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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Communique of the 20th extra-ordinary session of the IGAD assembly of heads of state and government

The IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held its 20th Extra-Ordinary Summit Meeting in Addis Ababa on 27th January 2012 under the Chairmanship of H.E. Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly.


The Assembly was attended by H.E. Ismael Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E. Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia; H.E. Omar Hassan El Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan; H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, the Honourable Henry Okello Oryem Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (International Affairs) and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda; and H.E. Eng. Mahboub Maalim, IGAD Executive Secretary.

The Assembly also received briefings from H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chair of the IGAD Council of Ministers, on the deliberations of the 42nd Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers which convened on 26th January 2012.

After discussing and exchanging views on the briefs and reports,

The Summit:

On the IGAD Minimum Integration Plan:

Recalled its directives to the Secretariat during its 12th Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa on June 14, 2008 to undertake an inventory of achievements made in regional integration and to make recommendations, underscored the imperative to move IGAD a notch higher through accelerated efforts towards effective integration; and

1. Welcomes and adopts the Report on the IGAD Minimum Integration (MIP); commends the IGAD Secretariat for its efforts towards the establishment a Free Trade Area, and urges its timely finalization;

2. Calls for the fast-tracking of the MIP and the development of a mechanism in line with the Road Map as adopted by the Council; and stresses the need to give emphasis to infrastructural development as a basis for integration; and directed the Executive Secretary to report on progress at the next Summit.

On Somalia:

Having taken note of the Report on the progress made by the Ministers of Defence and Chiefs of Defence Staff on the Strategic Concept on the future AMISOM operations in Somalia, and the proposed Stabilization Strategy for South and Central Somalia, as well as the brief on the threats of piracy in the sub-region;

Having also taken note of the gains made by TFG, AMISOM and Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), and the logistical and military support extended by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the TFG, underscored the need to seize the unprecedented opportunity provided by the current and ongoing gains to consolidate security and political control of Somalia in line with the Kampala Accord and the Road Map.
In view of these, the Summit:

3. Pays tribute to TFG forces, AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) for their continued sacrifices in pursuit of peace and security in Somalia; and commends the military gains made by the various forces towards defeating Al Shabaab and other extremist elements;

4. Notes with appreciation the support by the Ethiopian National Defense Force in response to the appeals by the TFG and IGAD and urges all parties on the ground to effectively coordinate their activities;

5. Adopts the Report of the IGAD Chiefs of Defense Staff on the military situation in Somalia; and Commends the Chiefs of Defense Staff as well as the Ministers of Defense for their notable contribution in this regard;

6. Welcomes the positive consideration by Kenya to join AMISOM and the Djibouti deployment of its initial contingent into Somalia; Further calls on the African Union to continue urging other African countries to contribute to the AMISOM expeditiously; Furthermore, Calls on the African Union to engage with the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) to expedite works on the La Marina Logistics Centre in Mogadishu to enable the Djibouti Contingent to commence operations immediately;

7. Welcomes the renewed international momentum on Somalia as demonstrated in the deliberations of the UNSC session of 11th January 2012, and calls on the UNSC to expeditiously review and enhance the mandate of AMISOM in line with the Strategic Concept; Further, Summit mandates the Chair to engage African Members of the UNSC and IGAD Country Permanent Representatives to the United Nations to engages with the Council to ensure a resolution that guarantees the appropriate troops levels, and adequate resources and logistical support, to turn Somalia around;

8. Endorses the Grand Stabilization Strategy for South and Central Somalia presented by the IGAD Facilitator for Somalia Peace and National Reconciliation aimed at an inclusive process to determine political and administrative arrangements in the liberated areas at the district and regional levels, while building on existing structures; as well as urge humanitarian agencies to encourage voluntary repatriation of refugees to the liberated areas of Somalia;

9. Reaffirms the commitment and determination of IGAD Member States to continue supporting the TFG in its effort to stabilize the country and reiterates its previous commitment to link the military gains to existing political processes in Somalia;

10. Notes with concern the controversies among a section of MPs in Somalia, Recalls the decisions of the 19th Extra-Ordinary summit of 25th November 2011, which called on the need to focus attention on spoilers, particularly leaders that do not follow institutional procedures and in this regard, reiterates its previous position on the status of the Parliament and calls upon the TFIs to respect the principle of separation of power and mutual respect for orderly transition as guided by the benchmarks in the Kampala Accord, the roadmap and the Garowe Principles;

11. Urges the TFG leadership to take advantage of the expanded security to various districts to enhance national reconciliation, consolidate political and administrative control in the newly liberated areas, promote inclusive political participation in line with the Djibouti Peace Process, Kampala Accord and the Road Map; further calls on the TFG to act fast to implement quick impact projects to motivate the people of Somalia to support peace and security efforts.

12. Expresses appreciation to partner countries and organizations that are currently providing financial, material and technical assistance to the TFG; and reiterates its previous calls to the international community to increase both technical and financial support to the TFG as well as funding for programmes targeting that enhance the capacities of the TFIs across Somalia; further appreciates support provided to all other IGAD led programs in the region;

13. Recalls its previous decision to the international community to double efforts to create and bolster the Somali Security forces; further calls for the facilitation of this, through among other things, the lifting of the arms embargo;

On terrorism and Piracy off the coast of Somalia, the Summit:
14. Recognizes the efforts and achievements in countering terrorism in the region, but also takes note of the continuing threat of terrorism and its growing link with piracy, endorses the IGAD Somalia Inland Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent and Counter Piracy and further directs the Secretariat to work according to the Principles of the Djibouti Code of Conduct to prepare a background paper to guide preparations to the London Conference;

15. Welcomes UN Resolution 2023(2011) on additional sanctions against Eritrea for its continued destabilization activities in the region and calls for the expeditious implementation of the enhanced sanctions; Further welcomes the Communiqué of the 309th Session of the PSC, which underscores the need for the full implementation of these and other relevant resolutions and calls on African Members States to take adequate measures to fully implement the provisions of these resolutions. The Summit also Condemns the terrorist attacks, killing and kidnapping of tourists in Northern Ethiopia that have been linked to the state of Eritrea and further reiterates its previous position to condemn the acts of the Eritrean Government for continuously providing support to armed opposition groups including Al Shabaab;
On the Sudan, the summit:

16. Notes with concern the deteriorating relations between the Republic of the Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan and strongly urges the parties to refrain from unilateral actions that affect joint efforts to implement the outstanding issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and post-referendum arrangements;

17. Takes note of the brief by the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan and requests the African Union High Level Panel (AUHIP) to file its Reports on the implementation of the outstanding issues of the CPA and post-referendum arrangements to the AU Assembly;

18. Welcomes the willingness of the two parties to agree to continue negotiations on the AUHIP proposed agreement and resolve the current crisis and all outstanding issues;

19. Commends the Government of Ethiopia for its role in deploying the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei and the role of UNISFA in stabilizing the situation in Abyei, and calls upon the parties to implement all remaining commitments in the 20 June agreement on Abyei.

20. Commends the tireless efforts of the AUHIP and urges the need for the development of a timeframe to guide the completion of the tasks assigned;

21. Appreciates the IGAD member countries that are supporting the Government of South Sudan in the areas of capacity building; and calls for increased support;

22. Directs the Executive Secretary to transmit the contents of this communiqué to the AU Assembly;

23. Expresses its appreciation to the Government and the people of Ethiopia for hosting this Extra-ordinary Summit;

24. Decides to remain seized of political and security issues in the Region.

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