Latest talks to further Somali peace deal wrap up in Djibouti

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, led the talks that resulted in the Djibouti Agreement, by which the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the rebel Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) formally agreed to end all armed confrontation between them.Over the past five days, the parties met again in Djibouti for a second round of meetings of the High Level Committee and the Joint Security Committee set up by the peace deal. The Joint Security Committee is tasked with implementing security arrangements while the High Level Committee deals with political cooperation, justice and reconciliation.“The Parties agreed to continue the political dialogue between themselves and make efforts to move forward on issues relating to political cooperation, reconciliation, justice and human rights,” according to a communiqué issued today at the end of the meeting.Among other things, they also agreed to consult and conduct field assessments, as well as meet within 15 days to jointly develop a viable military plan for carrying out the ceasefire. In addition, they decided to form a board to facilitate and coordinate the response to the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa nation. Some 2.6 million people – or 35 per cent of the population – are in need of aid due to conflict, drought and high food prices.“They call on the international community to urgently provide humanitarian assistance to the needy people of Somalia,” the communiqué stated, adding that the parties reaffirmed their strong determination to help ensure unhindered humanitarian access and assistance.Also attending the meeting were officials from the UN, diplomats from regional organizations (African Union, European Union, League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Conference) and individual countries, as well as representatives of Somali civil society. 21 September 2008Two key committees set up as a part of a United Nations-brokered accord aiming to bring peace to war-torn Somalia have wrapped up their second meeting in neighbouring Djibouti, during which they discussed practical ways to carry out the June agreement.

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