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London conference looks into future of Somali nomalization

(Xinhua)

08:31, February 24, 2012

LONDON, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The London Conference on Somalia on Thursday published a communique which outlines the future of a normalized Somalia with a more representative government, its own functioning security force, and long-term development scheme.

The one-day conference on Somalia was attended by 55 delegations from Somalia and the international community.

Senior representatives "focussed on the underlying causes of instability in Somalia, as well as the symptoms of famine, refugees, piracy, and terrorism," the communique said, drawing conclusion that a new era of Somali politics, supported by the international community, will bring peace to the eastern African country.

The international community agreed that the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions' mandate ends in August 2012, and endorsed the priority of convening a Constituent Assembly that represents "the views of the Somali people of all regions and constituencies" and includes women as part of the political process.

In addition, an international framework of partners will be built to help strengthen the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and help Somalia develop its own security forces.

The conference also discussed further actions against pirates, calling for greater development of judicial capacity to prosecute and detain those behind piracy both in Somalia and in the wider region, including new arrangements for transfer of suspected pirates across the Indian Ocean region and enhanced coordination on illegal financial flows and to coordinate intelligence gathering and investigations.

To address the security issue, the communique recognized the importance of disrupting terrorists' travel to and from Somalia, and 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.

The communique recommended the International Contact Group on Somalia (ICG) establish working groups on the political process, security and justice, and stability and development for international coordination.

The participants at the end of the conference pledged to "redouble efforts" to help Somalis build "a better future for their country." Further discussion on establishing local stability and long-term recovery will continue at the Istanbul Conference in June.

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