Conference for African Parliamentarians on the African Union Support to the Implementation of the Djibouti Peace Process for Somalia

AU 1. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convened a conference on the theme “The African Union (AU) Support to the Implementation of the Djibouti Peace Process for Somalia” hosted by the Government of the Republic of Ghana in Accra from 28th February to 2nd March, 2011.

2.    The Conference was opened by H.E. Professor John Evans Atta Mills, President of the Republic of Ghana. H.E. Jerry John Rawlings, former President of Ghana and African Union High Representative for Somalia, Honourable Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden Issak, the Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) of the Somali Republic, Dr. Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General (SRSG) for Somalia and Ambassador Boubacar Diarra, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia also attended the conference. Hon. Kipruto arap Kirwa, IGAD Facilitator for Peace and National Reconciliation in Somalia was represented by Mr. Patrick Koyi.

3.    Delegates to the Conference included Honourable Members of Parliament from the Pan‐African Parliament (PAP) representing the regions of the continent, Honourable Members of the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) of the Somali Republic and media practitioners from pan‐African media organizations in Burundi, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia and Uganda. African Union partners including Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States also participated.

4.    The Conference delegates and participants welcomed the appointment of former President of Ghana, H.E. Jerry John Rawlings as the African Union High Representative for Somalia. Dr. Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General (SRSG) for Somalia, Ambassador Boubacar Diarra, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Hon. Kipruto arap Kirwa, IGAD Facilitator for Peace and National Reconciliation in Somalia reiterated their commitment to work closely with the High Representative in advancing the peace process for Somalia.

5.    The Conference, discussed, inter alia, the AU’s support to the Somalia peace process and the challenges faced in its implementation, and in particular efforts aimed at ending the current transition, the putting in place of a new political dispensation in view of the extension of the term of the TFP and the need for international community support to the TFP with the ultimate objective of adopting a Draft Constitution. Furthermore, the Conference discussed the role that the Pan‐African Parliament (PAP) can play in supporting the TFP.

6.    The Conference made the following recommendations to:

The Somalia Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP)
•    Engage in more outreach which should be targeted at specific groups including the regional and local administrations, traditional leaders, religious leaders, the media, women, youths, intellectuals, religious leaders, business community, civil society and the Somali Diaspora.
• Undertake the necessary parliamentary reforms through greater inclusivity, popular consultations and dialogue with all stakeholders with a view to addressing the need for, and enhancing legitimacy including taking cognizance of completing the 12% seat allocation for women as enshrined in the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC).
• Undertake all necessary steps to facilitate the finalization of the Draft Consultative Constitution process and the adoption of the Draft Constitution.
•    Undertake all the steps and measures necessary for the election of the President of the TFG, the Speaker of the TFP and the Deputy Speakers in a timely manner and in accordance with the provisions of the TFC.
•    Maintain, and continue to take all necessary measures to enhance the prevailing level of cooperation between the TFIs in order to foster the spirit of a harmonious working relationship between the TFIs.

The Pan‐African Parliament (PAP) and African National Parliaments
•    Raise the profile of the Somalia crisis and the urgent need for its resolution by debating the matter on the floor of the PAP and National Parliaments.
•    Establish a Working Group of the PAP and representatives of the TFP with a view to amongst others, working out the modalities for the PAP and National Parliaments to support the TFP.

The Pan‐African Media Organizations
•    Highlight the situation in Somalia as a way of drawing the attention of various governments across the continent with a view to enhance their support to the peace process in Somalia.

The International Community (UN, AU/AMISOM, IGAD and the Partners)
•    Increase its support to the TFP and also improve the working environment for the TFP including through the rehabilitation of basic working facilities.
•    Give more focused attention to the Somalia crisis and enhance the political and material support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somalia National Security Forces in line with the magnitude of the challenges that the Somalia crisis presents.
• Facilitate the necessary support and protection of media organizations and media practitioners working Somalia to ensure effective information dissemination for both the local and international audiences.
•    Urgently provide the necessary support to the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG), regional and local administrations and the Somali population in order to alleviate the already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia, and in particular, mitigate the famine brought about by the current drought situation.

7.    In order to facilitate prompt consideration and implementation of the recommendations, the Conference requested that the outcomes of its deliberations be tabled before the relevant fora of the Somalia Transitional Federal Institutions, the UN, the AU, the PAP and the IGAD and in particular, the High Level Committee (HLC) which is a mechanism for consultation and joint decision making between the Somalia TFG and the international community, under the Djibouti Process.

8. The Conference welcomed and encouraged the full implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation and coordination and the Joint Strategy for facilitating and advancing the peace process signed and adopted by the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), the AU Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) and the IGAD office of the Facilitator for Peace and National Reconciliation in Somalia.

9.    The Conference noted with appreciation the continuing efforts to restore peace, law and order in Somalia by the African Union with the support of the UN and IGAD. The conference expressed appreciation to the governments and peoples of Uganda and Burundi for their continued commitment and the enormous sacrifice, on behalf of the people of Africa, in deploying and maintaining their troops under AMISOM since its inception in 2007. The conference also appealed to other AU member states to contribute personnel and other necessary resources to AMISOM and to provide bilaterally, or through the AU, necessary support to the TFIs.

10. The Conference delegates and participants thanked, in particular H.E. Professor John Evans Atta Mills for personally opening the conference, noting that this is a clear demonstration of his government’s commitment to contributing to the resolution of the Somalia crisis. The Conference further expressed its appreciation to the government and people of Ghana for their hospitality and the government’s support in making the conference a success.

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