| Jan-Mar 09 | Apr-Jun 09 | Jul-Sept 09 | Oct-Dec 09 | Jan-May 10 | Jun-Dec 10 | Jan-May 11 | Jun-Dec 11 |

[Dehai-WN] UN.org: Tight Deadlines, Underfunding, Political 'Spoilers' in Somalia Challenge, Security Council Told

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 17:48:02 +0200

17 May 2012


Security Council



Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6770th Meeting (AM)


Tight Deadlines, Underfunding, Political ‘Spoilers’ in Somalia Challenge


Completion of Transitional Phase, Security Council Told



Transitional President Says Country ‘On the Threshold of a New Phase’;

Council Members Warn More Support to Somalia Depends on Progress, Political


Somalia’s transitional leaders were making significant steps in completing
the tasks required to end the political transition by August 2012, but faced
with tight deadlines, a lack of resources, so-called political “spoilers”
and the need to administer areas recovered from insurgents, they needed
greater international support, the Secretary-General’s Special
Representative said this morning.

“As Somalia faces the greatest opportunity to end the transition after so
much investment of by the international community and well-wishing Somalis,
we must complete the tasks at hand,” Augustine Mahiga, who is also head of
the United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS), told the Security

“We must provide timely logistical and financial support to enable us to
complete the implementation of the road map before August this year, as well
as strengthen international cooperation and coordination,” he added.
Joining him this morning was the President of Somalia’s Transitional Federal
Government, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

Introducing the Secretary-General’s latest report on the country (see
Background), Mr. Mahiga described progress in the constitution-making
process, which required the selection of a Constitutional Assembly, for
which a group of 135 traditional elders had been brought to Mogadishu. They
would also proceed to select members of “a new, leaner Parliament” on
merit-based criteria.

On security, he said that the Al-Shabaab insurgents were retreating rapidly
through the efforts of allied militias, supported by an expanded African
Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Ethiopia. There were new challenges,
however, as insurgents spilled over into Puntland and Somaliland, and
asymmetrical warfare increased in Mogadishu and other recovered areas.

The Transitional Government must be assisted, he stressed, to establish
local administrations in areas recovered from Al-Shabaab and to consolidate
security through local security committees, as well as to provide rule of
law and basic services as part of the peace dividend. In addition, he
called for greater funding to help finish transitional tasks, saying the
Constituent Assembly was “almost grinding to a halt” because of a lack of

He also stressed that the threat posed to the peace process by spoilers —
who feared they would lose their privileged positions by the transition —
was real, and must be dealt with. The intention to “name and shame” persons
obstructing progress had been publicized. The effectiveness of such
measures would be enhanced if they were supported by the Security Council’s

President Ahmed said Somalia was “on the threshold of a new phase”, having
come a long way in the road map’s implementation, and he asked the
international community to redouble its efforts to assist the country in
completing the current phase as scheduled, so as not to provide any
opportunity for the return of anarchy and terrorism. The next phase
required the creation of an appropriate atmosphere, he emphasized, in which
Somalia remained a stable, safe place, free of chaos and violence.

In that light, he asked the Security Council to support Somalia in
strengthening the work of the Constituency Assembly, encouraging
reconciliation, taking a firm stand against those who created obstacles to
peace, supporting the building of a Somali army and the training of a police
force and intelligence service, and developing a counter-terrorism plan. To
those ends, it should allow the Somali Government to import the necessary
weapons for its security services and lift the arms embargo imposed on it.

He said that the Council should also help mobilize funds for Somalia’s
reconstruction and work to activate its economic institutions and services.
It should continue to support AMISOM forces by increasing their number and
military assets, provide financial support to local administrations in areas
newly liberated from Al-Qaida, and assist Somalia in providing the current
members of Parliament allowances and salaries.

