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Kofi Annan At The Somali National Reconciliation Conference
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Mbagathi, Kenya, [7 - 8] July 2004 (Agencies) – Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to join you in Mbagathi today. I am
spending only a short time in Kenya, but I wanted to come here to
demonstrate the full support of the United Nations for the historic
effort you are making to bring lasting peace to Somalia.
Let me begin by commending all of you for taking on this tremendous

I would also like to express appreciation to the many Governments and
organizations that have been supporting this peace process, either
financially or diplomatically, with generosity and unwavering

In this regard I must single out the Government of Kenya. President
Kibaki and his predecessor, President Moi have played a vital role in
starting and sustaining this arduous process, under the auspices of
the Inter-governmental Authority on Development. Former Foreign
Minister Musyoka has been most helpful, as has Kenya's Special Envoy,
Ambassador Kiplagat.

I am also very grateful for the support given by the sub-region's
leadership, especially President Museveni, the current Chairman of
IGAD, and the IGAD Foreign Ministers.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you know, my own relationship with Somalia goes back a long way,
to the Period in the early 1990s when UNITAF and UNISOM I and II
successfully curbed famine and then tried to assist in the peace
process. Events took a deeply regrettable course, and your country
has known little peace and stability since.

After the withdraw of UNOSOM II, and with Somalia still convulsed in
Turmoil. My predecessor rightly declared that the United Nations
would not abandon the Somali people. And indeed, through the United
Nations Political Office for Somalia, headed by my Representative,
Winston Tubman, we have been assisting all efforts to resolve
differences and to put in place the all-inclusive governance
structures that are so urgently needed.

Occasional upsurges of violence continue to claim lives and violate
the Declaration of the Cessation of Hostilities, signed at Eldoret in
October 2002.Nonetheless, I am heartened by the progress you have
made at this conference, especially in recent weeks.
This time, all of us must get it right.

The African Union, the League of Arab States, the European Union and
the United Nations are all supporting your efforts. But ultimately,
it is up to the people of Somalia, and in particular its leaders, who
must exhibit a profound sense of responsibility and statesmanship. It
is you who must make the compromises that will lead to a government
with credibility throughout Somalia. The burden of finding a peaceful
solution to this needlessly prolonged conflict falls primarily on
Somali shoulders.

Of course, experience has shown that genuine collaboration by all of
Somalia's neighbours is an indispensable ingredient for success. In
this respect, I am encouraged by the declaration of the IGAD
Ministers last month here in Nairobi that they will henceforth work
as a team on the Somali peace process.

I urge you to do everything in your power to achieve the goal set by
IGAD Ministers for this conference: to establish an inclusive
governance structure by 31 July. At this important juncture, I also
call on the international community to provide prompt support so that
Somali's new governmental structure will receive the crucial support
it needs in its early days. Somalia cannot afford another false

As you work for a political agreement, I urge you to keep in mind
that progress in the political arena must be accompanied by serious
efforts to improve the security situation on the ground. This would
be conducive to the implementation of a political agreement. It would
also bring credibility to the political agreement itself, which would
be critical for it to receive the full support of the Somali people
and the international community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your people are looking to you with high expectations that you will
end their suffering. The region and wider world are also watching
carefully. We have all waited far too long to see the conflict in
Somalia cease once and for all.Surely,what still divides you at this
point cannot be more important than the over-arching need to set your
country on a new and more constructive course.

I appeal to you to rise above your differences, and do all you can to
bring your people an era of security, peace and hope.

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