Djibouti, 23 November 2008 - The UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, applauded the convening of a two-day workshop to address the critical challenges of Justice and Reconciliation in Somalia.
"Impunity is a condemnable scourge in any society so I am pleased to see that for the first time, impunity in Somalia is being debated," Mr. Ould-Abdallah said. "Impunity has been addressed in many post-conflict countries such as Burundi, Cambodia, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Time has come to address impunity and crimes committed by Somalis since the beginning of the civil war. I am very happy that Somalis and representatives of the international community have convened to focus on this crucial issue.
"I am also pleased to announce that after a two-day meeting of the working group on Justice and Reconciliation, the two parties to the Djibouti Agreement, the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) and the ARS (Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia), have stated their commitment to work closely together to address vigorously the problem of impunity."
To this end, it was agreed to establish a working group to facilitate a process of broader consultation leading to the formation of appropriate mechanisms to address impunity. They agreed in particular to examine the possibility of establishing a Commission of Inquiry and an international court. "I urge all parties, and the international community, to support the cooperation between Somalis to bring an end to impunity," Mr. Ould-Abdallah said.
These Somali talks take place at a time when piracy-a result of violence and impunity in Somalia-continues to threaten the safety of the international maritime activity off the coast of Somalia with a negative economic and environmental impact, Mr. Ould-Abdallah said.
For more information please contact:
Susannah Price or Donna Cusumano, Public Information Officers, UN Political
Office for Somalia (Nairobi, Kenya)
Tel: +254 20 762 1192/1625 or +254 733902020/737400133
Please visit: www.UN-Somalia.org