International community calls for ceasefire in Somalia

19:58, September 21, 2010      

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The international community on Tuesday called on warring Somali factions to observe ceasefire as the world marks the International Day of Peace.

In a joint statement, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Dr Augustine Mahiga, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Boubacar Diarra and the IGAD Facilitator For Somalia Peace and National Reconciliation, Kipruto Arap Kirwa called for the Somali groups that are locked in armed conflict against each other to reconcile on this solemn day and build on it to secure lasting peace.

"Peace is a basic human right and should be enjoyed by everyone, " said the envoys in a joint statement issued in Nairobi.

"This is particularly true in Somalia where civilians have suffered conflict, violence and hardship for the past two decades. It is heartbreaking to hear of the difficulties they face in their everyday lives."

The International Day of Peace was established through a United Nations Resolution in 1981 and the first International Day of Peace was celebrated the following year.

The day is aimed to strengthen the ideals of peace and alleviate tensions and causes of conflicts.

In addition, in December last year the African Union Assembly of Heads of State meeting in Libya agreed that 2010 should be the "Year of Peace and Security in Africa". "The people of Somalia yearn for peace and stability. We need to do all we can to provide security and stability for everyone and in particular – hope for the young. We do not want future generations to suffer as their parents have done," the envoys said.

Each year events are organized to commemorate and celebrate this day. Activities have been planned in Nairobi, Mogadishu, Garowe and Hargeisa. "Anyone anywhere can mark International Day of Peace," said the envoys. "Let us all rededicate ourselves to making peace in Somalia a reality."

The envoys' statement came as Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke announced his resignation after a weeks-long dispute with President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

"I resigned as the prime minister of the transitional federal government of Somalia after being unable to work with the president," Sharmarke told parliament in Mogadishu on Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua


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