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Africa Union Praises Somali Government And Opposition for Agreement


The African Union (AU) has hailed Somalia's transitional government (TFG) and the opposition for signing the implementation step of the Djibouti agreement aimed at addressing the country's instability. The AU also praised what is described as the enthusiasm exhibited by both parties in pledging to abide by the tenets of the agreement and to address the plight of the suffering masses. Ambassador Nicolah Bwakira is the African Union's special envoy to Somalia, who chaired the signing of the agreement. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the AU's headquarters in Addis Ababa that both parties showed a determination to bring stability to Somalia.

"The meeting was cordial, and there were frank and open discussions. When the two parties had a problem, they discussed those problems in a very frank manner. So the meeting went very well and the conclusion was very positive because they were able to reach consensus on all points. The meeting had two committees, the high level political committee and the joint security committee. So they concentrated on political issues, on security issues, and humanitarian issues such as access to humanitarian assistance and human rights," Bwakira noted.

He said both the transitional government and the opposition showed resolve to solve the country's problems.

"Just to show how enthusiastic they were, and I really like to say this to all Somalis who were not in Djibouti, those inside Somalia and those outside in the Diaspora, they were very concrete decisions such as meeting on monthly basis for the two committees. Such as meeting in Somalia when in Mogadishu when the security situation allows. They were eager to send a strong message to the Somali population that their concerns were not about greed for power, but to help solve the problems of the Somali population. So, they were absolutely sincere committed frank and open. So, the fact that they agreed to meet on a monthly basis shows their determination to take this process forward on a regular basis even if necessary to meet more often than once a month," he said.

Bwakira said both sides want to restore peace and security to the country.

"I'm absolutely one hundred percent sure that both parties are very positive and committed because they looked at the security situation and they looked at the humanitarian situation of the Somali population. And they also looked at the political and justice issues, so they were not theoretical. They were very, very practical," Bwakira noted.

He said the newly signed agreement would be sent to the United Nations Security Council as a sign of their determination to bring back peace to the country.

"What that indicates to you as a first point is that the Djibouti agreement, which was initialed on of June, has now been officially signed and sealed by the two parties so that it can be presented to the Security Council as an officially binding legal agreement," he said.

Some political analysts believe the move sends a strong signal to all Somalis that there is a need for unity to rebuild the country. The Djibouti agreement, which was first initialed in June, calls for the rapid deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to halt the bloodshed.

The African Union also expressed its determination to support Somalia's Transitional Federal Government and other Somali stakeholders as they strive to bring an end to the violence that has plagued Somalia soon after the overthrow of former President Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991.

Meanwhile, the United States has welcomed the implementation phase of the process begun by the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia to promote peace and stability in Somalia.