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IGAD Heads Of States Declare Regional Responsibility To Deal With Somali Refugee Crisis
Somali News

IGAD Heads Of States Declare Regional Responsibility To Deal With Somali Refugee Crisis

  1. Preamble
  We, the Heads of State and Government of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), convening in Nairobi, Kenya on 25th March 2017 at the Special Summit on protection and durable solutions for Somali refugees and reintegration of returnees in Somalia:  
  1. Deeply concerned that more than two million Somalis have been displaced in one of the world’s most protracted displacement crises, that has now entered its third decade, with over a million internally displaced persons (IDPs), while nearly 900,000 are refugees in the region and Yemen, many of whom are women and children - most of them now third generation;
  1. Condemning in the strongest terms all forms of sectarianism, tribalism, terrorism and extremism which constitute the root causes of refugee movements;
  1. Welcomingand applauding the election in Somalia of a new Parliament in December 2016 and the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in February 2017 as major steps towards the stabilisation of the country;
  1. Further welcoming the appointment of Ambassador Mohamed Affey as the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Somali Refugee Situation and appreciating the mandate and responsibilities of UNHCR to provide protection and seek durable solutions for refugees, and its contribution to collective efforts to support returnees and internally displaced persons;
  1. Noting with concern the new influxes of Somali refugees into IGAD Member States and the suffering of IDPs in Somalia as a result of the on-going severe drought, aggravated by the effects of climate change;
  1. Recognizing the role of Yemen in hosting Somali refugees, and taking note of the impact of the ongoing conflict and its effect on their safety and protection;
  1. Expressing grave concernthat Al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups continue to pose a serious threat to the security, peace and stability of Somalia and the region;
  1. Notingthe changing international environment and commitment to finding durable solutions for Somali refugees;
  1. Specifically recallingrelevant national, regional and international strategies, frameworks and initiatives, notably: the 2014 Addis Ababa Commitment towards Somali Refugees; the 2016 New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, including its Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF); and the 2017 Mogadishu Declaration on Regional Cooperation on the Current Drought;
  1. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive regional approach and strong co-operation between Somalia and countries of the region on a range of political, security, humanitarian, peace building, development, economic and trade issues to find lasting solutions to forced displacement;
  1. Cognizant of the neglect of the Somali crisis in the past and calling upon the international community to increase engagement and support for Somalia;
  1. Commendingthe visible stabilisation achievements made so far as Somalia moves into a new phase of consolidating peace and building a functioning federal State with the support of IGAD Member States and the international community;
  1. Applaudingthe continuing work in Somalia to build functioning federal and state institutions, democratic governance and to strengthen the rule of law to meet the needs of the Somali population, in particular stimulating jobs and livelihoods, restoring vital public services and rehabilitating social infrastructure, in order to deliver socio-economic and peace dividends to local communities;
  1. Commendingthe extraordinary efforts and sacrifice that IGAD Member States have made to protect and support refugees and their continuing initiatives and commitments on the same;
  1. Affirmingthe new commitment by IGAD Member States to resolve the Somali refugee situation; and,
  1. Acknowledging the efforts and initiatives of the international community and other stakeholders to support the delivery of durable solutions for Somali refugees, including the upcoming International Conference on Somalia to be held in London in May 2017 to accelerate progress on security and agree on the forthcoming international partnership to help Somalia remain on track towards increased peace and prosperity by 2020.