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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > November
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 28, 2006


Deployment of a Regional Force Needed in Somalia

The United States strongly believes that a sustainable solution in Somalia should be based on credible dialogue between the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) and the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC). The continued military expansion by the UIC has prevented this dialogue from moving forward and has created the need for deployment of a regional force. This force will deter further aggression against the TFIs; create the required space for dialogue; and stabilize the situation.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has put forth a proposal, which the African Union has endorsed, aimed at restoring stability in Somalia through deployment of a training and protection mission. The sole purpose of this deployment would be to stabilize the security situation by providing protection and training for the TFIs, not to engage in offensive actions against the UIC. The United States supports this regional proposal and views IGASOM deployment as a critical element in facilitating the resumption of credible dialogue between the TFIs and UIC and creating the conditions for Ethiopian and Eritrean disengagement from Somalia.

While deployment of IGASOM is a critical element in reaching a durable solution in Somalia, it is not the only element. As part of a longer-term solution, both parties should be prepared to reach a security protocol, including a verifiable ceasefire and plans for military disengagement, once dialogue resumes. The United States also welcomes the recommendations of the Somalia Monitoring Group regarding ways to improve the effectiveness of the United Nations' arms embargo on Somalia. As we address these and other issues, we continue to work with our partners in the United Nations Security Council and International Somalia Contact Group to seek a durable solution to the Somalia crisis.

The United States will remain actively engaged in preventing the continued escalation of tensions inside Somalia, which could spark wider regional conflict in the Horn of Africa if left unchecked. The deployment of a regional force is key in ensuring that such a scenario does not transpire.

2006/1073


Released on November 28, 2006

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