III of the Somali National Reconciliation Conference, and encourages all parties to continue in their ongoing efforts to move the process forward and agree on a durable and inclusive solution to the conflict in Somalia and the establishment of a transitional federal government for Somalia.


“The Security Council recognizes that, while the establishment of a transitional federal government will be an important step towards establishing sustainable peace and stability in Somalia, much effort will lie ahead if this objective is to be achieved.  The Council emphasizes the need for the new government, once formed, to engage with the international community and to use the transition period constructively for the purposes of reconciliation, stability and reconstruction.


“The Security Council reiterates that the Somali parties should abide by and implement expeditiously the Eldoret Declaration of 27 October 2002 on the cessation of hostilities (S/2002/1359), and calls on the Somali parties to continue working towards a comprehensive security arrangement for Somalia.


“The Security Council reiterates that the Somali parties themselves bear the main responsibility of achieving a comprehensive ceasefire throughout Somalia.  The Council calls on the Somali parties to fully implement the ceasefire, to ensure security, and to resolve their differences through peaceful means.


“The Security Council condemns those who obstruct the peace process, in this regard fully supports the warning of the IGAD ministers, and reiterates that those who persist on the path of confrontation and conflict will be held accountable.  The Council will continue to monitor the situation closely.


“The Security Council welcomes the decision by the African Union to dispatch a Reconnaissance Mission to prepare the ground for the deployment of military monitors to Somalia, and calls upon Somali leaders to cooperate with this initiative.


“The Security Council calls on the international community to continue to support IGAD in its facilitation of the Somali National Reconciliation Conference, and calls on the donor countries and organizations to contribute to the Conference, the United Nations Trust Fund for Peace-building in Somalia and the United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Somalia.


“The Security Council reiterates serious concern regarding the humanitarian situation in Somalia, and calls on Somali leaders to facilitate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance and to assure the safety of all international and national aid workers.


“The Security Council reiterates its concern over the continued flow of weapons and ammunition supplies to Somalia, commends the work of the Monitoring Group established pursuant to resolution 1519 (2003) of 16 December 2003, and urges relevant States and entities to comply scrupulously with the arms embargo and to cooperate with the Monitoring Group.


“The Security Council commends the work of Mr. Winston Tubman, the Representative of the Secretary-General, welcomes his visit of the region in support of the IGAD-sponsored Somali peace process, and encourages him to continue his facilitation efforts.


“The Security Council welcomes the Secretary-General’s meeting with the Somali parties on 8 July 2004 in Mbagathi, Kenya, requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council regularly informed on developments at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference, and to make timely recommendations on what additional measures could be taken by the Council in support of the Conference and its outcome.”


Background


When the Security Council met this afternoon on Somalia, it had before it the Secretary-General’s report (document S/2004/469), covering developments since the previous report, dated 12 February, and highlighting the issues and challenges faced by the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference, which has been under way since October 2002 in Kenya under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).


The conflict in Somalia dates back to 1989, when growing discontent with President Siad Barre’s regime resulted in a general civil war.  The regime collapsed in 1991, and the country descended into inter-clan warfare.  The crisis in Somalia impelled the Security Council to impose an arms embargo on the country and eventually authorize a United Nations peace enforcement operation from 1993 to 1995.  United Nations peacekeeping forces were then drawn into a difficult and protracted conflict with the Somali National Alliance (SNA), which sapped the will of the international community for the enforcement operation.  When the last United Nations forces withdrew in March 1995, Somalia remained divided, without a central government.


In 2002, the IGAD, a regional organization of States in the Horn of Africa, proposed to hold a peace and reconciliation conference.  That conference signed a Declaration on Cessation of Hostilities and the Structures and Principles of the Somalia Reconciliation Process, in Eldoret, Kenya, on 27 October that year.  Since then, a Somalia National Reconciliation Conference has been meeting in Mbagathi, Kenya, under IGAD auspices.  Resolution 1519 (2003) gave full effect to the implementation of an arms embargo, and a Monitoring Group was established in 2004.


On 29 January of this year, Somali leaders signed a “Declaration on the Harmonization of Various Issues Proposed by the Somali Delegates at the Somali Consultative Meetings from 9 to 29 January”, which called for a national census to be undertaken while a new constitution was being drafted, as well as for its approval by an internationally supervised national referendum.


According to the report, a meeting of the Facilitation Committee took place in Nairobi from 6 to 7 May with all IGAD Ministers for Foreign Affairs in attendance.  Their joint communiqué appealed to Somali leaders to return to the Reconciliation Conference by 20 May and for the Conference to conclude successfully by the end of July 2004.  Following the sixth IGAD Ministerial Facilitation Committee meeting in Nairobi on 22 May, the Ministers called for the completion of the Conference.  They further called on Somali political leaders to cooperate in the process of selecting the members of the transitional federal parliament.  They warned that absent leaders would not be allowed to hold the process hostage and that punitive measures would be taken against those obstructing completion of the reconciliation process.


The report further notes a significant increase in threats and attacks on aid workers in Somalia, and that four years of consecutive drought in northern Somalia have caused massive livestock deaths.  During the reporting period, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has repatriated a total of 2,918 Somali refugees from camps in Djibouti to “Somaliland”.  The UNHCR is implementing reintegration projects with special focus on local development activities that generate employment.  It also focuses on education and the special needs of girls, under a regional initiative called “Together for Girls”.


The Secretary-General expressed the hope that the outcome of the two recent IGAD Facilitation Committee meetings will help the Reconciliation Conference, which has suffered a serious impasse for several months, to conclude with an accepted outcome.  The two-month time frame, given by the IGAD Ministers to conclude the Conference, places extraordinary pressure on the Somali parties and leaders.  It is incumbent upon them to demonstrate the necessary political will and make difficult decisions, he states.


The Secretary-General observes that the international community must stand ready to support efforts of the Government of Kenya, the European Union, the African Union and the League of Arab States to implement the agreement to be reached on the ground.  For over a decade, Somalia has experienced a near total lack of governance.  In large parts of the country, politicians, businessmen and faction leaders have taken armed control over their fiefdoms.  They continue to demonstrate a lack of vision and political will for a positive dialogue for peace.


He urges the IGAD, the African Union, the European Union and the League of Arab States, as well as the Security Council, to consider what additional measures could be taken in support of peace and national reconciliation in Somalia.  The active engagement of the Council and the putting in place of the Arms Embargo Monitoring Group could provide the much-needed impetus in this regard.


Noting that the currently revised 2004 Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Somalia calls for $119 million, of which only some $28 million are available, the Secretary-General calls on 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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