Somalia

IGAD members pleased with Somali peace process

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By Tom Osanjo, PANA Correspondent
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Three countries bordering strife-torn Somalia announced Monday they were pleased with the progress made so far at the peace meetings being held in the Kenyan town of Eldoret.

Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya -- members of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that is facilitating the talks -- have urged the international community to refrain from entertaining actions that would derail the ongoing peace process.

Foreign affairs ministers of the three countries met here on the sidelines of the first extraordinary summit of the African Union.

In a joint communiqué issued after their meeting, Kalonzo Musyoka (Kenya), Seyoum Mesfin (Ethiopia), Ali Abdi (Djibouti) and IGAD executive secretary Attalla Bashir praised the work done by the reconciliation committees for contributing immensely to the search for peace in Somalia.

The ministers hailed the administrative steps taken by Kenya to revitalize the peace process. Kenya two weeks ago appointed veteran diplomat Bethuel Kiplagat to lead the peace process. He has taken over from Elijah Mwangale, the former chair of the talks.

Meanwhile, steps will be taken through the media to inform the people of Somalia of developments in the national reconciliation process.

The ministers also agreed on establishment of a mechanism to monitor the violation of the declaration on cessation of hostilities in Somalia.

As a cost saving measure in the management of the talks, the Kenyan government has relocated the venue from Eldoret to Mbagathi in Nairobi.

Pan African News Agency
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