Statement / Africa 21 March 2005 Crisis Group Response to IGAD Charge The International Crisis Group regrets the charge by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development's Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs at its meeting of 18 March 2005, that our position and advice has "resulted in damages to the region and to the peace process in Somalia". Share Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Whatsapp Save Print The International Crisis Group has long worked closely with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and its member states. The IGAD-led peace process for Sudan and the peace process in Northern Uganda are just two of the cases in which Crisis Group analysis and expertise have been made available to IGAD members in pursuit of peace, security and development of the region. Crisis Group has also welcomed and supported IGAD's engagement in the Somali peace process since its inception in October 2002. Crisis Group continues, however, to draw attention to the deep divisions among the Somali people over the issue of deployment of foreign peacekeeping troops, especially from the neighbouring "Frontline States" of Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. These divisions are manifest in the many public demonstrations throughout Somalia in recent weeks, the statements of Somali political leaders and civil society organisations, and reports and commentary in the Somali media. The unfortunate and indecorous scenes of violence in the Somali Transitional Federal Parliament on 17 March 2005 provided ample evidence of a house and a nation divided. In public statements and letters to concerned heads of state, governments and intergovernmental organisations, Crisis Group had consistently argued that this issue must be handled with great sensitivity if it is not to destabilise Somalia's transitional institutions and threaten the peace process. We are particularly concerned that any decisions concerning peacekeeping forces and the related issue of an interim seat of government, be reached through thorough, transparent consultation with the parties concerned and receive the unambiguous approval of the Somali Transitional Federal Parliament. The IGAD governments are aware that Crisis Group's concerns in this regard are shared by the members of the IGAD Partners Forum. A statement from the President of the United Nations Security Council on 7 March also affirmed that such a mission "would require the support of the Somali people". Crisis Group welcomes the commitment of IGAD and its members to peace in Somalia and congratulates them on having guided the peace process so far. We urge them to give due attention to the concerns we have raised in order that this opportunity to restore peace and positive governance to Somalia not be missed, and that they continue in their efforts to assist the Somali people and their leaders to find consensus on the best way forward. We look forward to the opportunity to exchange views with the IGAD member states on this and other issues. Related Tags Multilateral Diplomacy Somalia African Union & Regional Bodies More for you Speech / Global Priorities for the UN’s New Agenda for Peace Briefing / Asia Coming to Terms with Myanmar’s Russia Embrace Also available in 简体中文 Up Next Q&A / Europe & Central Asia Who are the Winners in the Black Sea Grain Deal?