Somalia: AU leaders extend mandate of AMISOM

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government has decided to extend the mandate of AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for an additional period of six months with effect from 17 July 2008, according to an official communiqué released here Tuesday.
The African leaders attending the 11th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in Sham El-Sheikh, Egypt, further decided that the Mission shall take the necessary steps to support the implementation of the Agreement of 9 June 2008 between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS).
Reiterating its attachment to the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Somalia, the PSC strongly urged all Somali stakeholders to join this process and commit themselves to the peaceful and negotiated settlement of the conflict in in their country.
In spite of the very limited personnel deployed so far, the numerous logistical constraints facing the Mission and the challenging conditions in which the Mission is working, the PSC expressed appreciation for the work accomplished by the Ugandan and Burundian contingents of AMISOM in Somalia.
"Council expresses appreciation to the Governments of Uganda and Burundi for their continued commitment to the promotion of lasting peace and reconciliation in Somalia," said the communiqué, which strongly condemned attacks, threats and acts of violence perpetrated against AMISOM which, they said, could undermine the political process and regional peace and stability.
Meanwhile, the PSC has reiterated its appeal to AU member states to provide the required troops and other personnel to enable AMISOM to reach its authorised strength.
On the same note, the Council has once again appealed to AU member states and partners to provide financial and logistical support to facilitate the completion of the deployment of the Mission and the sustenance of its operations.
According to the communiqué, AU leaders who are members of the PSC were optimistic that, with the Agreement of 9 June, the international community would provide increased support to the efforts aimed at bringing to a definite end the violence that has plagued Somalia for about two decades.
They expressed hope that a UN peacekeeping operation would be deployed soon to take over AMISOM and support the long-term stabilisation and reconstruction of Somalia.
The Council has requested the AU Commission, in close cooperation with the UN other stakeholders, to facilitate the implementation of the Agreement of 9 June 2008, including the strengthening of AMISOM, as well as provide the necessary support to the TFG in its efforts towards stabilisation of the situation in the country.
In addition, the PSC paid tribute to the humanitarian agencies and workers for the assistance extended to the civilians in Somalia under very challenging conditions.
It expressed gratitude to the countries providing support for humanitarian activities in Somalia, including measures taken to combat piracy off the Somali coast and escort ships carrying World Food Programme (WFP) humanitarian supplies to Somalia.

01 Julho 2008 12:16:00

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