IGAD demands Somali cabinet in 2 weeks

October 29, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI October 29 – Regional presidents on Tuesday urged Somali leaders to form a new cabinet within two weeks as the region intensified efforts to restore peace in the Horn of Africa nation.

Five presidents from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said Somali rulers should "appoint a cabinet on the basis of the previous resolution of October 11, 2008, within 15 days of the issuance of this declaration."

Although Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein signed the Addis Ababa Leaders Accord that was expected to reconcile them, infighting has persisted, stalling government and parliamentary operations.

“This situation has far-reaching implications for the future of Somalia in particular and regional stability in general.  The Transitional Federal Government leadership and institutions must therefore embrace compromise and agree to work together to create viable institutions in Somalia in the remaining interim period,” said President Mwai Kibaki, who was hosting the IGAD conference.

He also called for the implementation of the Djibouti Agreement and the Leaders’ Accord  to enable Somalia tread the path of reconciliation and national security, ahead of the expiry of the Transitional Charter in September next year. 

“These important Agreements (Djibouti Agreement and the Leaders’ Accord) aim at fast-tracking the political dialogue to address issues such as the comprehensive ceasefire, joint security arrangements, institutional capacity building, constitution writing, humanitarian issues and post-conflict recovery, reconstruction and development in Somalia,” he added.

The President said the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was operating below its anticipated strength capacity of 8,000 troops with only 3,413 currently deployed.

They therefore called on Nigeria to expedite her pledge to deploy troops to the mission to bolster its mandate saying the international community has not done enough.

“As regional leaders, we must also acknowledge that the international community has not provided adequate resources for peacekeeping and to the Transitional Federal Government to fully implement its mandate,” he said.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, whose forces are battling insurgents in Mogadishu, warned the world against neglecting Somalia.

"The transitional federal institutions are in paralysis and it is high time that this situation was addressed as soon as (possible) and in all seriousness," Meles said.

"By and large, Somalia has not been given required attention either by the United Nations or the international community at large," he added.

In addition, IGAD in its final statement urged parliament to "finalise the drafting of the Somali constitution, enact electoral and parties laws within six months of the issuance of this declaration."

The Federal Transitional Charter, which gives the current government a goverging mandate, expires in September next year.

Attempts to write a new Somali constitution have so far been thwarted by conflict and political rivalries.

Founded in 1986, IGAD has six active members: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. Eritrea’s membership was suspended in 2007.



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