Need for more targeted outreach in Somalia – Participants

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    Page last updated at Thursday, March 3, 2011 9:09 AM //

    Jerry Rawlings

    The Somalia Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) has been urged to engage in more outreach targeted at specific groups.

    In addition, it should take all the steps and measures necessary for the election of Speaker of Parliament and the President in a timely manner in accordance with the provisions of the Transitional Federal Parliament.

    The call was made in a communiqué issued by participants at a conference on the African Union (AU) support to the implementation of the Djibouti Peace Process for Somalia which ended in Accra on Wednesday.

    The conference was convened by the African Union Mission in Somalia from February 28 to March 2, on the theme: “African Union Support to the Implementation of the Djibouti Peace Process for Somalia,”

    The participants urged the Pan-African Parliament to raise the profile of the Somalia crises as well as urgent need for its resolution by debating on the matter on the floor as well as of the various national Parliaments.

    Former President Jerry John Rawlings, AU High Representative for Somalia, addressing the closing session, reiterated the need for the AU to support the Somalia Transitional Federal Parliament to ensure that peace was restored to the country.

    Somalia has been engaged in war for over 20 years and recorded a high number of deaths because of the war.

    The Djibouti Peace Process for Somalia announces August 2011 as the end of the mandate of the Transitional Federal Parliament hence the need to ensure that a substantive government is put in place and peace is restored before the above mentioned date.

    It is a 2008 peace accord signed in Djibouti between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) to pave way for the cessation of all armed conflict across the country.

    Former President Rawlings said: “I will do my best to mobilise resources from other African countries and the AU as a whole to ensure that the communiqué issued in Ghana is implemented.”

    He noted that the Somalia peace process had seen a lot of paper work and now is the time for action.

    Dr Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Somalia, also emphasised the role of Parliament in ending the crisis in Somalia.

    He explained that Parliament represented the people and those suffering in Somalia are the people, and therefore urged Members of Parliament to give peace and security a chance in Somalia.

    Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden Issak, Speaker of Somalia Transitional Federal Parliament, referred to those in Somalia who are encouraging the war and the crisis as the enemy that needed to be dealt with.

    He said: “It is a few criminals in Somalia who are making it difficult for us to achieve peace”, and called on the AU to give maximum support to the peace process in Somalia.

    Sharif Issak lauded Ghana for hosting the conference and especially thanked President John Evans Atta-Mills for personally participating in the conference.

    “This means that Ghana attaches importance to the peace process in Somalia”, he added.

    Source: GNA


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