Communique of the 33rd Extra-ordinary session (Extra-ord. No. 1) of the IGAD Council of Ministers on the security and political situation in Somalia

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The 33rd Extra-ordinary Meeting (Extra-ordinary No. 1) of the IGAD Council of Ministers was convened at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 20th May 2009 to discuss the developments in Somalia since the 32nd Extra-ordinary Session held on 27th January 2009 and to chart the way forward. The Council was chaired by H.E. Seyoum Mesfin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the current Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers. The Council received briefs from the Somali delegation and the IGAD Facilitator for the Somali Peace and Reconciliation Process. The meeting was attended by H.E. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E. Moses Wetangula, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya; H.E. Sherif Hassan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia; H.E. Elsamani Elwasila, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan, H.E. Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda; H.E. Mahboub M. Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD, and H.E. Kipruto arap Kirwa, IGAD Facilitator for Somalia Peace and National Reconciliation.

The meeting was also attended by H.E. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission; H.E. Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN to Somalia; and H.E. Raffaele de Lutio, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy and Chair of IGAD Partners Forum, and H.E. Ahmed Salah-Eldin Noah, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the League of Arab States to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, AU and UNECA.

After deliberating at length on the prevailing political and security situation in Somalia, the Council:

1. Notes with grave concern the current aggression in Somalia that has resulted in hundreds of deaths and the displacement of thousands of people, which has partly been exacerbated by an influx of foreign armed aggressors on Somalia.

2. Recognizes the fact that the assailants have used the porous borders of Somalia especially the airports at KM 50 and KM 90 to receive supplies of arms and ammunition, and personnel from their foreign backers, in this regard calls upon the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone, except for humanitarian purposes authorized by the government, on the airports of Kismayo, Baidoa, KM 50, Balidoogle, Waajid, Hudur, all airports in Gedo Region, Isaley and Johwar.

3. Calls upon the UN Security Council to impose a blockade on sea ports particularly Kismayo and Merka to prevent the further in-flow of arms and foreign fighters, in this regard urges the UNSC to reach out to the international naval forces present in the region to enforce the blockade.

4. Condemns the acts of destructive forces in particular Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam (Islamic Party), and other such groups and warlords who continue to wage destructive wars in Somalia.

5. Condemns also in the strongest terms possible all the individuals, organizations and countries in particular the Government of Eritrea and its financiers who continue to instigate, recruit, train, fund and supply the criminal elements in and or to Somalia.

6. Condemns further acts of the Government of Eritrea calling for the overthrow of the TFG and attacks on AMISOM which are acts of aggression against a sovereign country and legitimate government and forces, and calls upon the UN Security Council (UNSC) to impose sanctions on the Government of Eritrea without any delay.

7. Reaffirms its commitment to ensure support through all necessary means for the TFG and the formation of its institutions and reiterates the fact that it is only the rebuilding through recruiting, training and equipping of the Somali Security Forces (SSFs) that will ensure the long-term stability of Somalia and in this connection affirms the readiness of the member states to provide all the necessary assistance which will be an added impetus against the war on piracy.

8. Welcomes the decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union as contained in the Communiqué issued on 11th March 2009 to extend the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for a further three months beginning on 17th March 2009, and calls on the PSC of the AU to renew the mandate of AMISOM at its expiry and to strengthen the said mandate and rules of engagement of the mission.

9. Welcomes further the establishment of a UN Trust Fund to provide support to AMISOM as envisaged by UN Security Council Resolution 1863 of 16th January 2009, and requests its immediate implementation.

10. Expresses appreciation to all the countries and organizations who made pledges in cash and in-kind in support of the Somalia Security Institutions (SSIs) and AMISOM at the International Pledging Conference held in Brussels Belgium on 22nd-23rd April 2009, and calls for the speedy disbursement of pledges and the coordination of efforts and resources in the rebuilding of the SSIs.

11. Notes that the UNSC arms embargo does not apply to the TFG.

12. Expresses appreciation to the troop contributing countries to AMISOM namely; Uganda and Burundi for the sacrifices they continue to make to advance the cause of peace and stability in Somalia, welcomes the announcement by the government of Sierra Leone that it will be contributing a battalion of troops to AMISOM as well as pledges made by Nigeria and Ghana, and other AU member states towards the same endevour, and urges all the other countries who have pledged to contribute troops towards AMISOM to deploy their troops without delay.

13. Further expresses appreciation to all the countries that have pledged to help re-build Somalia's Security Institutions in particular the governments of IGAD member states and others for availing training to the Somalia Security Forces.

14. Calls for an urgent special appeal to the international community for the provision of humanitarian assistance to the suffering Somali people, and urges the countries neighboring Somalia to provide safe corridors so that the humanitarian assistance can be delivered to those in need.

15. Notes with concern the UN Secretary General's Report on Somalia (S/2009/210) of 16th April 2009 to the UN Security Council in particular paragraphs 75-80 (Engagement with no International Security Presence (Option D), and reiterates that the UN Security Council cannot abrogate its obligation to deploy a UN Peace Keeping force in accordance with the UN Charter and the deployment plans already drawn.

16. Stresses the need for close cooperation and effective partnership between UNPOS, IGAD, AU and the League of Arab States (LAS) in dealing with the Somalia issues, and reiterates its call for coordinated efforts between the four institutions.

17. Notes further with concern the lack of payment of stipends to the Somalia Police Force and high level of unemployment among Somalia youth, and calls upon the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to punctually effect payments to the Somalia Police Force without any further delay as well as implement up job creation programmes for the Somalia youth.

18. Notes the proposed action plan for intervention in Somalia by the IGAD Facilitator for Somalia Peace and Reconciliation titled: "Proposal on Re-establishing Effective Government Institutions in Somalia" and directs the Secretariat to review, prioritize and resubmit it as an agenda item of 33rd Ordinary Council for further discussion.

19. Commends the international community and regional efforts against piracy in and around the waters of Somalia, takes note of the report by the IGAD Capacity building Programme against Terrorism (ICPAT) to fight piracy along the territorial waters of Somalia and directs Ordinary Council for further discussion. the Secretariat to submit it as an agenda item to the 33 Ordinary Council for further discussion.

20. Reaffirms its continued support to TFG and its institutions and further undertakes not to host armed subversive elements against member states.

21. Welcomes the relocation of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) to Mogadishu and their commencing of the task of providing leadership for the country.

22. Recognizes with appreciation the efforts of those Somali elders, business community, civil society, Somalia Diaspora and religious leaders to end the conflicts in Somalia and urges the TFG to harness these efforts.

23. Notes with appreciation the presence of the AU through AMISOM and LAS in Somalia, and calls upon IGAD and the UN to establish their presence and operation in Somalia.

24. Reiterates its earlier decision to take the necessary action to impose targeted sanctions including travel bans, freezing of assets among others, against all those in and outside Somalia who have become obstacles to the achievement of peace in Somali, and calls upon the AU and the UNSC to do the same.

25. Thanks the government and people of Ethiopia for hosting the Council meeting.

26. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 20th May 2009