Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

June 11, 2008 18:49 ET

Statement From Minister Emerson on Somalia Peace Agreement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 11, 2008) - The Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, today issued the following statement regarding the peace agreement signed by Somalia's Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia:

"Canada congratulates the Somali Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia on concluding a peace agreement on June 9, 2008, in Djibouti. This agreement is an important step in ending the tragic 18-year civil war that has brought much suffering to the people of Somalia. We recognize the efforts of Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General in West Africa, in convening the peace talks, and of the Government of Djibouti in hosting them.

"Canada calls on all parties in Somalia to support the peace agreement, end hostilities and work toward reconciliation. Canada is deeply concerned by the current humanitarian crisis, which has been exacerbated by the conflict. There must be unhindered access within the country for humanitarian actors, and greater efforts are required to protect human rights and media freedom.

"Canada has contributed more than $25 million in humanitarian assistance since December 2006. This includes $16 million to the World Food Programme and an additional $4.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Canadian non-governmental organizations. Canada also provides $500,000 a year to support local projects in three priority areas: good governance, democratic development and human rights."

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