Leaked Document on London Somalia Conference


This is a leaked document on the Somalia conference planned for February 23, 2012. It contains a draft communique to be published at the end of the conference:


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


2. We agreed that this is a critical time in Somalia’s history. Life for most Somalis has got consistently worse over the past few years. A generation of Somalis has grown up knowing nothing but conflict. The humanitarian crisis continues: the United Nations has said that the situation in Somalia remains the most critical in the world. It is time to turn the tide. Current governance arrangements come to an end in six months, in August, and Somalis want clarity on what will follow. African troops have successfully established a good measure of security in Mogadishu over the last twelve months. Advances by other forces have liberated areas formerly held by Al Shabaab. And at sea, international action against piracy has secured the international trade route in the Gulf of Aden

3. So we met in London to take stock, and to take decisions which will sustain the momentum of change. We wanted to show Somalia and the world that there is solidarity among the international community; that we are committed to supporting Somalia’s continued emergence from its former status as a failed state;

and that we recognise the importance of new actors on Somalia, especially Turkey and Qatar, in helping Somalia’s future development.

Humanitarian [Language to be amended by DFID and other humanitarian actors]

4. The Conference was preceded by a separate meeting on humanitarian issues. Participants expressed concern at the critical humanitarian situation in Somalia. Four million people require emergency assistance; three million are in the South of Somalia, where famine and risk of imminent death remains for 250,000 people. They agreed that:

– Drought has become famine in South Somalia because of conflict and insecurity; ending conflict is key to ending the current and future risk of famine.

– Participants would provide timely, sustained and principled support to humanitarian organisations to ensure assistance reaches those who need it, when they need it, and regardless of political considerations;

– International partners needed to move beyond just life saving assistance and provide more multi-year support to longer-term activities including for livelihood and basic social services, in order to strengthen people’s resilience to shocks and stresses, and contribute to reducing the risk of future famines; and

– International partners would coordinate more closely on humanitarian assistance in order to maximise the coverage of needs we can meet

Political process

5. We agreed that the transition must end, and that the political process must now connect with the people of Somalia. We considered how the international community could support Somalis to accelerate decision-making on their future political structures. In this context, we noted the conclusions of the African Union Summit that: …… We made clear that nobody would agree to the roll-over of the Transitional Federal Institutions in August. We were interested in process not individuals. We called on the Transitional Federal Institutions to make as much progress on the Roadmap as possible before August.

6. We noted the intention expressed at the Garowe meeting in December to convene a Constituent Assembly. We called on the Garowe signatories to enhance the proposed process to ensure that members of the Constituent Assembly were genuinely representative of communities across Somalia; and that the Assembly had adequate time to discuss the four key outstanding constitutional questions: whether Somalia should have a centralised or federal state; the boundaries of the constituent regions; whether Somalia should adopt a cabinet or presidential system of government; and the role of religion in the state. We also noted that decisions on the shape of the parliament must be taken within the framework of the discussion on the constitution.

7. We agreed that in August the functions of government should pass to a caretaker authority until the constitutional discussions concluded. The constitution itself must be endorsed by the people of Somalia in a referendum, or by an elected parliament once democratic elections have been held. We agreed to review progress on the Constituent Assembly at the Istanbul Conference in June, and encouraged the Secretary General of the United Nations to include an update on this in his regular reports to the Security Council.

8. We noted that corruption drives the war economy in Somalia, distorting the incentives of the authorities and reducing finance available for development and service delivery. One consequence is that some international trade is driven towards Kismayo port, which in some ways is a more reliable business environment than Mogadishu port. Somalia has important economic assets, which need to be used much more to benefit its people. We welcomed the launch of a Joint Financial Management Board between the Transitional Federal Government and donors. We noted the importance of mutual accountability between the authorities and the international community. The Board will ensure the good management of Somalia’s domestic economic assets and revenues, and international aid, allowing Somalis themselves to monitor financial flows and to hold their leaders and the international community to account. We called upon relevant international agencies to accelerate feasibility studies for better and more transparent management of ports and airports, including Mogadishu port, and committed ourselves to supporting measures to implement these.

9. We talked about the role of Al Shabaab. We agreed that there was no place for violent extremism or foreign terrorists in Somalia, and we would continue to support the fight against them. But we also agreed that there would be a place for Islamic political parties in a future peaceful Somalia. We invited all those willing to reject violence as a political weapon to join the discussions on the future constitution of Somalia, which will determine the role of religion for the Somali nation.

8. . We also agreed that international standards of human rights and probity of behaviour in public life should prevail in Somalia. We noted that the role of the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in monitoring human rights violations, and in recommending how the Somali authorities, with the support of the international community could strengthen accountability for human rights violations and abuses. We agreed that individuals who diverted funds or aid intended for the benefit of the people of Somalia, or who sought to block or disrupt progress towards peaceful and stable government, should be held accountable, and we agreed to consider specific proposals in this regard at the Istanbul Conference. We agreed that the international community would uphold previously agreed sanctions by stopping engagement with those known to be involved in corruption, and agreed to adopt the following measures [whatever is agreed]. We also agreed to redouble efforts to comply with UNSC Resolutions and strengthen controls over vessels involved in illicit trade with Somalia.


11. We agreed that greater security in Somalia was essential to allow development and a more stable and inclusive political process. We welcomed the United Nations/ African Union plan for coordinated military engagement by the regional powers and Transitional Federal Government, and [wording on UNSCR on increase in support for AMISOM, if agreed before the Conference]. We also welcomed the agreement of the European Commission to continue funding the salaries of AU soldiers on the ground [If agreed].

[12. We agreed that for lasting security Somalia must develop its own professional and accountable security forces. To that end, we agreed principles for the development of Somali armed forces, police and coastguard (Annex C), and agreed to support that development in a coordinated way. AMISOM would over time transition into a training mission. We agreed that the EU Training Mission strengthens Somali national forces; and welcomed the agreement to provide barracks for Somali forces in Mogadishu[If agreed], so they can concentrate on their military tasks.

12. Equally important is the development of structures to provide justice for the people of Somalia. We also agreed to support that sector by providing coordinated and strategic support based upon key principles (Annex X). We agreed to develop an international coordination structure for support to the Somali security and justice sectors.


13. On piracy, we agreed that the roots of the issue are on land not at sea, and our work on regional stability would be central to tackling the causes of piracy. Nevertheless we agreed that there would be no impunity for pirates, wherever they may be operating, under UNSCR 2015. As an interim measure some participants had amended their law to allow the use of armed guards on their flagged vessels: no vessel using armed guards has been successfully taken by pirates. We noted that international naval operations had reduced the incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden to their lowest levels since 2008 through international naval operations. We welcomed the EU commitment to supporting better maritime security arrangements from neighbouring states in East Africa.

14. We welcomed the arrangements some of us have instigated to allow us to capture pirates at sea; transfer them to the jurisdiction of the Seychelles and Mauritius for trial [and others]; and then if convicted, the transfer of prisoners to internationally certified prisons in Puntland and Somaliland. These arrangements will be extended, to ensure a virtuous and effective circle of arrest, trial and imprisonment from sea to Somalia.

15. Finally, we noted the creation of a Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution and Information Coordination centre in the Seychelles which will look at disrupting the money involved in piracy activity and seek to prosecute those who benefit from the proceeds of crime.

Counter Terrorism

16. We expressed our concern that terrorism linked to Somalia posed a serious threat to Somalia itself, to the region and to the wider world. The continuing terrorist campaign by violent extremists has inflicted untold suffering on the Somali population. We acknowledged the importance of the wider work to develop a more stable and secure Somalia in achieving a long-term solution to the problem. But we also agreed that, in the meantime, the international community and the countries in the region had to work together with greater determination to develop capacity to disrupt terrorism across the region. This means stopping the movement of terrorists to and from Somalia, disrupting the flow of their finances, and delivering effective intelligence gathering, investigation, criminal prosecution and detention against them. We encouraged the relevant regional and international fora to drive forward international co-operation to produce concrete results in these areas.

Stability and Recovery

17. We agreed that support to existing and emerging local areas of stability can play a crucial role in building peace and security for the Somali people. We talked about how the two approaches of supporting local (bottom up) and national (top down) stability should reinforce each other. A local stability approach can build positive incentives for local areas of stability to join a national political process, increasing its inclusion and credibility, and strengthening the process to build a legitimate central authority in Mogadishu after August 2012.

18. We also agreed that the local stability approach can deliver immediate development benefits for ordinary Somali men and women – notably by improving their safety and security and their access to economic opportunities, services, and to the benefits of reconstruction. We noted that quick wins such as this would be particularly important in newly emerging areas of stability.

19. We endorsed a set of principles for international support to areas of stability [Annex D] and [placeholder: discussion on merits of establishing a Stability Fund ongoing. If agreed, we should include announcement of contributions here].

International coordination

21. Finally, we discussed the way in which the international community coordinates its approach to Somalia. We agreed that there needed to be effective mechanisms to ensure that progress made in London was carried forward to the Istanbul Conference and beyond. The International Contact Group on Somalia will continue to provide a forum for agreeing international community positions. We agreed on the need to restructure that group, establishing working groups to address international community support on the key issues of the political process, security, development, and human rights, with each working group convened by a lead nation. We agreed to put proposals in this regard to the next meeting of the International Contact Group.

22. We also agreed that a core group of Fifteen states and organisations would lead work on supporting Somalia with the United Nations. The group would hold open a sixteenth place for the permanent government of Somalia, once elected. They recommended that this core group report back to the international community every six months at the International Contact Group meetings. We looked forward to taking work on Somalia forward at the Istanbul Conference, and at the Abu Dhabi Conference on international piracy in June.

22 . We highlighted the central role of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) in facilitating progress towards peace and stability in Somalia. We welcomed the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr Mahiga in this regard. We called on UNPOS to improve and strengthen their operations to ensure adequate support to the Somali people in carrying out the challenging tasks ahead. We encouraged more effective coordination between the UN entities working on Somalia.


4. We recognised the important role played in Somalia by the diaspora and by civil society, which are critical actors in the political, economic, security and humanitarian affairs of Somalia. Although attendance at the conference was reserved for governments and international institutions, Somali views, including those of the diaspora, were sought in advance of the event. Looking forward, we agreed to work together with Somali diaspora communities and civil society to help shape a better future for Somalia.

Concluding points

23. The responsibility for stemming Somalia’s decline rests with Somalis and in Somalia. We agreed that, as partners of Somalia, we would deliberately spend less of our time in Nairobi and other capitals, and more time in Mogadishu and other Somali cities. A number of us have recently opened Embassies in Mogadishu and appointed Ambassadors. Others are planning to do so. We look forward to the day when a conference on Somali issues can be held inside Somalia.

Draft list of Annexes

A Humanitarian donor activity

B Political Process

C Security Sector Reform/AMISOM

D Local Stability Principles

E Terms of Reference for JFMB

F Slide showing proposed international coordination structures

G List of participants

Obtained by : Medeshi