Cablegate: Somalia - International Contact Group Meeting

DE RUEHNR #2182/01 2611011
R 171011Z SEP 08




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Somalia - International Contact Group Meeting

NAIROBI 00002182 001.2 OF 002

1. On September 16, the International Contact Group on Somalia
(ICG) met in Djibouti. Formerly co-chaired by the United States and
Norway, the ICG is now chaired by United Nations Secretary General's
Special Representative (SRSG) for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah.
This was the first ICG meeting with the SRSG at the helm. The
format and content of the ICG was similar to pervious meetings, yet
more loosely organized. There was considerable wrangling over the
communique, the final text of which follows in paragraph 3.

2. Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Prime Minister Nur Hassan
Hussein and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Information,
Youth Affairs and Sports Ahmed Abdisalam Adan, along with Sharif
Sheikh Ahmed, Chairman of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of
Somalia (ARS) and Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, Chairman of ARS Central
Committee, participated in the first session of the ICG meeting.
(Comment: During the first round of discussions between the TFG and
the ARS in May, these leaders would not meet face-to-face. During
this ICG, all four leaders sat together, behind a single "Somalia"
name plate on the table. End Comment). The ICG communique focuses
on the implementation of Djibouti Agreement and collaboration
between the TFG and ARS. Discussions also focused on the
humanitarian situation and the growing problem of piracy.

3. Begin Text of ICG Communique:

The International Contact Group (ICG) on Somalia met for the first
time under the chairmanship of the UN Special Representative for
Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, on 16 September in Djibouti to
discuss the situation in Somalia. It focused on ways to help
implement the Djibouti Agreement signed between the Transitional
Federal Government (TFG) and Alliance for the Re-Liberation of
Somalia (ARS) on 19 August 2008. The ICG welcomed the joint
participation of the TFG and ARS in its deliberations.

The ICG welcomes the signing of the Djibouti Agreement and the
establishment of the High Level and Joint Security Committees.
Members of the ICG urge the parties to the Djibouti Agreement to
agree on concrete measures to implement the cessation of armed
confrontation to allow the timely withdrawal of Ethiopian forces and
the deployment of the stabilization force requested in the Djibouti
Agreement. Members of the ICG stand ready to support politically
and financially the implementation of agreements reached in the
meetings of the Committees.

The ICG expresses its continued support for the political
cooperation between the two parties including addressing issues of
justice and reconciliation, impunity and the discussion on the
political future of the two Parties along with the implementation of
concrete measures enhancing confidence between them.

The ICG urges the Transitional Federal Institutions to fully
implement the Federal Charter requirements within the context of the
Djibouti Agreement, including developing the constitution and the
setting up of local administrations. The ICG renewed its
commitment to support the rule of law and security as well as the

The ICG acknowledges the important work of AMISOM under difficult
conditions inside Somalia, condemns the attacks on AMISOM soldiers
and calls for more resources from the international community to
allow it to deploy at full capacity.

The ICG condemns the continuing violence in Somalia especially
against the most vulnerable members of society - women and children.
It condemns all attacks against humanitarian workers and calls on
all parties to immediately cease all hostilities and allow free and
unhindered access for humanitarian aid and calls for an increase in
international support for humanitarian needs.

The ICG is determined to ameliorate the humanitarian catastrophe.
ICG members urge the Parties to work through the Committees to
urgently agree on plans and mechanisms to support the delivery of
much needed humanitarian assistance in consultation with
humanitarian partners.

The ICG welcomes the commitment to convene an international
conference on reconstruction and development of Somalia as agreed
upon in the Djibouti Agreement. The process is expected to take
place in phases and the ICG has stated its willingness to
immediately engage in the required preparatory work.

The ICG is deeply concerned by the growing number of incidents of
piracy directly threatening international maritime activities and
the delivery of humanitarian aid. It calls for the urgent
implementation of measures to fight this scourge in line with

NAIROBI 00002182 002.2 OF 002

Resolutions 1814 and 1816 and relevant international law principles.
The ICG welcomes the support provided by countries escorting World
Food Programme shipments to Somalia and calls on other countries to
ensure the continuity of this critical operation.

The ICG welcomes and is encouraged by the political cooperation
between the TFG and ARS and calls on all Somalis, at home and
abroad, to fully support the Djibouti Agreement. ICG members
express their determination to support the consolidation of this
cooperation. They further urge all parties to join the political
process to quickly restore peace and stability to Somalia. They
emphasize that no individuals or groups should be allowed to
obstruct the peace process.

The ICG welcomes the recent agreement reached between the leaders of
the Transitional Federal Institutions in Addis Ababa and calls for
its implementation without delay.

The ICG expresses its thanks to the Government of Djibouti for
hosting this conference and for all its support for the peace
process in Somalia.

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

Present at Meeting:
UN, African Union, European Commission, European Union Council
Secretariat, Presidency of European Union (France), IGAD, League of
Arab States, Organization of Islamic Conference, World Bank, Canada,
Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Kenya, Norway, Sweden, United
Kingdom, United States

End Communique Text.


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