Security Council encourages Somali parties to use talks to end fighting

“Members of the Security Council firmly underscore their united support for the IGAD-sponsored reconciliation process on Somalia and strongly encourage all Somali and regional parties to participate constructively throughout the process in order to achieve the overriding objective of ending the violence and the suffering of the Somali people and bringing them the peace and stability they so dearly deserve,” the Council President, Ambassador Martin Belinga-Eboutou of Cameroon, told reporters following closed-door consultations.Council members also noted with satisfaction the wide regional and international support for IGAD’s unified approach to national reconciliation in Somalia, the President said, adding, “the opportunity to participate must be seized.” Reaffirming their commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia and their respect for the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity, Council members pledged to address continuously the situation in Somalia, according to the President. “Members of the Security Council express their commitment to assist the parties in the implementation of the steps and conclusions for peace in Somalia,” he said.The press statement underscored the “crucial role” played by the IGAD Technical Committee comprised of the three frontline States – Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti – in laying the foundations for the process, and encouraged them “to continue to play this positive role.”