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The Extra-ordinary meeting of the IGAD Council of Ministers held at the Ethiopian diplomatic mission in New York on 24th September 2008 adopted the following communiqué.

The Extra-ordinary meeting of the IGAD Council of Ministers held at the Ethiopian diplomatic mission in New York on 24th September 2008 adopted the following communiqué.

On the Situation in Sudan

Council:

1.     Takes Note of the briefing by H.E. Deng Alor, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan;

2.     Welcomes the progress made in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and encourages the National Congress Party (NPC) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to sustain their resolve and commitment towards the full realization of the agreement;

3.     Expresses its serious concern on the volatile security situation in Darfur and its humanitarian consequences that has continued to cause immense suffering to the population in Darfur, and stresses the need for urgent humanitarian assistance to the affected population;

4.     Calls upon the Government of Sudan and the Darfur opposition groups to continue with their engagements and implement the agreements that they have already concluded;

5.     Urges the International Community to prevail upon  those armed opposition groups in Darfur that have opted out of the peace process to come back to the negotiation table and contribute to the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Darfur;

6.     Emphasizes the decision of the ministerial meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the AU held on 21st July 2008 in Addis Ababa and 22nd  September 2008 in New York in relation to the application made on 14th July 2008 by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a warrant of arrest against the President of the Republic of the Sudan and stated that this action by the ICC would seriously endanger the ongoing peace process and the quest for lasting peace in the Sudan;

7.     Supports the decision by the Assembly  of the African Union held in Sharm- Al- Sheikh, Egypt on 30th June to 1st July 2008 on the abuse of the principles of universal Jurisdiction and the calls made for the fair and transparent application of international justice in line with the principles of International Law;

8.     Calls upon the United Nations Security Council to defer the process initiated by the ICC in accordance with Article 6 of the Rome Statute and taking into account the need to ensure that the ongoing peace efforts are not jeopardized;

9.     Takes note of the steps taken so for by the Government of Sudan and Urges the Government of the Sudan to take more concrete steps to investigate human rights violations in Darfur in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.


On the situation in Somalia

Council:

1.     Takes note of the briefing by H.E. Ali Jama Jengeli, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia;

2.     Welcomes the agreement signed between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia  and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) on 19th August 2008 in Djibouti;

3.     Welcomes further the outcome of the second round of meeting of the High Level Committee and the Joint Security Committee held in Djibouti from  September 17 to 21, 2008, and noted in particular the  agreement between the TFG and the ARS to continue with the political dialogue to address issues such as the institutional capacity building, constitution, humanitarian issues and recovery, reconstruction and development;

4.     Expresses its support to the decisions reached between the TFG and the ARS to jointly develop viable military technical modalities for the implementation of the ceasefire; and to facilitate unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to the affected population

5.     Notes with appreciation the Understanding reached in Addis Ababa on the 25th August 2008 among the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions and expresses its regrets that the agreement has not been implemented;

6.     Decides to convene during the first week of October 2008 in Nairobi an Extra-ordinary meeting of the IGAD Council of Ministers and invite the President of the TFG H.E. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, the Speaker of the TFP H.E. Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur Madobe, the Prime Minister of the TFG H.E. Nur Hassen Hussein as well as the members of the Transitional Federal Parliament to discuss as a matter of urgency the prevailing political and security situation in Somalia;

7.     Notes further the Communiqué issued on the 16th September 2008 in Djibouti by the International Contact Group on Somalia, and stresses the need to back the recommendation and decision contained in the communiqué with concrete political and financial support especially with regards to the convening of an international conference on the reconstruction and development of Somalia;

8.     Strongly condemns the attacks perpetrated by armed elements against AMISOM and humanitarian workers as well as all other acts of violence aimed at undermining the on-going peace process in Somalia and creating further instability in the region as a whole;

9.     Expresses its profound appreciation to AMISOM and the troop contributing countries of Uganda and Burundi and calls upon other African countries to heed to the call of the African Union by providing troops to raise AMISOM to the required strength;

10.Urges the international community to  assist the peace making effort of the AU by providing the necessary financial, material and technical assistance to AMISOM, and in this regard underlines the importance of enhancing security on the ground as a necessary condition to speed up the on- going reconciliation effort between the TFG and ARS;

11.Calls Upon the UN Security Council to accord high priority to the preparation and urgent deployment of the UN peace keeping troops to Somalia based on its earlier decisions and taking into account the achievements obtained so far on the political front;

12. Notes with serious concern the escalating acts of piracy along the coastlines of Somalia calls upon the international community to take an urgent and concerted action to safeguard the maritime safety of the region; and condemns these criminal acts in the strongest terms, and

13.Urges the international community to alleviate the unprecedented suffering of the people of Somalia by providing adequate humanitarian assistance and putting in place mechanisms for the speedy and unhindered distribution to the affected population.

On the IGAD Mission to Eritrea,


Council:

1.     Takes note of the report of the IGAD Secretariat and the briefing by H.E. Moses Watangula, Minister of foreign Affairs of Kenya and  H.E. Deng Alor Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan on the IGAD Ministerial delegation mission to Eritrea;

2.     Notes with appreciation the warm reception accorded to the delegation by the Government of Eritrea and the engagement carried out between the delegation and the Head of State of Eritrea, H.E. Issays Afeworki on the issue of Eritrea’s return to IGAD;

3.     Expresses its gratitude to the members of the IGAD delegation for the accomplishment of the task entrusted to them by the 24th IGAD Council of Ministers;

4.     Recommends to the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government to further pursue the matter of Eritrea’s return to IGAD.

On the revitalization of IGAD,

Council:

1.     Takes note of the report of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors held on 12th  September 2008 in Addis Ababa;

2.     Decides to convene an Extra-ordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers between 5 to 10 December 2008 in Addis Ababa to consider the enhanced document that the secretariat has been requested to produce by the committee of Ambassadors on the IGAD revitalization with a clear road map;

3.     Decides that IGAD participates at the Tripartite Summit meeting on coordination between EAC, COMESA and SADC scheduled to take place on 28 October 2008 in Kampala, and requests the Government of Uganda to send invitation to that effect.

Done at :

Ethiopian Diplomatic Mission,
New York, September 24, 2008

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