Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Somalia: Agreement Reached at Ongoing Peace Talks to Expand Parliament, Extend Transition Period, Address Impunity

(Dec. 4, 2008) At a meeting that concluded on November 25, 2008, in Djibouti, participants in the High-Level Committee set up under the Djibouti Agreement – the peace pact reached in June 2008, between Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) – agreed to the addition of seats to the Somali Parliament; to the principle of sharing leadership positions; to the election of the new leadership by the expanded legislature; and to a two-year extension of the transitional period, among other proposals. The expanded Parliament would have 200 new seats for an alliance of opposition parties and 75 reserved for civil society groups, doubling the size of the current body to 550. The participants “also agreed to reach out to groups outside the peace process, including women, the private sector, and the diaspora” the 75 parliamentary seats were added to that end. (Top UN Envoy Welcomes Recent Progress in Somali Peace Talks, WORLDNEWS, Nov. 26, 2008, available at
; Somalia Puts an End to Political Chaos, INDEPENDENT ONLINE, Nov. 26, 2008, available at
.) However, insurgent groups in control of much of the country are not party to the talks. As a result, “the agreement is unlikely to have any impact on stopping fighting on the ground.” (Somali Parliament to Be Doubled, BBC NEWS, Nov. 26, 2008, available at; UN Special Representative Lauds Somali Talks on Justice and Reconciliation, UN SOMALIA, Nov. 25, 2008, available at

It was reported on November 23, 2008, moreover, that after a two-day meeting of the Workshop on Justice and Reconciliation, the TFG and the ARS had pledged to work together to address the problem of impunity, by establishing “a working group to facilitate a process of broader consultation leading to the formation of appropriate mechanisms to address impunity” and “in particular to examine the possibility of establishing a Commission of Inquiry and an international court.” (Press Release, UN Special Representative Lauds Somali Talks on Justice and Reconciliation (Nov. 23, 2008), available at
.) Furthermore, according to the statement issued by the U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, at the conclusion of the High-Level Committee meeting discussed above, the parties to the Agreement also reaffirmed “their grave concern over the recent acts of piracy.” (UN SOMALIA, supra.)