Addis Ababa, 05 July 2010
The Chairperson, Your Excellency, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi Distinguished representatives, Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the newly appointed Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga and my behalf, I wish to convey our gratitude and appreciation to IGAD Members States as well as the AU for the continued support to the cause of peace in Somalia, to the full implementation of the Djibouti peace process and to the people of Somalia. The role of IGAD remains critical and should be heightened as the region is in a strategic position to partner with the international community for the restoration of peace and security in this strategic region of the world.
Our experience in dealing with complex conflicts in various parts of the world teaches us that most difficult conflicts are successfully resolved when the region is engaged and works closely with the international community.
As you may be aware, on July 1, Somalia launched the process of public consultations on the draft Constitution. The outcome of the participation of the population in this exercise would allow for the finalization of the fundamental law. The successful completion of this process is critical to develop the new Constitution and the electoral code. It would also prepare the ground for the holding of elections by August 2011.
I appeal to IGAD member States and the entire international community, to encourage and support the efforts of the Transitional Federal Government and the Independent Federal Constitutional Commission to enable it achieve this important objective.
While the Somalis are engaged in this Constitutional process, time has come as well for us, the UN, IGAD, AU and the development partners to revisit our approaches and strategies to the resolution of the Somali crisis. We should reach a common understanding of the kind of support we should bring to the Transitional Federal Government to ensure security and stability in Somalia. We should review new avenues and support political process and see how this will enable the TFG advance the cause of national reconciliation, accountability and justice. We can strengthen the various institutions of governance by paying more attention to the development of the capacities of the Somali institutions and governmental frameworks.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the AU, IGAD and UNPOS would provide us with a good framework to launch such discussion. The continuing armed confrontations and the general state of insecurity in Somalia are indications that more needs to be done to make out of the TFG a solid and credible partner for peace in Somalia. We are pleased to note that despite the difficulties that have been experienced with the regards to the payment of security forces some of the mechanisms established through PriceWaterHouse Cooper appears to have taken off. A number of partners have used this mechanism to pay the Somali security forces including the US, Norway and more recently Luxembourg.
We need to explore ways to provide adequate and targeted support to the Somalis and the TFG if we want to preserve regional peace and security. I commend the efforts of the TFG toward that direction. The agreement with Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'a in March and the Accord with "Puntland" are encouraging. I also pay tribute to the continued commitment of the AU and the AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries, Burundi and Uganda to the cause of peace in Somalia. Their troops continue to work under extremely difficult conditions, and require all the support and attention that is needed.
I thank you.