Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Second meeting of the International Contact Group on Somalia: Final communiqué

In recognition of the changing political landscape in Somalia, the International Somalia Contact Group discussed concrete options for supporting continued progress in the ongoing political process.

The International Somalia Contact Group expresses grave concern regarding the continuing conflict in Somalia and requests all parties to comply with the cease fire agreed on 22 June in Khartoum and to provide unrestricted and safe access for humanitarian relief agencies to vulnerable communities. The Contact Group calls for immediate intra-Somali dialogue to broaden participation in the Transitional Federal Institutionsand to discuss concrete issues such as the establishment of regional and local administrations and security sector issues.The members of the International Somalia Contact Group are willing to support the development of an effective security sector in Somalia on the basis of a sustainable peace process.

The International Somalia Contact Group was briefed on the African Union/IGAD and partners assessment and reconnaissance mission and supports AU/IGAD initiatives to contribute to peace and stability in Somalia. In this regard, the contact group takes note of the endorsement of the National Security and Stabilisation Plan (NSSP) by the Transitional Federal Parliament. It looks forward to the submission of the detailed mission plan of the proposed IGAD/AU Peace Support Operation (PSO) in accordance with the UNSC Presidential Statement of 13 July 2006. The International Somalia Contact Group urges the UN Security Council to consider with a sense of urgency modifying the arms embargo to allow for training, capacity building, and development of a broad based, representative security sector building on successful dialogue between Somali parties. At the same time, the International Somalia Contact Group emphasizes the continued need for all to comply with the arms embargo.

The Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) and the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) constitute the legitimate framework for continued dialogue and the reestablishment of governance in Somalialeading to a successful transition to an elected, representative government at the end of the transitional period in 2009. The International Somalia Contact Group underlines the need for inclusive dialogue and urges all Somali parties to engage in constructive and broad-based consultations to peacefully resolve their differences, build confidence and address issues of common concern, in particular the establishment of the TFIs in the capital city, Mogadishu.

In this regard, the International Somalia Contact Group urges the TFIs and the Islamic Courts to resume immediately and without any preconditions the talks launched and facilitated by the League of Arab States in Khartoum on 22 June. The Contact Group encourages that this dialogue be broadened to include representation from stakeholders including women's groups, civil society and the business community of Mogadishu. All parties should refrain from inflammatory statements that fuel tension and undermine the search for common ground for a political settlement.

The International Somalia Contact Group reaffirms its continued support to the unity and effective functioning of the TFIs, encourages the convening of a Coordination and Monitoring Committee (CMC) in Nairobi in the coming weeks and is ready to organise a Contact group meeting back-to back with the CMC meeting.

The International Somalia Contact Group urges the TFIs, Islamic Courts and all other parties in Somalia to firmly reject any violent extremist agenda and deny safe haven to terrorists and their supporters in compliance with existing international obligations as laid out in relevant UN resolutions and international conventions.

The International Somalia Contact Group underscores the Somali ownership of the peace process and reaffirms its commitment to support the efforts of regional partners, particularly the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the League of Arab States, towards restoring peace and stability in Somalia. The International Somalia Contact group stresses the central role of IGAD in general and Kenya, as the present Chair, in facilitating peace in Somalia. The contact group also recognised the important role of the UN to support these regional efforts and reiterated the support for the UN SRSG efforts in the region. The International Somalia Contact Group calls on all regional and international partners to demonstrate unity of purpose and to engage constructively in Somali affairs.
Done at Brussels, 17 July 2006*

*The 17 July meeting convened at the European Commission included the European Union (Presidency and Commission), Italy, Norway, Sweden, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States together with the United Nations, African Union, League of Arab States, and Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

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