AU backs Somalia government

July 1, 2009 12:00 am

, SIRTE, Libya, Jul 1 – The African Union has expressed its full support for the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and pledged assistance for the leadership of President Sheikh Sharif.

At the opening session of the 13th Heads of State and Government Summit of the African Union in Sirte, Libya the continental leaders said they would not accept any forces bent on creating instability in Somalia.

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki who is attending the Summit has been at the fore front in calling for support of the Transitional Federal Government.

Speaking at the Opening ceremony, the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union Mr Jean Ping said the situation in Somalia warranted special attention.

"The AU will not allow a return to a no state like status for Somalia. The TFG is the hope of creating stability after 18 years of chaos in Somalia," said Mr Ping.

The United Nations Deputy Secretary General Mrs Rose Aicha Migiro said the UN condemns attempts to overthrow the TFG and was concerned at the rise in violence.

"The TFG is the most viable option for peace and stability in Somalia and we cannot afford its collapse. Confrontation is not the solution and we must act to save Somalia," she said.

The UN Deputy Secretary General said the UN would provide logistical support for AMISOM and called for additional troops to be deployed to help defend the government and people of Somalia.

The Secretary General of the League of Arab States Mr Amr Mousa said the league recognized the legitimacy of the TFG. He said his organization would mobilize regional support for the government in order to ensure stability.

Mr Mousa cautioned against the danger of any person or group imposing their way of life on the people of Somalia.

President Kibaki has also held talks with various leaders of IGAD in attempts to seek a regional initiative to end the chaos in Somalia.
The President has underlined the need for stability in Somalia, which was critical for the attainment of peace and development in the Horn of Africa.
The TFG was established after Kenya successfully brokered a peace initiative in Nairobi. Kenya has been at the fore front in calling for international support for the TFG.

Kenya has also asked Western Governments to urgently honour pledges made at the Somalia donor Conference.
President Kibaki is also expected to address the AU Summit on the theme of "Investing in Agriculture for Economic Growth and Food Security."

President Kibaki’s delegation includes Foreign Affairs Minister, Moses Wetangula, Agriculture Minister William Ruto and Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 Minister Wycliffe Oparanya.


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