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Note: As of approximately 12:30 GMT the London Conference has entered a closed session. Updates to follow.
Djibouti President Ismael Omar Guelleh takes the podium: (Publisher's Note: Djibouti is a country of 800,000 people and 60% unemployment. Currently they have contributed 100 troops to AMISOM and will go up to 900. The country is also mostly dependent on payments from France and the US who maintain Camp Lemonnier near the airport They are one of Somalia's larger trade partners providing almost a third of their imports.)
-Djibouti hopes Somaliland will benefit from assistance and developments emanating from the conference
- Somali security forces need to be trained now. Won't be achieved through "piecemeal" and disparate approach
- International community isn't addressing the issue of a "viable alternative to AMISOM." (Editor's Note: Not really clear what this means!)
-Applauds "unique character of the conference," which brings together such a broad group of delegates dedicated to Somalia
Italian delegation speaks: (Publisher's Note: Italy's role as former colonizer, cultural influence and developer of many of its agricultural export industries has never been restored. More aggressive, newer players like the UAE, Turkey and even the UK have literally planted their flags in Mogadishu.)
-Expresses support for the African Union's work for Somalia
-Proposed Joint Financial Management Board important to establish accountability. Italy is "ready to participate" and to support local stabilization attempts
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud bin Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz addresses the conference: (Publisher's Note: Saudi Arabia has made direct overtures to the TFG. They are a major purchaser of animal exports and have a major geo-strategic interest due to their trans-shipment of petroleum, illegal immigration, concern with terrorism and charitable programs)
-"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will always be a champion of the Somali people"
-All partners have to abide by whatever agreement is reached. There is no room for infighting.
Major regional player, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki takes center stage: (Publisher's Note: Kenya's Linda Nchi campaign was the major factor in the change in southern Somalia security dynamics. However the backlash of terrorist attacks inside Kenya, clumsy command and control of a neophyte army in a hostile region and the $2.5M a month cost to run the campaign has pushed Kenya to successfully integrate its entire expeditionary effort inside AMISOM.)
-Kenya is committed to maintain its role in combatting piracy, but stresses the need for "burden sharing"
-Al-Shabaab's link with al-Qaeda is "the wakeup call to the international community." Kenya has apprehended a number of suspects but the threat remains high, and is growing. Welcomes Security Council Resolution 2036, which boosts troop levels and resources to AMISOM, but concerned that the resolution does not have a maritime component, which is vital in the promotion of security
-Conference needs to recognize the gains that have been made, to support the legitimate political process, and to jump start recovery
-Kenya 'continues to bear the burden of hosting the largest population of Somalis outside their country," including "630,000 refugees in Dadaab"
-Thanks international efforts to assist Somalia. Says Kenya is "fully committed" to the search for peace in Somalia."
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe begins his address:
(Publisher's Note: France has played an active part in Northern and Eastern Africa intelligence activities. They view Djibouti as the fulcrum point for military activity in the Horn and Middle East. They are also looking to be a major military player in the area.)
-Indicates French willingness to continue to train Somali police forces
Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi addresses the conference: (Publisher's Note: Ethiopia has a long history of viewing Somalia as it's back yard. The Ogaden uprising and the direct threat of an Islamist group to its mostly Christian nation continues to make Ethiopia an aggressive player. The United States funds much of Ethiopia's military might and has harnessed the country to invade and attrit the ICU and now al-Shabaab.)
-"The Somali crisis is fundamentally a political process"
Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu addresses delegates: (Publisher's Note: Turkey is a new and aggressive force in Somalia. They have made direct and positive contributions to Mogadishu and have a functioning, embassy, reconstruction program and long term presence plan.)
-Turkey will assist TFG with constitutional reform. Ensuring a successful political process to establish an inclusive government requires dialogue between all the relevant actors. (Editor's note: Sounds like he gets his talking points from Mahiga.)
-Speaks about importance of seeing more countries establish embassies in Mogadishu to show their support
-Reminds audience that Turkish AIrways has begun operating two direct flights to Mogadishu per week
-Need to develop an "integrated strategy," requiring three elements: humanitarian assistance, public order and political development
Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani takes the stage: (Publisher's Note: Qatar maintains a charitable relationship with Somalia but does little trade and no military coordination.)
-Expresses "hope and optimism" that the conference will succeed
-International naval forces "expensive and not very effective"
-Security and stability required to combat piracy, which emanates from the lack of law enforcement on the ground
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses delegates in a surprisingly frank and forward speech: (Publisher's Note: The US is the major player in Somalia providing most of the funds to drive the military efforts inside and around Somalia. The policy has been to stay in the background and push forward other players via covert or tacit funding. The London Conference is a direct result of their "Dual Track" program to reboot and marginalize the TFG and promote new regional players.)
-US to provide additional $64million for humanitarian aid. Brings total to $934m
-Negotiations with al-Shabaab are not an option
-Anyone who denounces al-Shabaab leadership and embraces political roadmap will be supported
-Travel bans and financial sanctions will be placed on those who seek to delay or interrupt the political transition
-Roadmap ambitious, given the time frame, but "Somalis have waited long enough"
-"International community will NOT support the extension of the transitional period"
-There is a need to accelerate the political process and improve security. The international community needs to help encourage this. The transitional period is up.
In the News:
Storify strings together comments about the London Conference submitted by interested Somalis
Suna Times: London Conference on Somalia: Full Coverage