ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA,
Dec 11, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— The IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held its 29th Extra-Ordinary Summit on 9th December 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the chairmanship of H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly, to discuss current situations in the Republic of South Sudan and the Federal Republic of Somalia.
The Assembly was attended by H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia; H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan; H.E. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan; Hon. Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya; and Hon. Sam Kutessa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda.
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Also attending the Summit were the Executive Secretary of IGAD; the AU Peace and Security Commissioner; the Deputy Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); the EU Special Representative to the Horn of Africa; the UN Secretary General Special Representative to the AU; UN Secretary General Special Envoy to South Sudan and the Sudan; the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Somalia Refugee Situation; the Co-Chairperson of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF); and the Special Envoys of the UK and Norway to Somalia, South Sudan and the Sudan.
Following briefings and discussions, the Summit adopted the following communiqué.
On South Sudan, the Summit:
- Recalls the communiqués of IGAD Plus Assembly meetings held in Kigali and Addis Ababa on 16th July 2016 and 5th August 2016 respectively;
- Takes note of the Report of the JMEC Chairperson, H.E. Festus Mogae on the status of the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS);
- Expresses its serious concern and dismay that the implementation of the ARCSS has faced a serious setback since the July 2016 crisis in Juba and underlines its firm conviction that the Agreement is the only viable way towards achievement of peace and stability in South Sudan;
- Condemns in the strongest terms the reported systematic targeting, killings and forced displacement of the civilian populations and destruction of property, perpetrated by armed men, including sexual violence on women and girls; expresses deep concern with the rising ethnic rhetoric, hate speech and ethnically-fueled violence; calls on all parties to immediately cease all hostilities; further condemns declaration of armed uprisings in South Sudan and calls upon SPLM-IO to renounce violence as means of solving the problems of South Sudan;
- Welcomes the consent given by the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) for the immediate deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF), including all the enablers, equipment and weapons required by the Force, commends the Troop Contributing Countries for the RPF – for shouldering the responsibility of deploying their troops under the RPF in the spirit of regional solidarity;
- Reaffirms the continued and collective commitment of the region in the search of lasting peace, security and stabilization in South Sudan, including through the early deployment and full operationalization of the RPF, as an initiative that was launched by the region, with the support of the AU, and endorsed by the UN Security Council through Resolution 2304 (2016);
- Expresses its deep appreciation for the commendable role that Kenya has played for peace and stability in South Sudan, the IGAD region and the African continent in general and commends President Uhuru Kenyatta for reiterating Kenya’s firm commitment to continue to play its key leadership role in supporting the peace process in South Sudan. In this connection, the Summit encourages the Government of Kenya to reconsider its decision of withdrawing its troops from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and to contribute to the RPF;
- Calls upon the TGoNU to fully cooperate with the operations of the Ceasefire Transitional Security Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), UNMISS, and humanitarian partners in particular with respect to their freedom of movement, and stresses that the Government has a responsibility to facilitate the deployment and unimpeded movement of CTSAMM;
- Calls upon the political leadership of South Sudan to immediately condemn and take steps to prevent any act of discrimination, hostility, and hatred that could constitute incitement to violence;
- Reiterates its request of 5th August 2016 that the African Union Commission, in consultation with the United Nations, and building on existing regional and continental capabilities, to look into the best mechanisms for timely and effective action to address large scale mass atrocities in line with the relevant provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the Protocol Establishing the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, and Chapter VIII of the UN Charter;
- Recognizes and commends the role played by women in the South Sudan peace process and the vital contribution they can continue to make and emphasizes the need for the TGoNU to ensure participation of women during all stages and in all the structures envisaged in the Agreement;
- Underlines the need for a credible and genuinely inclusive political process, as the only basis for sustainable peace in South Sudan and stresses that inclusivity is not about individuals, but it is a process of ensuring genuine representation of the national character in the implementation of the ARCSS;
- Commends the JMEC Chairperson and members of the Commission for the hard work they are performing under extremely difficult circumstances in monitoring the implementation of the Agreement. In this regard, the Summit fully supports JMEC decisions taken thus far in pursuance of peace in South Sudan and further endorses the recommendations for resumption of the implementation of the Agreement as stated in the JMEC report covering the period between 1st July 2016 and 31st October 2016;
- Welcomes the announcement by H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Government’s plan to conduct an all-inclusive national dialogue, and encourages the President to embrace all parties of the Agreement that are willing to rejoin the peace process to do so, in the spirit of greater inclusivity, forgiveness and reconciliation;
- Calls upon the SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO, as well as other South Sudanese political stakeholders to re-affirm their commitment to the full and timely implementation of the Agreement. In this regard, the Summit recognizes and encourages efforts of the TGoNU for the action taken so far including:
- The approval of the appointment of the Chairperson of the National Constitutional Amendment Committee;
- The revival and reconstitution of the Transitional Security Arrangement Mechanisms namely the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC), the Joint Integrated Police (JIP) and Strategic Defence and Security Review Board (SDSR);
- The granting of amnesty to the SPLA-IO soldiers who crossed to the Democratic Republic of Congo; and
- The commitment that the TGoNU made at the last session of JMEC to submit a revised time line and implementation schedule pertaining to the Agreement.