When Council members took the floor following those statements, they
welcomed the progress towards completing the political transition, as well
as advances made in security, commending AMISOM and concurring with the need
for continued support to the mission. They also expressed concern over the
prodigious challenges that still faced the country. Many condemned
continuing terrorist attacks and stressed the need to build up the national
security sector.

Many speakers, in addition, underlined the primary responsibility of Somali
leaders in meeting the August deadline, with some recalling warnings given
in previous meetings that further support to the transitional institutions
was dependent on progress. Germany’s representative, for example, said it
was international support that was lacking; it was strong political will
among the Somali political class that was needed.

Members also stressed the need for measures to deal with those who
obstructed progress. The representative of the United Kingdom cautioned,
however, that disagreement should not itself be seen as the action of a
“spoiler”. Dissent should be taken into account without derailing the
process in its entirety. The process should be made as transparent as
possible, with the list of selected elders — and the methods of the Assembly
— should be made public.

Also speaking this morning were the representatives of the United States,
South Africa, France, Russian Federation, Togo, Morocco, Colombia, Portugal,
Guatemala, India, China, Pakistan and Azerbaijan.

The meeting began at 10:20 a.m. and ended at 12:37 p.m.


The Security Council had before it the report of the Secretary-General on
Somalia (document
<http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2012/283> S/2012/283),
which provides an update on major developments in the political, security,
humanitarian, recovery, development and human rights areas in the period
from 9 December 2011 to 15 April 2012. It also assesses the progress made
in the implementation of the road map for completing the political
transition, which is due to end in August 2012.

In the report, the Secretary-General states that there has been progress on
the political and security fronts. The Transitional Federal Government and
its allied forces have established a presence in key strategic towns in
southern and central Somalia, and the Government has begun outreach to newly
recovered areas. Meanwhile, implementation of the road map included
agreement among stakeholders on modalities for the formation of a
Constituent Assembly, a new Federal Parliament, and elections.

He notes, however, that tensions have emerged over the selection of
representatives to the Constituent Assembly and that a group of
parliamentarians threatened to conduct a parallel election for President on
30 April after rejecting the road map. Meanwhile, the suicide attack in the
National Theatre on 4 April, allegedly targeting the Prime Minister, has
further increased mistrust within the transitional institutions and other
political actors, while tensions between “Puntland”, “Somaliland” and the
Transitional Federal Government also increased following the formation of
the self-proclaimed “ Khaatumo State” in disputed areas in the north.

The Secretary-General calls on Somali leaders to unite in ending the
transition, listening carefully to the views of the Somali people. The
submission of a draft of the interim Constitution to the Constituent
Assembly must form a strong basis on which to move forward, although the
nature of federalism and the role of Sharia will likely need further
discussion after the end of the transition and before a public referendum.
He urges the Somali leadership to faithfully represent the views of their
constituencies, to share the draft with the public and to conduct vigorous
civic education in the period before the draft is submitted.

It is also, he stressed, essential to get the Constituent Assembly’s
composition, structure and modus operandi right, noting that traditional
leaders will play a central role in the selection of its members, and adding
that it is crucial for Somali grass-roots communities and civil society
organizations to fully participate in the process. He urges donors to
assist in the body’s establishment. He says that a legal basis for the
Constituent Assembly’s work is equally as important to establish.

Progress in that and other areas, however, was hampered by the political
impasse in the Parliament, he said, adding that the time has come to look at
alternative ways of establishing a legal basis for ending the transition.
Strong measures must target those who obstruct the political process,
beginning with a warning, followed by naming and shaming and, if no progress
is made, action by the Security Council. He encourages Member States and
subregional organizations, such as the Intergovernmental Authority on
Development (IGAD), to examine possible punitive measures. Meanwhile,
Member States should encourage assisting with a severance package that
recognizes the service of parliamentarians who have performed their duties

He welcomes expansion of State authority, as well as the plans of the
African Union and troop-contributing countries to complete the expanded
deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the increased
role of AMISOM in enhancing the effectiveness of the Somali forces, steps to
establish the agreed-on guard force, and the continuing contribution of the
European Union Training Mission, calling for further support by Member
States. At the same time, he notes a need for a long-term approach to
building sustainable and credible local security institutions. He urges
Somali stakeholders to thoroughly consider what security architecture best
fits the country’s future system of governance.

