[dehai-news] (AFP/AP) Djibouti peace plan 'under threat', OIC chief says

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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Mon Aug 01 2005 - 04:10:52 EDT

Djibouti peace plan 'under threat'
'DOWN THE DRAIN': The Ethiopian government vowed that it would not leave
behind a power vacuum when it completed its troop withdrawal from
war-torn Somalia
Monday, Jan 05, 2009, Page 6
The Djibouti peace process is at risk of going "down the drain" and
needs urgent support from the Organization of the Islamic Conference
(OIC), the OIC chief said on Saturday.
Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told a meeting of OIC foreign
ministers that they needed to contribute troops, equipment and financial
support to the African Union Mission to Somalia to prevent the collapse
of the peace process when Ethiopia pulls out its troops from the country
in the coming days.
"The Djibouti peace process, which remains the only credible political
process currently under way in Somalia, in which the OIC is a major
international stakeholder and facilitator, is under severe threat,"
Ihsanoglu said.
"Our heavy investment in the process, which produced the historic
Djibouti Peace Agreement between the Transitional Federal Government and
the coalition of the opposition ... must not be allowed to go down the
drain and needs the full support of all the member states," Ihsanoglu
Ihsanoglu also called on OIC members to offer up humanitarian assistance
to Somalians and for the organization to open up an office in Mogadishu
"as a symbol of our enduring engagement with Somalia."
Ethiopia pledged on Saturday that it would not leave behind a power
vacuum when it completed its troop withdrawal from Somalia in the coming
days, two years after it invaded the country.
There are 3,600 Ugandan and Burundian African Union peacekeepers in
Somalia, but they are ill-equipped and under-funded and have been unable
to restore stability in the country.
Ethiopia invaded Somalia in 2006 to rescue an embattled transitional
administration and oust the Islamic Courts Union, which had taken
control of most of the country and started imposing a strict form of
Ethiopia's pullout was agreed upon by the Somali government and the more
moderate wing of the Islamist-led political opposition during
UN-sponsored reconciliation talks in Djibouti.
In Somalia, Islamic insurgents appeared to be scrambling for power,
taking over several police stations in the capital as Ethiopian troops
began to pull out, witnesses said.
Many fear the Ethiopian pullout - and last month's resignation of
Somalia's president - will cause Islamic militant groups to fight among
themselves for power, bringing even more chaos.
"We have to show commitment to do our part in security, we want to help
people feel secure," Abdirahim Issa Adow, a spokesman for one wing of
the insurgency, told reporters on Saturday after deploying troops to
three of Mogadishu's 14 police stations.
His Union of Islamic Courts is not allied to the most powerful insurgent
group, al-Shabab, which has taken over most of Somalia.
The US accuses al-Shabab of harboring the al-Qaeda-linked terrorists who
blew up the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Many of the
insurgency's senior figures are Islamic radicals; some are on the US
State Department's list of wanted terrorists.
The Somali government controls only Baidoa, the seat of Parliament, and
pockets of Mogadishu. There is no effective military or police force;
some police bases are occupied by government forces and others are
vacant. The three taken over on Saturday were vacated months ago.

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