Somaliland247's Blog

November 9, 2012

UK MP Sir Tony Baldry receives Somaliland Community Achievement Award 2012


UK MP Sir Tony Baldry receives Somaliland Community Achievement Award 2012

Sir Tony Baldry MP (centre) with Ali Aden Awale, Head of the Somaliland UK Mission (on his left) and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mr HE Hersi Ali H Hassan (on his right)

Sir Tony Baldry MP, co-chair of the Somaliland APPG has been given the Somaliland Community Achievement Award for his work helping Somaliland gain re-recognition.
Sir Tony met briefly with a small group from the West London Somaliland Community, Somaliland Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mr HE Hersi Ali H Hassan and Head of the Somaliland UK Mission Ali Aden Awale at the House of Commons on Monday 5 November where he received his award.

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June 23, 2012

UK Foreign Secretary welcomes historic talks between Somaliland and Transitional Federal Government of Somalia

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 8:34 pm
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UK Foreign Secretary welcomes historic talks between Somaliland and Transitional Federal Government of Somalia

22 June 2012

Foreign Secretary William Hague: “I congratulate the Somali Transitional Federal Government and Somaliland representatives on agreeing the Chevening House Declaration yesterday.”

Representatives of Somaliland and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia met at Chevening House on 20-21 June. The purpose of the talks, the first of their kind, was to establish a framework for future substantive talks. At the request of both parties the meeting was facilitated by the UK government, along with the EU and Norway.

Following the meeting the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“I congratulate the Somali Transitional Federal Government and Somaliland representatives on agreeing the Chevening House Declaration yesterday. We hope this will be a landmark in the process of clarifying their future relations and achieving peace, security and stability in the region. I congratulate both sides on their willingness to continue the talks and to cooperate on areas of common interest. I am pleased that the UK, along with Norway and the EU, was able to build on commitments at the London and Istanbul Conferences on Somalia to support dialogue by facilitating these talks. Britain will work with  international partners to support their efforts as they continue this important and historic dialogue.”

Foreign & Commonwealth Office: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=779032582

June 2, 2012

Somaliland chief remembers start of Queen’s reign


Somaliland chief remembers start of Queen’s reign

Somaliland’s chief of chiefs Haji Abdi Hussein Yusuf sends Somaliland House of Elders’ congratulations and felicitations to the Queen

Somaliland’s chief of chiefs became a tribal leader 12 years before Queen Elizabeth II assumed the throne and he has clear memories of the day she was crowned.

coronation of Queen Elizabeth II 2 June 1953

My name is Haji Abdi Hussein Yusuf also known as Haji Warabe. I am 115 years old. I don’t know the exact year I was born, and I cannot read or write, but I know for sure that I am that age.

I remember the Queen’s coronation extremely well. In fact, I remember the coronation of her father King George VI [in 1937]. My uncle attended the ceremony in London.

During the coronation of Queen Elizabeth there was a huge celebration in Hargeisa. The whole town was practically shut down and lots of congratulatory telegrams were sent.

I still remember that wonderful day. I have been to London twice but unfortunately I didn’t meet the Queen on either occasion.

I first became a chief when Somaliland was a British protectorate. I worked closely with the British colonial officials, and was selected by them as the chief of chiefs. I worked very well with them for 20 years until independence in 1960.

George VI’s and Elizabeth II’s coronations were days of celebration

I liked the British a lot, mainly because they brought peace to our land. When they first arrived, the clans were at each other’s throats. We were killing and fighting each other, and the British put a stop to it.

To be honest, things didn’t change much for me after independence. My chiefly powers stayed pretty much the same, as both the British and the Somali politicians wanted the same thing from me – advice.

I was born outside Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, in the area where the airport now is. At the time it wasn’t a town at all – it was wilderness.

I have been a nomad since the day I was born and I have been a chief for more than 70 years, since 1940 to be precise.

I am now the chief of chiefs, the elder of elders. The most senior traditional leader in the whole of Somaliland. My nickname is Warabe which means hyena.

Nomadic life

When I was four years old, I started looking after baby sheep and goats. When I was a bit older, my job was to herd young camels into their pens. Then I graduated to herding the mature camels, the most magnificent of all Somali beasts.