Reporting on the human rights and humanitarian situations, the
Secretary-General remains deeply concerned in both areas and calls on all
parties to abide by their obligations and on donors to urgently support the
Consolidated Appeal process, currently only 21 per cent funded.

Noting that stabilization of areas recently recovered from the insurgency
requires an integrated national and international effort, including the
establishment of local administrations, supported by the majority of the
local community, to provide security, basic social services, and an
environment conducive to private sector development, he urges international
partners to ensure that their assistance is coordinated with the
Government’s efforts and agreed international principles.


Towards long-term development, he encourages donors to support the unfunded
balance of the Mogadishu Stabilization and Recovery Plan. The forthcoming
“Istanbul II” Conference, to be hosted by the Government of Turkey on 31 May
and 1 June, he says, offers an important opportunity for Somali and
international partners to develop joint approaches to the rehabilitation of
roads, energy and water supply, as well as to building community resilience,
among other needs.

SHEIKH SHARIF SHEIKH AHMED, President of Somalia, said that the terrorist
movements of Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaida took the opportunity provided by chaos
and instability to launch a war against the Somali people, and to commit
crimes and atrocities in the name of jihad. Nonetheless, the Government of
Somalia had withstood the blows of those opponents and had succeeded in
expelling them from most parts of the country. The return to normalcy,
through the implementation of the policies included in the road map, was a
priority; those elements included the development of a permanent
Constitution and its ratification by clan leaders, intellectuals and
Diaspora members, among others. The Constitution would remain under
scrutiny and would be amended until the last moment before ratification, and
it would continue to be responsive to the interests of the Somali people.

Other steps in the road map, he said, included national reconciliation and
the introduction of good governance, as well as the restoration of security
and stability in Somalia. Upon leaving New York, he would visit Addis Ababa
to attend a meeting on the road map’s implementation. Somalia intended to
pave the way for the selection of an inclusive national parliament, which
could take responsibility for the development of legislation, including laws
necessary for the country to choose its own President. Another goal was the
reconciliation between the Somali Government and the northern region of the
country, he added.

With those aims in mind, he drew the Council’s attention to the fact that
Somalia was “on the threshold of a new phase”, and that it had come a long
way in the road map’s implementation. He asked the international community
to redouble its efforts to assist the country in completing the current
phase as scheduled, so as not to provide any opportunity for the return of
anarchy and terrorism. In that vein, Somalia needed to make further efforts
to revive its institutions; he believed that the current phase was a
suitable time to undertake such efforts. The next phase required the
creation of an appropriate atmosphere, he emphasized, in which Somalia
remained a stable, safe place, free of chaos and violence.

It was in that context that Somalia had several expectations of the Security
Council, he said. First, it should support Somalia in strengthening the
work of the Constituency Assembly assigned to ratify the new Constitution.
It should encourage a reconciliation conference to preserve the country’s
national unity, as well as to support a comprehensive peace in all its
territories. It should support the country in taking a firm stand against
those who created obstacles to the achievement of peace, as well as support
the building of a Somali army capable of protecting its homeland’s
independence and territorial integrity.

Further, he said, the Council should assist the country in strengthening its
national security and allow the training of police forces and national
intelligence. It should help Somalia to develop a comprehensive plan to
address the terrorist movements that were multiplying their activities in
the country. To those ends, it should allow the Somali Government to import
the necessary weapons for its security services and lift the arms embargo
imposed on it. The Council should also invite international bodies and
organizations, as well as the public at large, to contribute to Somalia’s
reconstruction and work to activate its economic institutions and services.
It should continue to support AMISOM forces by increasing their number and
military assets, provide financial support to local administrations in areas
newly liberated from Al-Qaida, and support Somalia in presenting the current
members of parliament their allowances and salaries.


AUGUSTINE MAHIGA, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head
of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), thanking
President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed for the excellent working relations maintained
in Mogadishu, said that the most critical stage in ending the transition by
August 2012 was beginning. To that end, significant steps had been taken in
the constitution-making process, with the draft constitution to be tabled
before the principal signatories, pending its submission to a National
Constituent Assembly for provisional adoption. A group of 135 traditional
elders had been brought to Mogadishu to select the 825 Assembly Members,
dissolve the current Parliament and proceed to select members of “a new,
leaner Parliament” on merit-based criteria.

He said that, in addition to the constitutional process, the inclusion of
areas newly recovered from Al-Shabaab insurgents under Government control
was a top priority. Through the allied militias, supported by an expanded
AMISOM and the engagement of Ethiopia, the insurgents were retreating
swiftly. There were new challenges, however, as those were spilling over
into the relatively stable regional states of Puntland and Somaliland and
there was an increase in asymmetrical warfare behind AMISOM lines in
Mogadishu and other recovered areas.

As Al-Shabaab retreated, therefore, the transitional Government must be
assisted to establish local administrations, consolidate security through
local security committees, and provide rule of law and basic services as
part of the peace dividend, he said. In the interest of regional
reconciliation, the transitional Government and Somaliland had appointed
committees to consider Somalia’s future.

AMISOM, he reported, was now on a more secure and predictable financial
footing, following the adoption of Council resolution 2036 (2012) and the
generous contributions of donor States. At a meeting of the Joint Security
Committee on 7 and 8 May in Mogadishu, more coordination of all allied
Somali forces was agreed, along with the importance of a unified command and
other security issues. With donors assisting the police force, the security
sector also needed greater focus on developing the justice and corrections
system to strengthen rule of law institutions. Resources were also needed
for promotion of human rights, including protection of children, human
rights defenders and journalists.

The humanitarian situation remained fragile, with the gains easily reversed
without continued assistance, he said, noting with deep concern that the
Appeal was still largely underfunded. In conflict areas, he reminded all
factions to respect humanitarian principles and ensure access. On piracy,
he reported on several conferences that were planned, or had recently taken
place, in regard to maritime codes of conduct, deployment of arms on board
commercial vessels and the development of a comprehensive strategy that was
aimed at addressing the challenges on both land and sea. However, the
fundamental issue of dealing with piracy remained the establishment of the
rule of law in Somalia.

In efforts to complete the implementation of the road map to completion of
the transition, he said the tight timelines and unavailability of resources
remained major challenges. The lack of funding for implementation in the
remaining three months was of serious concern. “The Constituent Assembly is
almost grinding to a halt for lack of funding,” he said.

In addition, he stressed that the threat posed to the peace process by
spoilers was real and must be dealt with. The spoilers felt that the end of
the transition would jeopardize their privileged positions and, therefore,
were obstructing it. UNPOS, AMISOM and IGAD had issued a warning on 1 May
to all potential spoilers that non-compliance or obstruction of the road map
would be followed by the naming and shaming of individuals, and possibly
further measures and restrictions such as regional travel bans. The
effectiveness of such measures would be enhanced if they were supported by
the Security Council’s authority. Public education was being intensified
before the end of the transition, as well.

In conclusion, he said “As Somalia faces the greatest opportunity to end the
transition after so much investment by the international community and
well-wishing Somalis, we must complete the tasks at hand. We must provide
timely logistical and financial support to enable us to complete the
implementation of the road map before August this year, as well as
strengthen international cooperation and coordination.” For that reason, he
welcomed the convening of the Istanbul Conference next month.

