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EU condemns violations of interim Somalia peace deal


The European Union has condemned violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement signed by the parties at the ongoing Somali peace talks in Kenya.

A declaration issued by the EU's current Greek presidency said the organisation "deplores the serious violations of the commitments undertaken, which are still occurring, and calls for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence in Somalia".

Under the terms of the agreement signed by the parties on 27 October, the Somali groups agreed to suspend all hostilities for the duration of the conference.

However, since then, there have been continued violations, with fighting in the capital, Mogadishu, the towns of Las Anod in the northeast and Baidoa in the southwest, and in the Bari, Bay, Bakol, Gedo and Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, and Middle Juba regions.

The declaration said the EU "continues to follow developments on the ground in Somalia with great concern, and notes with disquiet that occasional conflicts have erupted in areas of the country".

It called for the establishment of an effective monitoring mechanism "in order to ascertain responsibilities". "In this regard the European Union will support well-planned efforts that the African Union will deploy to this purpose," it said.

In its statement, the EU reaffirmed its support for the IGAD-sponsored peace talks, as well as its commitment to moving the process forward and assisting in the implementation of a possible peace agreement.

It called on signatories to the ceasefire agreement "to continue to fully participate in the negotiations with a view to achieve further concrete results at an early stage".

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