The 17th meeting of the International Contact Group on Somalia (ICG) was held under the chairmanship of the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, from 21 – 22 April 2010 in Cairo, Egypt. The meeting was addressed by the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Amr Moussa and the Somali Foreign Minister, Ali Ahmed Jama.
The ICG welcomes the progress made by the Transitional Federal Government in reaching out to groups willing to join the peace process. In particular it welcomes the agreement signed between the TFG and Ahlu Sunna wal Jama at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa on 15 March 2010 as an important step forward and calls for it to be fully implemented as soon as possible. The ICG recognises this agreement as a possible blue print for future cooperation with other groups and calls for the TFG to intensify its outreach efforts to those committed to peace and stability. It welcomes the conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding between the TFG and Puntland on addressing piracy on 12 April 2010.
The ICG stresses that all the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) must be protected and supported and should not be politicised or undermined by activities from within. It calls on all elements of the TFIs, to heal their divisions and show their determination to demonstrate their unity and to cooperate to restore peace and provide support to the population.
The ICG calls on the TFG to build on the promising start provided by its publication of a budget to provide a transparent account of its finances. Increased transparency will improve the confidence of the international donor community.
The ICG believes that the TFG should focus on the transitional tasks and should prioritize the most important to enable the international community to focus its support on key areas In particular it calls for the draft constitution to be drawn up as quickly as possible. Indeed the ICG believes that the draft constitution process must be credible and include wide spread consultation. The ICG also encourages the TFG to establish a strategy to move out of the transition phase due to end in August 2011.
The ICG calls for the Joint Security and the High Level Committees to hold their meetings in Mogadishu.
The ICG calls on its members to coordinate all their efforts to avoid gaps, overlaps and duplication and to create synergies. The ICG agrees there should be a wider process of information sharing and harmonization of strategies to maximize the support to the TFG.
The ICG urges the TFG to continue its work on reorganizing its police and security forces and the accompanying oversight and accountability mechanisms. It welcomes the support for the TFG police reorganization by Japan and the EU as well as the launch of the security forces training mission by the European Union, Uganda and the United States. It encourages its members to not only continue their important contribution in training the forces, but also to ensure that those who have undergone approved training, are properly equipped and receive stipends for an appropriate period of time.
The ICG expresses its full support for AMISOM and urges its members to provide further timely, coordinated support. It thanks Uganda and Burundi for their continuing contribution and urges other African Union members to consider contributing troops. The international community remains ready to support the enlargement of the current AMISOM contingent. The ICG expects that remaining contributions pledged at Brussels will be disbursed.
The ICG strongly condemns the violent actions of extremists which have led to continued suffering among the civilian population. It condemns the attacks on human rights workers, judges, journalists and NGOs and calls for the respect of human rights by all parties and the freedom of the press. It strongly condemns the fact that many Somalis continue to experience widespread impunity from criminal prosecution.
The ICG fully supports the decision to hold a conference on Somalia next month and welcomes Turkey's offer to host it in Istanbul. It believes that this is an important part of international support for the TFG and welcomes the inclusion of private business and the Diaspora, to generate employment. The ICG believes reconstruction and development are crucial for political and security stability in Somalia
The ICG commends the Organization of Islamic Conference for opening a new office in Mogadishu and encourages it to continue its humanitarian efforts.
The ICG condemns the continuing acts of piracy and calls for further international cooperation to deter and combat piracy and to establish land-based employment generation projects. The ICG welcomes and encourages the presence of the international maritime force off the Somali coast.
The ICG understands the TFG is operating in extremely difficult circumstances. Therefore it deserves greater support and understanding from the Somali people and from the international community in all spheres.
The Government of Spain has graciously offered to host the 18th meeting of the International Contact Group in September 2010. The Chair encourages participation at a high level. The ICG thanks the League of Arab States for arranging and hosting the meeting just concluded. .
Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Yemen, African Union, European Union, Islamic Development Bank, IGAD, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Conference, United Nations, World Bank,