Somaliland: Self-declared republic

  • Formal British control after being taken from Egypt 1884
  • Re-united with Italian Somaliland to form Somalia 1960
  • Declares independence after overthrow of dictator Siad Barre 1991
  • Not recognised internationally
  • Referendum backs independence 2001

Even though I am now too old to actively herd my livestock, I still consider myself first and foremost a nomad, and I visit my herds whenever I can.

Nomadic life has changed dramatically over the decades. It used to be just us, our animals and the wilderness.

Now villages, roads and vehicles get in the way of everything. People are ruining the environment by cutting down all the trees for charcoal.

I will never retire as elder of the elders. I want to continue for as long as I can – for as long as my brain functions properly. People continue to respect me and I respect them.

Please will you pass our felicitations, congratulations and heartfelt blessings to her majesty, in particular from the House of Elders here in Somaliland.

Haji Abdi Hussein Yusuf was interviewed by BBC Somalia analyst Mary Harper. It aired on BBC World Service’s Newshour programme as part of series marking Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. The series from 26 May to 1 June featured seven people from across the world who are over 60 and still working in their professions.

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18150302

March 16, 2012

Somaliland Did Not Surrender Sovereignty By Attending the London Conference


Somaliland Did Not Surrender Sovereignty By Attending the London Conference

By Mohamed A. Omar, 16 March 2012

Mohamed A. Omar Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the Republic of Somaliland.

analysis

Somaliland is re-engaging with international diplomacy related to its neighbour, Somalia. Our country has received widespread praise for its contribution to the recent London Conference. This event represented an important milestone in Somaliland’s diplomacy.

We participated in the conference as an equal, and we laid out our views about how Somaliland can help build peace and stability in Somalia. We are very grateful to the British Government for convening the conference and for inviting us.

It was the first time that Somaliland had ever taken part in an international conference dealing with the future of Somalia. Prior to the conference, some of our people had expressed reservations about Somaliland’s participation, because they were afraid that our Government’s presence in London could be misinterpreted by our international partners as endorsing an eventual return to unity with Somalia.

I believe that our government decisively addressed this issue in our statement to the conference, in which we underlined our view that our declaration of independence in 1991 is definitive. Had we not attended, we would have missed an opportunity to share this view with 55 delegations, represented at very high level.

Given these sensitivities, President Silanyo consulted widely with Somaliland’s political and civil society leaders before deciding to accept the invitation to the Conference. It was important that there be a strong mandate from Somaliland’s two legislative bodies, the Council of Elders and the House of Representatives. In fact, these two bodies had to change our law in order for President Silanyo to attend. This process illustrates Somaliland’s democratic credentials and our culture of consultation. The overwhelming backing for participation in the conference is a mark of our people’s political maturity.

The conference also provided us an opportunity to lay out our ideas about how to bring peace and stability to Somalia. We believe that attempts to find a solution to the problem of Somalia based on the de jure boundaries of the state risk undermining the very stability which the international community is seeking. Furthermore, focusing energy on the re-creation of a centralized state through a top-down approach ignores the realities on the ground, and the decentralized nature of Somali politics.

Somaliland offers a useful example in this regard, as several countries noted at the Conference. Somaliland built peace and democracy through an indigenous bottom-up approach, drawing on traditional conflict resolution methods. We believe that a similar approach is needed in Somalia, and we have offered to share our experience with our brothers and sisters in that country. We would of course be in an even stronger position to contribute to a stable and peaceful Somalia if we were recognised internationally.

The Final Communiqué issued from the Conference also recognised the need for the international community “to support any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to establish in order to clarify their future relations.” We believe that this clearly supports our vision of a dialogue between two separate entities, which treat each other as equals. It will, I hope, mark a starting point for constructive discussions about our relationship with Somalia, including an acceptance by the authorities in Mogadishu that our voluntary union failed long ago, and that the future stability of the region is best served by accepting Somaliland’s independence.

A number of bilateral meetings between President Silanyo and Ministers from other countries took place in the margins of the conference, all of which were conducted in a spirit of mutual respect and equality. These bilateral talks provided us with the opportunity to discuss concrete ways in which Somaliland can cooperate with other governments to our mutual advantage.

While in London, President Silanyo also attended the launch of the Somaliland Development Corporation at the British Houses of Parliament. The Corporation will facilitate international investment in Somaliland for the benefit of the Somaliland people, circumventing the present problem of non-recognition by providing a transparent, accountable and enforceable means by which international investors can participate in Somaliland ventures. Somaliland was honoured that Minister Henry Bellingham attended the event. The launch was also well-attended by members of Parliament from all major political parties in the UK.

