Tuesday, March 16, 2010

COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN SOMALIA TRANSITIONAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (TFG) AND AHLU SUNNA WALJAMA'A (ASWJ)

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE SIGNING OF THE FRAMEWORK FOR COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN SOMALIA TRANSITIONAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (TFG) AND AHLU SUNNA WALJAMA’A (ASWJ)

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a (ASWJ) formally signed a Framework for Cooperation Agreement today, 15 March 2010, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during a ceremony chaired by Jean Ping, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU). The signing of this Agreement by the two parties follows the initialling of the same and broad consultations between the parties and also within their respective organizations.

The parties signed the Agreement in the presence of Ministers, Commissioners, Ambassadors and other dignitaries, including the Prime Minister of the TFG and the spiritual leader of ASWJ.

The signing of this Agreement, which comes one year into the tenure of the Unity Government, is a clear testimony to the TFG’s strong and continuous commitment to reach out to those still outside the Djibouti peace process, with a view to broadening the scope of reconciliation among Somali interlocutors.

The implementation of this Agreement would require the strong determination and will of both parties to ensuring that both the spirit and the letter of the Agreement are continuously upheld in a manner that guarantees the overall benefits envisaged, in particular by enhancing the security situation in Somalia and enabling the TFG expand its presence across the country, in order to deliver peace dividends, including social services, to the population.

In this regard, the Commission of the African Union, while welcoming this Agreement, reiterates its unflinching support to the TFG and further pledges its commitment to helping the Government implement its peace and security agenda, and the
transitional and other tasks aimed at restoring the country to normalcy.

In the same instance, the Commission reiterates its call to all those groups still outside of the Djibouti process, especially the armed opposition groups, to now renounce all acts of violence against the TFG and the Somali population and join the peace process.

The signing of this Agreement is a clear manifestation of the desire of the Somalis to end the long running crisis in their country. It also translates to a hope for the Horn of Africa and, indeed, the continent and the world community. In this regard, the Commission welcomes the invaluable support of IGAD, the United Nations and other partners in ensuring its full implementation.

Addis Ababa, 15 March 2010