Posted by: APO | 19 June 2008

Somalia / Europe / Routine killing of civilians in Somalia

Somalia / Europe / Routine killing of civilians in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia, June 19, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In a resolution on Somalia, MEPs look at the prolonged civil war and its implications for the peace and reconciliation process in the country, as well as for the security and stability of the Horn of Africa as a whole.

Since February 2007, some 856,970 Somalis have fled fighting in Mogadishu, while 2.6 million Somalis – about 35 per cent of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance.


The EP resolution calls for a halt to the fighting and the widespread atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict, with the loss of life of many civilians, and it demands investigations into all human rights violations. It urges all sides to ensure unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to affected populations and to ensure the safety of local and international humanitarian workers.


The peace deal reached between the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) is welcomed, but MEPs stress the need for “a genuine reconciliation process”.


They also call on the Somali Transitional Government, in collaboration with the UN and the African Union, “to use all available means to prevent, deter and suppress piracy and armed robbery committed from the Somali coast against vessels, especially those carrying humanitarian aid”.


Key role for the international community


The role of the outside world will be crucial in bringing peace to this region. The EP urges that neighbouring Kenya be pressed to play a constructive role. As to the European Union, MEPs call for “all donors, and the EU in particular, to increase the provision of humanitarian assistance” and for the Commission “to ensure that EU aid is not being misappropriated”.


The UN Security Council is asked “to strengthen the UN arms embargo on Somalia” and “to ensure that the embargo is fully respected by states in the region” as well as “to investigate and impose targeted sanctions on all individuals accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Somalia, including possible referral to the ICC”.


The resolution backs the UN Security Council resolution, adopted on 15 May 2008, calling for the possible deployment of a 28,500-strong UN peacekeeping force but it urges that peacekeepers “be mandated to protect civilians, including women, children and internally displaced persons, and include a strong human rights component, with the capacity to monitor, investigate and report human rights violations”.


SOURCE : European Parliament


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