All of this demonstrates that we did not surrender our sovereignty by attending the London Conference. On the contrary, we asserted and reaffirmed our status as a sovereign and responsible regional partner, and in the process garnered significant diplomatic, economic and political support. We will build on this so as to promote further the interests of our people.

Mohamed A. Omar is Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the Republic of Somaliland.

Africanarguments.orghttp://africanarguments.org/2012/03/16/somaliland-did-not-surrender-sovereignty-by-attending-the-london-conference-%E2%80%93-by-mohamed-a-omar-foreign-minister-somaliland/

February 26, 2012

Strengthening the UK’s relationship with Somaliland


Strengthening the UK’s relationship with Somaliland

Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague

Foreign Secretary William Hague met President Silanyo of Somaliland on 22 February, the eve of the London Conference on Somalia.

UK foreign office -The Foreign Secretary and President Silanyo reaffirmed the close ties between the UK and Somaliland. They agreed that Somaliland was making progress in further embedding democracy and discussed issues of mutual interest, including cooperation on trade and to counter piracy. Over the next three years, the UK will provide up to £105 million in development support to Somaliland to promote prosperity, tackle poverty and consolidate progress on stability and democracy.

Speaking after their meeting, the Foreign Secretary said:

“I am delighted to see President Silanyo in London for the Conference on Somalia. Somaliland has valuable lessons to share from its own experience of building stability and democracy. I welcome President Silanyo’s participation at the Conference and am grateful for Somaliland’s continued co-operation in the fight against piracy and terrorism.”

Source: UK foreign office : http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=733871182

February 25, 2012

VIDEO: Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo Speech at London Conference on Somalia


VIDEO: Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo Speech at London Conference on Somalia

Breakaway Somaliland entity targets investors


Breakaway Somaliland entity targets investors

Feb 24 (Reuters) – The breakaway enclave of Somaliland, which boasts oil and gas potential, has set up a UK-linked corporation to act as an entry point for investors concerned the Somali territory’s lack of international recognition would stop contracts being enforced.

On a visit to London to attend a conference on Somalia, President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo told Reuters that the purpose of the Somaliland Development Corporation was to “to attract companies and institutions which want to invest in our country.”

“Since we are not a recognised country, insurance is always a difficult problem in Somaliland so if this can help with that, it would be useful.”

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has enjoyed relative stability compared to the rest of Somalia, including the holding of a series of peaceful general elections, but remains unrecognised internationally.

Silanyo did not indicate what economic sectors he wished investors to target. But energy and mining minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh said in November the northern enclave had hydrocarbon potential with a geology similar to basins containing 9 billion barrels across the Gulf of Aden.

A number of big oil companies with permits to operate there left what is now Somaliland in the late 1980s and declared force majeure during Somalia’s escalating civil conflict.

Several foreign banks have expressed interest in operating in Somaliland where they are keen to capitalise on its untapped market potential. Somaliland has no formal banking sector and its people rely heavily on remittances from diaspora communities in Europe, North America and the United Arab Emirates, as there are no ATMs or loan facilities.

A briefing paper distributed to journalists on the sidelines of the London conference said that despite Somaliland’s “achievements in stability and democracy, international donors cannot deal directly with its government, and foreign investors face uncertainty about whether contracts – the basis of secure business – can be enforced”.

The SDC circumvented the problem of non-recognition by providing “a transparent, accountable and enforceable means by which investors can participate in Somaliland ventures”.

A not-for-profit company had been set up in Britain to act as the founding vehicle, with Somaliland’s Minister of State Mohamed-Rashid Hassan and Britons Myles Wickstead, a former diplomat, and Jeremy Carver, a retired international lawyer, as founding directors.

The SDC is owned by an incorporated trust, the Somaliland Development Corporation Trust, the paper said.

Oil discoveries would be a cash boon to Somaliland though hydrocarbons have often proven to be a curse to African nations as the opaque nature of the industry can breed corruption.

Colonised by Britain while the rest of Somalia was under Italian administration, Somaliland declared independence in 1991 as the rest of the country disintegrated into anarchy.