- Expresses its grave concern over the humanitarian situation in South Sudan including acute scarcity of food resulting in massive displacement of population creating immense problems related to IDPs within the country and influx of refugees in the neighboring states. In this connection, the Summit calls upon the TGoNU to create a conducive environment for humanitarian access, and to take full responsibility for ensuring the protection of civilians and the safe passage for humanitarian convoys, as well as the safety and security of humanitarian workers;
- Commends partners of IGAD and the international community at large for the generous humanitarian assistance to the people of South Sudan and emphasizes the need for continued support in the face of increasing humanitarian crisis currently prevalent in South Sudan;
- Notes with concern the prevailing dire economic situation in South Sudan and its consequence on the peace, security and livelihoods of people of South Sudan and acknowledges the measures taken by the TGoNU to ameliorate the situation including the submission to the Transitional National Legislative Assembly a draft budget that would cut expenditure by 50 percent and reduces budget deficit;
- Calls upon the international community to continue enhancing its engagement with the TGoNU in particular in providing technical and financial support as per TGoNU’s request and in view of the many and critical benchmarks that require financing as spelt out in the Agreement; and
- Underscores that an arms embargo or sanctions on South Sudan will not provide the solution being sought for permanent peace and stability in the country and stresses that what is required is dialogue, reconciliation and commitment by all South Sudanese parties to faithfully implement the ARCSS and for the region and the international community to support them.
On Somalia, the Summit:
- Recalls the decision of the 28th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Mogadishu on 13th September 2016 to convene a special summit on durable solutions and effective reintegration of returnees in Somalia;
- Reiterates the ownership of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in leading and setting the priorities for its stabilization and reconstruction in an all-inclusive manner;
- Welcomes the formation of Hirrshabelle State and the completion of the state formation process in Somalia;
- Notes the commitment of the FGS and the National Leadership Forum (NLF) to support a credible, transparent and inclusive electoral process that would lead to a peaceful and democratic transition;
- Commends the progress made in the electoral process thus far and calls for its expeditious conclusion in line with the principle of inclusivity;
- Underscores that the Independent Electoral Dispute Resolution Mechanism be allowed to carry out its investigation of cases of alleged electoral abuse and malpractices, and that its decisions be accepted and implemented in order to ensure the credibility of the electoral process;
- Encourages the FGS and the regional leaders cooperation through the NLF and the timely finalization of the electoral process;
- Urges all parties to support the smooth transition and the formation of the new Government;
- Further urges all parties to rapidly implement the peace deal signed on 2nd December 2015 by Puntland and Galmudug States;
- Calls for full and timely support to AMISOM including the urgent funding needs of the Mission through UN assessed contributions;
- Condemns the recent Al Shabaab attacks in Mogadishu and their continued attack against the government, AMISOM and the civilian population;
- Calls upon the better coordination of AMISOM and friendly forces along with the Somalia National Army (SNA) against fighting Al Shabaab;
- Calls upon the international community to continue giving political, financial and logistic support to AMISOM to help stabilize Somalia and further calls upon the international community to give financial support to refugee hosting countries and communities in the spirit of burden sharing;
- Welcomes the decision of the Government of the Republic of Kenya to host the Special Summit on durable solutions and effective reintegration of returnees in Somalia in March 2017;
- Further welcomes the appointment of Amb. Mohamed Affey by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as the Special Envoy for the Somalia Refugee Situation;
- Supports the re-election of the Honorable Judge Abdiqawi Yusuf of Somalia as the Vice President of the International Court of Justice;
- Commends the critical role that the IGAD Office of the Facilitator for Somali Peace and National Reconciliation (IGAD SFO) continues to play in supporting the peace process in Somalia and instructs the IGAD SFO to continue providing necessary support towards a peaceful election and transition of government;
- Acknowledges the persisting drought conditions and unfolding humanitarian crisis that is expected to worsen through 2017 in Somalia, with all areas of the South Somalia likely to slip into famine;
- Appreciates the on-going efforts among IGAD Member States to implement the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI), in accordance with the decisions and recommendations adopted on 9th September 2011 by the Conference on the Horn of Africa Crisis. In this connection, the Summit resolves that an IGAD-based Multi-Donor Trust Fund to support both the humanitarian needs and development investments related to the region’s efforts to cope with drought impacts and implementation of IDDRSI, be established under the management of the IDDRSI Platform;
- Calls for the immediate lifting of the ban on credible Money Transfer Organizations to facilitate remittances from the Diaspora for the socio-economic development of the region;
- Instructs the Ministers responsible for Finance and Resilience Agenda to convene urgently to address issues pertaining to regional livelihood mechanisms; and appeals to the international community and financial institutions to support this endeavor; and
- Decides to remain actively seized of the matters.
Done on 9th December 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia