Jeddah, 17 December 2009 – The 16th meeting of the International Contact Group on Somalia (ICG) was held under the chairmanship of the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, on 17 December 2009 in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The meeting was opened by the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and the Somali Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.
The ICG welcomes the directions provided by the Government in its preparatory papers for the conference, which were further articulated by the Prime Minister. It further welcomes the concrete progress made so far in these different areas by the TFG which increases the confidence of the international community in its capacity to deliver. The ICG reiterates its full support for the TFG.
The ICG welcomes the TFG's commitment to continue its outreach efforts to all groups willing to cooperate and ready to renounce violence and encourages the TFG to continue and expand its efforts.
The ICG reiterates IGAD's position that the Djibouti process is the framework within which all international efforts should be undertaken and that reconciliation steps should continue to empower and support the TFG. It calls on all groups and factions to join the Djibouti process and work with the Transitional Federal Government which is the legitimate and internationally recognised Government of Somalia.
The ICG condemns the continuing violence perpetrated against Somali civilians by extremists, in particular the suicide bomb attack on the graduation ceremony in Mogadishu on 3 December 2009. It recognises the moves made by the TFG to pay allowances to some of its security forces and to consolidate its central command structure. It reiterates its full support for the excellent work carried out by AMISOM and recognizes the sacrifice of its brave troops. The ICG further calls on the international community to provide coordinated, timely and sustained support to build Somali security institutions including the provision of stipends following the completion of training.
The ICG welcomes the convening of the newly refocused Joint Security Committee and High Level Committee and encourages the members to continue utilizing these organs to agree on concrete approaches and actions.
The ICG appreciates the TFG's commitment to fully implementing the Djibouti Agreement. It agrees that holding a well-planned, international conference, as specified in the Djibouti Agreement, would be an important contribution towards establishing the objectives of the transition. It also agrees that the discussion on transition should be placed within the framework of a longer term recovery effort. In this regard the ICG notes the Somali Prime Minister's call for this conference to take place as soon as possible.
The ICG calls for the international community to offer practical, and where possible, direct support to the Government. Doing so gives the TFG the opportunity to demonstrate that it can deliver on completing urgent tasks and be held accountable including through such mechanisms as the Central Bank or PricewaterhouseCoopers. The ICG believes the international community should make further progress on understanding the requirements of the TFG. It welcomes the continuing development of the partnership between the TFG and the international community.
The ICG deplores the continuing scourge of piracy which has had a devastating effect on the lives of those in Somalia and the region as well as international trade. It welcomes the international maritime presence while recognizing that the causes of piracy are on land and must be addressed urgently.
The ICG notes the call by the TFG for the international community to establish a greater presence in Mogadishu as soon as possible and welcomes the OIC's decision to open an office there.
The ICG thanks the OIC for arranging the meeting and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting it. The next ICG meeting will be hosted by the League of Arab States in Cairo at a date to be determined.
African Union, European Union, Gulf Cooperation Council, IGAD, Islamic Development Bank, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Conference, United Nations, World Bank, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, United States, Yemen.