(Reuters)

February 23, 2012

At London Conference on Somalia, President of Somaliland calls on the international community to recognize his country


At London Conference on Somalia, President of Somaliland calls on the international community to recognise his country

London, 23 February 2012 — The President of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud Silanyo, today attended the London Conference on Somalia. The Conference included political leaders from over 50 countries and international organizations, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In his statement to the Conference, the President said that peace and stability in Somalia “will not be achieved by the top-down imposition of a re-created centralized state,” noting the tendency of the international community to focus on approaches that over-emphasize the role of central government institutions in Mogadishu. He instead laid out his views on a bottom-up process to building peace and stability in Somalia, drawing lessons from what worked successfully in Somaliland in the early 1990s.
President Silanyo said that he also firmly believed “that supporting and recognizing Somaliland would help to promote stability and recovery in Somalia.” He referred to Somaliland’s own experience of building “peace through an indigenous bottom-up process, drawing on traditional conflict resolution methods and Islam.”

Somaliland rejects the view that Somalia should be reconstituted within the boundaries that existed up to 1991. In his statement, the President said that “[t]he people of Somaliland chose the path of independence more than 20 years ago and we cannot turn back. To do so would be to deny our recent history, our achievements, and our political reality.” He added that “[a]s a democratically elected government, we must respect our people’s wishes.” The President also called for “an inclusive international discussion about the future of Somaliland, launching a process leading to the recognition of our state.

Somaliland is a former British protectorate. It declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has since enjoyed relative stability. It has held a series of democratic elections which have been deemed free and fair by international observers. Despite its impressive achievements, Somaliland has not been recognized internationally.

Seychelles And Somaliland Taking Steps Towards Prisoner Transfers


Seychelles President James Michel and President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo of the Republic of Somaliland

London-Seychelles President James Michel and President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo of the Republic of Somaliland have discussed, in a meeting in London today, the transfer of convicted Somali pirates currently in prison in Seychelles, to Somaliland to serve their sentences.
 The meeting was attended by the British Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, Seychelles Minister Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy, Joel Morgan, Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs ,Jean-Paul Adam, and the British High Commissioner to Seychelles, Matthew Forbes, the Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohamed Andillahi Omar, as well as the UNODC Counter-Piracy Programme Coordinator Alan Cole.
The two leaders signed a joint statement to recognize their joint concern about the serious impact piracy has on the region and on international security, and agreed that it is vital to ensure pirates are brought to justice.
President Silanyo confirmed that both the Council of Ministers and Somaliland Parliament had now approved and passed the piracy and prisoner transfer legislation to allow the transfer of convicted pirates.
“This commitment between the Seychelles and Somaliland represents an important step forward in the development of a sustainable regional justice mechanism, that will see suspected pirates apprehended by naval forces at sea, prosecuted by regional states, and if convicted, imprisoned in the region,” said the statement from the two leaders.
President Michel and President Silanyo have also committed to securing the first transfer of 19 convicted pirates from Seychelles to Somaliland by the end of March 2012, in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the Republic of Somaliland and the Government of Seychelles, and based on Somaliland’s prison capacity in dealing with pirate transfers.

“ Somaliland is an important partner in the fight against piracy as it remains a pirate-free area of stability. We commend the Somaliland government for achieving this stability and for its efforts to share the burden of incarcerating the pirates,” said President Michel following the meeting.

Source: http://www.statehouse.gov.sc/index.php/2011-07-15-09-16-47/news-archive/910-seychelles-and-somaliland-taking-steps-towards-prisoner-transfers

London Conference on Somalia and Somaliland: Communique

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 6:04 pm
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London Conference on Somalia: Communique

23 February 2012

Full text of the Communique from the London Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House on 23 February.

1. The London Conference on Somalia took place at Lancaster House on 23rd February 2012, attended by fifty-five delegations from Somalia and the international community.

2. We met at a key moment in Somalia’s history. Somalia is emerging from the worst   humanitarian crisis in the world.  African and Somali troops have pushed Al Shabaab out of Mogadishu and other areas. The transitional institutions come to an end in August 2012, and the people of Somalia want clarity on what will follow.  The situation remains precarious, and in urgent need of support from the international community.

3. Decisions on Somalia’s future rest with the Somali people. The Somali political leadership must be accountable to the people. The international community’s role is to facilitate Somalia’s progress and development: our strength is in unity and coordinated support to Somalia.  We noted the importance of listening to and working with Somalis inside and outside Somalia, and welcomed their engagement in the run-up to this Conference.

4. The Conference focussed on the underlying causes of instability, as well as the symptoms (famine, refugees, piracy, and terrorism). We, the international community, agreed: to inject new momentum into the political process; to strengthen AMISOM and help Somalia develop its own security forces; to help build stability at local level; and to step up action to tackle pirates and terrorists.

Political

5. We agreed that the Transitional Federal Institutions’ mandate ends in August 2012. There must be no further extensions. We welcomed the agreements that chart the way towards more representative government: the Transitional Federal Charter, the Djibouti Agreement, the Kampala Accord, and the Roadmap. We welcomed the progress represented by the Garowe Principles, endorsed the priority of convening a Constituent Assembly, and emphasised that the Assembly must be representative of the views of the Somali people of all regions and constituencies, and that women must be part of the political process.  In line with Garowe II, we agreed to incentivise progress and act against spoilers to the peace process, and that we would consider proposals in this regard before the Istanbul Conference in June.

6. The Conference recognised the need for the international community to support any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to establish in order to clarify their future relations.

7. We condemned terrorism and violent extremism, whether perpetrated by Somalis or foreigners. We called on all those willing to reject violence to join the Djibouti peace process.  We agreed to develop a defectors’ programme to support those who leave armed groups.

8. We emphasised the urgency of Somalia funding its own public services, and using its assets for the benefit of the people, as well as tackling corruption.  We welcomed the progress that has been made in establishing a Joint Financial Management Board to increase transparency and accountability in the collection and efficient use of public revenues, as well as international development aid, and which will help strengthen Somali public financial management institutions.  A declaration by the initial members of the JFMB is at Annex A.

9. Respect for human rights must be at the heart of the peace process. We called for action to address in particular the grave human rights violations and abuses that women and children face.  We emphasised that journalists must be able to operate freely and without fear.  Civilians must be protected. We called on the Somali authorities to take measures to uphold human rights and end the culture of impunity.  We agreed to step up international efforts including through the UN human rights architecture.

Security and Justice

10. We agreed that security and justice were essential both to a successful political process and to development.  Better security could only be achieved sustainably in parallel with better justice and the rule of law.

11. We expressed gratitude to those countries whose troops had served as peacekeepers and paid tribute to the achievements and sacrifices of AMISOM and other forces. We welcomed joint planning by the UN and African Union and reiterated the importance of effective command and control. We welcomed the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2036, which expands AMISOM’s mandate and raises the troop ceiling.  We encouraged AMISOM to ensure the protection of civilians.  We encouraged partners, especially new donors, to contribute to funding for AMISOM, including through the EU.

12. We agreed that, over time, Somalis should take over responsibility for providing their own security and develop their own justice systems to deal with the threats to their security and improve access to justice.  We noted that Somalis themselves must decide what security and justice arrangements they need.

13. We acknowledged the good work underway in supporting the Somali security and justice sectors. We agreed that we would build an international framework of partners in order to bring much needed coordination and focus to those efforts, underpinned by a set of principles at annex B, and working closely with the UN’s Joint Security Committee.

Piracy

14. We reiterated our determination to eradicate piracy, noting that the problem requires a comprehensive approach on land as well as at sea. We expressed our concern that hostages in Somalia are being held longer and with more use of violence.  We welcomed the work of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.  We also welcomed the success of international military efforts, and remain committed to such efforts with robust rules of engagement and sufficient force generation.  We agreed that piracy cannot be solved by military means alone, and reiterated the importance of supporting communities to tackle the underlying causes of piracy, and improving the effective use of Somali coastal waters through regional maritime capacity-building measures.  We welcomed those initiatives underway and agreed to coordinate and support such initiatives better.  We called for full implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct and the adoption of an Exclusive Economic Zone.  We look forward to reviewing progress including at the Piracy Conference in the UAE in June.

15. We welcomed the efforts of partners in industry against piracy, and called for greater take-up of Best Management Practice on ships.  We welcomed current work on international guidance on the use of private armed security companies.

