Communiqué: The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) convened a conference of former senior military and police officers of the Somali National security forces in Washington DC from 1st to 5th August 2009.
The conference was co-chaired by the Minister of Defence, Professor Ghandi and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah. The African Union was also represented.
Drawing extensively on their experience, the former senior military and police officers assessed the strengths and limitations of the former Somali National security forces. They outlined the key factors behind the collapse of the country's security institutions and proposed security stabilisation mechanisms and options.
The former senior military and police officers also explored options for restructuring the Somali security forces in accordance with stipulations in the Agreement on Cessation of Armed Confrontation signed within the framework of the Djibouti peace process.
The conference recommended policy and practical measures geared towards:
(1) Establishing appropriate security architecture and a National Somali force.
(2) Addressing the challenges of extremism and piracy.
(3) Modalities for disarmament, demobilisation and rehabilitation.
The participants thanked the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia for reaching out to all Somalis who can contribute to the Government's efforts to restore peace and security in Somalia. The participants expressed their readiness and willingness to serve the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, if requested.
The participants called on the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to consider measures aiming at engaging and involving the former senior military, police, as well as non-commissioned officers in the country's security sector development and encouraged the United Nations and the entire international community to support the Government's efforts in this endeavour.
The former senior military and police officers expressed gratitude to the United Nations and SRSG Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, for forging a common front towards stabilising Somalia and harnessing the financial and political support of the international community. The participants commended the relentless efforts of the African Union and the League of Arab States (LAS) in supporting the restoration of peace and security in Somalia.
The conference agreed to reconvene within six months to take stock of its deliberations and recommendations.