[dehai-news] Garoweonline.com: Communiqué from International Contact Group on Somalia

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Dec 17 2008 - 08:59:30 EST

Communiqué from International Contact Group on Somalia
Dec 16, 2008 - 8:22:45 PM

The International Contact Group met on 16 December 2008 at UN headquarters
in New York under the chairmanship of the United Nations Special
Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah.

The Contact Group expresses its serious concern regarding the continued
dispute between the leaders of Somalia's Transitional Federal Institutions
(TFIs), which only serve as a distraction from the political dialogue
process. The Contact Group calls on all parties to put aside disagreements
and to work together in the interest of lasting peace and stability to
implement the Djibouti Agreement and resume the constitutional process
outlined by the Transitional Federal Charter.

In this regard, the Contact Group welcomes the 26 October declaration
between the TFG and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) to
form a unity government and an enlarged parliament. This agreement paves
the way for the creation of a unity government representing the majority of
the Somali people, and is another key step in the Djibouti peace process.
The Contact Group urges all Somali parties to participate constructively in
this process which provides the only comprehensive framework for peace in

The Contact Group further welcomes the 26 October ceasefire agreement
between the TFG and ARS and the subsequent 24 November establishment of a
verification and monitoring mechanism (VMM) to promote a full ceasefire
arrangement in Somalia. The Contact Group reiterates its commitment to
provide financial and political support for this agreement and the work of
the Joint Security Committee (JSC). It also recognizes the need to support
the UN trained police force.

The Contact Group expresses its great appreciation for the important work of
the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) under difficult conditions and
recognizes its urgent need for more resources and material support. The ICG
urges the international community to address this together with the need for
an accelerated political process. The Contact Group recalls its support for
the deployment of the stabilization force requested in the Djibouti
Agreement. In that context various proposals were discussed including the
deployment of UN Peacekeeping Operation for which significant support was
expressed, while a few delegations preferred that the issues be discussed in
more depth.

The Contact Group condemns the continuing violence in Somalia, particularly
the taking of hostages and targeted attacks against civilians and
humanitarian workers. The Contact Group calls on all parties to immediately
cease all hostilities and allow free and unhindered access for much-needed
humanitarian aid.

The Contact Group also condemns piracy, which was discussed in the Security
Council in parallel with the Contact Group meeting and at an UNPOS convened
meeting in Nairobi from 10 -11 December. It sees this as a result of the
lawlessness and lack of effective Government institutions and believes it
illustrates the danger of ignoring a failed state. The Contact Group
therefore stresses the need for a comprehensive approach to address the
underlying causes.

The Contact Group expresses deep concern about the human rights situation in
Somalia and calls for an end to the continuing culture of impunity.
Preparations should be made for reconstruction and development to give hope
to Somalis, particularly the large numbers of unemployed youth.

The next ICG meeting will be held at a date and location to be determined.

Present at Meeting

Burundi, Canada, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya,
Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, United Kingdom, USA,

African Union, European Union, European Commission, Organization of Islamic
Conference, United Nations, World Bank.

Susannah Price
Public Information Officer
United Nations Political Office For Somalia (UNPOS)
Telephone: Office - 254 20 7621192
                      Mobile - 254 733 902020
Email: <mailto:Susannah.Price@unon.org> Susannah.Price@unon.org


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