16. There will be no impunity for piracy.  We called for greater development of judicial capacity to prosecute and detain those behind piracy both in Somalia and in the wider region and recognised the need to strengthen capacity in regional states. We welcomed new arrangements, which enable some states and naval operations to transfer suspected pirates captured at sea for trial by partners across the Indian Ocean region, and if convicted, to transfer them to prisons in Puntland and Somaliland which meet international standards.  We noted the intention to consider further the possibility of creating courts in Somalia specialised in dealing with piracy.

17. We reiterated our determination to prosecute the kingpins of piracy.  Recognising work already undertaken, we agreed to enhance coordination on illegal financial flows and to coordinate intelligence gathering and investigations.  We noted the establishment of a Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecutions Intelligence Coordination Centre in the Seychelles.

Terrorism

18. Terrorism poses a serious threat to security in Somalia itself, to the region, and internationally.  It has inflicted great suffering on the Somali population.  We agreed to work together with greater determination, and with full respect for the rule of law, human rights, and international humanitarian law, to build capacity to disrupt terrorism in the region, and to address the root causes of terrorism.  We agreed on the importance of disrupting terrorists’ travel to and from Somalia, and on the importance of disrupting terrorist finances, and called on countries in the region to implement the Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.  We noted that effective intelligence gathering and investigation, and support to the Somali criminal justice system, were critical to the fight against terrorism. We agreed to work with the Global Counter Terrorism Forum and other international and regional bodies to deliver this important work.

Stability and Recovery

19. We welcomed the success in some areas of Somalia in establishing local areas of stability, and agreed to increase support to build legitimate and peaceful authorities, and improve services to people living in these areas.  We acknowledged the importance of creating the conditions inside Somalia for durable solutions for the displaced, that respect international laws. We agreed that such efforts should promote local and regional cohesion, and converge with the national political process.

20. We considered the implementation of the Mogadishu Recovery and Stabilisation Plan important. We agreed to expand programmes to newly-recovered areas. We would focus support on enabling the delivery of immediate and sustainable benefits to ordinary Somali people: safety and security, economic opportunities and basic services.  We would promote effective and accountable local administrations, and support the resolution of disputes.

21. We agreed that all support to local areas of stability should be in accordance with the New Deal for engagement in fragile states recently adopted in Busan, and build on the stabilisation strategies prepared by both IGAD and the Transitional Federal Government. We endorsed a set of principles to guide international support to local areas of stability in Somalia (Annex C). We agreed to continue funding local stability through existing programmes, and noted the establishment of a new Stability Fund to which a number of us will contribute .

22. We agreed that Somalia’s long-term reconstruction and economic development depended on a vibrant private sector, and that both aid and diaspora finance could develop Somalia’s considerable potential in livestock, fisheries and other sectors.  We noted that stability was a prerequisite for most sustainable investments in infrastructure such as electricity, roads and water systems.  We looked forward to further discussion on all these issues at the Istanbul Conference.

Humanitarian

23. The Conference was preceded by a separate meeting on humanitarian issues co-chaired by the United Nations and the United Arab Emirates.  Notwithstanding the end of the famine, participants expressed concern at the ongoing humanitarian crisis, and committed to providing humanitarian aid based solely on need.  They agreed a set of conclusions on humanitarian issues and linking relief with longer-term recovery.

International coordination

24. We agreed to carry forward work agreed at London through the International Contact Group on Somalia (ICG), and welcomed the ICG’s decision in Djibouti to look at restructuring to become more effective. We recommended that the ICG establish working groups on the political process, security and justice, and stability and development. We noted that, within the ICG, a core group of engaged countries would drive progress in support of UN, AU and IGAD efforts.

25. We welcomed the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) in facilitating progress in Somalia. We also welcomed the role of IGAD and the African Union, and the support of the League of Arab States, the European Union, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.  We encouraged effective coordination between UN entities working on Somalia.  While recognising the still challenging security situation in Somalia, we welcomed UNPOS’       relocation to Mogadishu and agreed that we would aim to spend more time on the ground in Somalia in order to work more closely with Somalis on the challenging tasks ahead.

Conclusion

26. We expressed the hope that a new era of Somali politics, supported by the international community, will bring peace to Somalia. We are determined to place the interests of the Somali people at the heart of all our actions. We looked forward to the day when the situation in Somalia would have made sufficient progress for an international conference to be held there.  In the meantime, we will redouble our efforts to support the people of Somalia in their search for a better future for their country.

Source: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=PressS&id=727627582

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