The volatile situation in Somalia

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 9

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 3 OF 20 FEBRUARY 2007


MS F HAJAIG (ANC) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

(1) What will South Africa, as chair of the peace, security and stability organ of the African Union, do to assist in defusing the volatile situation in Somalia;
(2) Whether the AU will be able to gather all role-players around the negotiation table; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(3) Whether the intervention of the USA will be a positive factor in the resolution of this conflict, considering South Africa's position of multi-lateral intervention in any area of conflict; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? N212E

REPLY:

(1) In our capacity as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the next two years and Presidency of the UN for March 2007 and our membership in the AU, South Africa will continue to support the efforts of the UN, the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in bringing about peace in Somalia.
South Africa supports the national reconciliation process in Somalia and is willing to assist the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to ensure that the national reconciliation process is all inclusive, incorporating all relevant role players including civil-society, clan elders, elements of the UIC and the warlords."

(2) South Africa, through the AU, remains committed to ensuring the involvement of all the role players in the peace process. We need to believe that all role players are committed to negotiation and that they are all prepared to seek a peaceful resolution to conflict in their state. Interim Prime Minister of Somalia, Ali Mohammed Ghedi, has recently agreed to hold talks with all the relevant parties in the peace process including the leadership and members of the United Islamic Courts (UIC).This is also the position of the AU and the UNSC.

(3) America's current intervention in Somalia is largely in the context of the multilateral efforts. Currently these efforts are being exercised through its membership on the UNSC; the role it plays in the International Contact Group on Somalia and through their funding to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Peacekeeping Force.
To this extent, the involvement is constructive. Furthermore, it is our understanding that the US is in support of the inclusive political dialogue consistent with the statement by Deputy Minister Pahad referred to above.


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