Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Somali peace and reconciliation talks Monday entered their third week in Eldoret, western Kenya, hours after the country's 22 faction leaders signed a declaration ending hostilities in the fractured horn of Africa country.
About 800 Somali delegates reportedly burst into song late Sunday after their leaders signed the Declaration of Cessation of Hostilities, which took immediate effect.
A release from Kenya's representatives at the talks and Chair of the six-nation Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) team, Elijah Mwangale, said the declaration was immediately conveyed to all militia groups in Somalia.
In that release, the Chair of the Somali Leaders Committee, Mowlid Mohamed, is quoted as saying the document's signing was a historical event that will bring new hope to Somalis.
Children who were ten years old in 1991 when the Somali civil war broke out, pondered Mohamed, are now 22-year-olds and have hardly known peace in their motherland.
Leaders of Somali factions solemnly undertook to create federal governance structures for Somalia embodied in a charter or constitution.
They endorsed the principle of decentralisation as an integral part of Somalia governance structures.
The declaration binds the signatories to implement fully the United Nations Security Council resolution 733 of 1992 for arms embargo for Somalia.
It also guarantees security for all humanitarian and development personnel and installations as well as ensuring safe access to aid for all people of Somalia.
The leaders also pledged to invite the international community to undertake field-based and remote monitoring of the arms embargo and to combat all forms of terrorism, including the use of Somali territory as a base for terrorist activities, in line with Security Council resolution 1373 of 2002.
They pledged to abide by the conclusions of the talks and invited IGAD, the African Union and the international community to support and monitor the implementation of the declaration.
Mwangale said the declaration also includes structures and principles to guide the national reconciliation process.
He affirmed that IGAD, the AU and the international community would recognise Somalia's territorial boundaries as set during the time of independence.
The assurance was in reference to the self-proclaimed Somaliland, which boycotted the talks.
Officials, representatives of IGAD member states and Western partners, especially the European Union and the United Nations, witnessed the signing ceremony.
Earlier on Sunday, the Somali leaders agreed by consensus to adopt the rules of procedure, cessation of hostilities and the structures and principles of the reconciliation process.
The first phase of the talks, which began on 15 October, will end on 26 November.