Somalia: Donors mobilize funds to implement peace

Published on Wednesday 18th June 2008

Nairobi: The United Nations held a meeting in Nairobi Tuesday with key donors to seek ways to mobilize resources for implementing the recently signed peace deal between Somali sides.

A statement from the UN Political Office for Somalia said the UN Secretary General's Special Representative to Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah met with donors from the European Union (EU), the United States, Norway, the Arab League and the African Union in Nairobi to seek ways of implementing the Djibouti Agreement.

"I am pleased that the representatives of the international community -- the EU, US, Norway, the League of Arab States and the African Union are meeting today with my office to discuss the mobilization of resources necessary for implementing the Djibouti agreement signed between the transitional government and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) on June 9,"Ould-Abdallah said.

"Indeed it is now up to the international community to play its part in this exercise," said the envoy.

He said the meeting is addressing the implementation of the agreement and the budget resources required.

It is looking at the follow-up to the establishment of the Joint Security Committee and the High Level Committee - including its regional and local components and the preparation of the International Conference on Reconstruction and Development.

Priority will be given to the funding of immediate and short-term activities.

"Both the prime minister and the leadership of the ARS have attended the meeting, making useful contributions on how best to assist their country in this critical period," Ould-Abdallah said.

"I am overwhelmed by this new, widespread demonstration of goodwill, generosity and support for the agreement and for Somalia as a whole," the envoy said.

Ould-Abdallah said he was pleased by the traditional generosity and willingness of Saudi Arabia to help Somalia and the region to recover. He hoped the formal signing of the agreement will take place in the Holy City of Mecca by the end of the month.

"Today what is at stake is not only peace and stability in Somalia but the credibility of the international community in the country and in the region," he said.

The Somali sides signed an agreement in neighboring Djibouti on June 9 following 10 days of UN-facilitated talks.

Under the agreement, the government and the opposition have agreed to end "all acts of armed confrontation" within 30 days. The initial period of the cessation of hostilities is 90 days and can be renewed.

Both sides are also required to take all necessary steps to ensure unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to affected people in the country, which has not had a functioning government since 1991 and where deadly fighting in recent months has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, as well as set up a joint security committee.

The agreement, signed with the presence of representatives of the international community also asks the UN to deploy "an international stabilization force" to the East African nation.