Somalia, 17 September 2014 – A senior United Nations official today welcomed the opening of the Kismayo reconciliation conference in the southern Somali port town as a step towards strengthening the country and consolidating peace in the region.
“I urge participants to create an environment that allows the conference to develop resolutions that are inclusive of all stakeholders – particularly women, youth and elders, regardless of social or economic status,” said the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Fatiha Serour in a news release.
She added that this reconciliation process is “an avenue to develop a roadmap for the Interim Jubba Administration” to continue to build its capacity.
“There are milestones that must be achieved in order to move forward with the state formation process,” Ms. Serour said.
In August 2013, the Interim Jubba Administration, which oversees the region in the southern part of the country, signed the agreement in the Ethiopian capital officially allying itself with Somalia’s Federal Government.
Among its main points, the agreement established the terms of governance in the Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba and Gedo regions.
Opening the conference yesterday, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called for parties to continue to join the peace process.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Ms. Serour stressed that “the people and leaders of the Interim Jubba Administration clearly desire peace, and this reconciliation process is a manifestation of those wishes.”
Peace-building and state-building in Somalia is supported by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), which has a presence in Kismayo.