After years of lawlessness and little effective government, a historic opportunity now exists for a sustainable solution to Somalia’s difficulties. We fully support Somalia’s Transitional Federal government and Institutions in their efforts to find a lasting and inclusive political settlement, and to become an effective governing authority. The Transitional Federal Charter sets out a roadmap for a constitutional process and eventual transition to a democratically elected government. This is the framework within which the Transitional government should pursue a political process in Mogadishu. We are working with the Transitional government and Institutions, and our international partners, to help stabilise Somalia through the early deployment of a regional security force, restore governance through an inclusive political process, and rebuild Somalia through increased international assistance.
The African Union (AU) is playing a pro-active role in considering how to take forward the question of a possible international mission in Somalia. Uganda has already offered to contribute 1,000 to 1,500 personnel and we understand the AU is consulting other AU members who might contribute personnel. The Peace and Security council of the AU agreed on 8 January to reconvene shortly to finalise plans for the deployment of an international mission to Somalia working closely with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Transitional Federal government and other stakeholders. We are awaiting further details of their plans.
The UK is a member of the Somalia International Contact Group (ICG) and participated in the meeting in Nairobi. The group issued a communiqué, the main points of which included:
that this was a historic opportunity for the Somali people to reach sustainable political solutions for Somalia, based on the Transitional Federal Charter;
there was an urgent need to facilitate the deployment of a stabilisation force in Somalia based on UN Security Council Resolution 1725. It welcomed Uganda’s offer to be part of this force;
full support for the Transitional Federal Institutions/government in their efforts to lead an inclusive and representative political process in Somalia, as envisaged in the Transitional Charter, and to become an effective governing authority; and
reaffirming the ICG’s commitment to provide humanitarian assistance.
We are aware of the media reports that British citizens have been detained following the recent fighting in Somalia. We are urgently seeking to corroborate those reports, including through our high commission in Nairobi and our embassy in Addis Ababa. We will consider next steps in the light of the information we receive.