Declaration by the EU Presidency on the violations of the cessation of hostilities in Somalia

The European Union, recalling the declaration on the cessation of hostilities signed at Eldoret on 27th October 2002 and the statement on violations of cessation of hostilities by IGAD Ministers of Frontline States on Somalia done at Addis Abeba on 2nd of February 2003, continues to follow developments on the ground in Somalia with great concern and notes with disquiet that occasional conflicts have erupted in areas of the country, lately in Mogadishu.

The European Union deplores the serious violations of the commitments undertaken which are still occurring and calls for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence in Somalia. It calls on all parties to abstain from the conduct of hostilities and from any act likely to increase tensions during the peace negotiations.

The European Union considers of utmost importance the effective establishment of a mechanism of monitoring of the declaration on the cessation of hostilities in order to ascertain responsibilities. In this regard, the European Union will support well-planned efforts that the African Union will deploy to this purpose.

In this context, the European Union reaffirms its full support for the IGAD sponsored peace process and its commitment to move the peace process forward and to assist in the implementation of a possible peace agreement. It expresses its appreciation for the crucial role played by the IGAD Technical Committee coordinated by Ambassador Kiplagat of Kenya and for its efforts to overcome all obstacles to the implementation of the declaration on the cessation of hostilities and turn them to advantage of all concerned with a view to strengthening the peace process. The EU encourages the Technical Committee to identify the objectives of phase 3 of the Somalia Reconciliation Conference.

The European Union notes with satisfaction the intention of the IGAD Ministerial Technical Committee to play a more active and consistent role in overseeing and supporting the negotiations.

The European Union calls on all signatories of the cessation of hostilities to continue to fully participate in the negotiations with a view to achieve further concrete results at an early date.

The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.