PHILIP PARHAM ( United Kingdom) said that the number one priority must be
the political process. Only three months remained until the start of the
transition and, thus, the Constituent Assembly must be convened as soon as
possible in a way that was transparent and open. The United Kingdom had
provided £1 million to the United Nations for the Somali transition, as well
as technical support staff, and called on other States to do likewise. His
delegation welcomed the recent letter addressing potential spoilers, as well
as the preparedness of the United Nations to take action against those who
attempted to stand in the way of the transition process. However, he wished
to stress that disagreement with the process was not, itself, a spoiler
action; on the contrary, dissent should be taken into account without
derailing the process in its entirety. The process should be made as
transparent as possible, with the list of selected elders — and the methods
of the Assembly — should be made public.

The Somali leaders, supported by UNPOS, must demonstrate movement towards
the transition. Security and stability must be built across the country, he
added, welcoming the efforts of the African Union and the region in that
regard. More resources were needed for AMISOM, he said, calling on States
to support the Trust Fund in that regard. He welcomed the African Union’s
efforts to identify the immediate needs of the Somali security forces,
adding that it was nonetheless important to maintain the embargo. Finally,
he said, enhanced security was essential to returning Somalia to good
governance, especially in key areas of the country.

SUSAN RICE ( United States) said that Somalia stood at a critical moment in
its history. One year ago, in Nairobi, the Council had delivered the blunt
message to the Transitional Federal Government that it would lose
international support if it did not “get its act together”. Somalia was now
in a better place, but challenges remained. The country, and the wider
region, could not afford to revert to the cycles of violence that had
plagued Somalia for decades. Listing several encouraging signs, she said,
among other things, that a draft constitution had been circulated and that
the security situation across the country had improved. While the
humanitarian situation remained fragile, the famine had substantially
abated. The adoption of Council resolution 2036 (2012) in February,
followed by the London Conference on Somalia, demonstrated the international
community’s commitment. But, the Kampala Accord deadline was firm and there
could be no extension of the Transitional Federal Government’s mandate past
20 August.

Significant challenges still lay ahead, she continued, recalling several
recent Al-Shabaab attacks on innocent civilians. The ongoing ban on
humanitarian organizations demonstrated that group’s lack of regard for
human life. The United States strongly condemned all such attacks, and felt
AMISOM must be fully staffed to combat them. Somali national security
forces would figure prominently in any expanded force strength, but they
were hampered by underfunding. She urged States to help Somali forces take
the lead in maintaining their country’s own security. The United States
strongly supported the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, and
believed, in that respect, that kidnapping for random must also end. In
that context, law enforcement and other capacities must be strengthened.

The humanitarian situation in southern and central Somalia was still
precarious, she said, with more than 2.5 million Somalis still in need of
assistance. The United States had committed $1.1 billion since 2011 to the
humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa; the international community
must do more to reverse that crisis. There was a unique opportunity to
assist Somalia in moving forward during the next four months, however, the
onus remained on Somali leaders to seize that opportunity.

DOCTOR MASHABANE ( South Africa) welcomed the progress made in implementing
the road map for ending the transition. He said it was important that the
Constituent Assembly be representative of the population and that the
process was transparent. He looked forward to the speedy completion of the
processes involved. He noted with concern challenges in ending the
transition, and called on all Somalis to put their differences aside and
focus on the progress of the country. He supported measures against those
who acted as spoilers in that effort. Stressing the need for Somali
ownership of the process, he called on Somali leaders to act in a unified
manner and on the international community to continue its support.

He stressed the need for providing security and administration in areas
recovered from insurgents. He called on the international community to
assist Somalia in that regard. Investment in the private sector and
infrastructure, in addition, would ensure the country’s development. The
upcoming Istanbul Conference was an opportunity in that effort. South
Africa was committed to provide support in key sectors, and he urged all
stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the coming
period for progress in Somalia.

GÉRARD ARAUD ( France) said that many steps had been taken towards Somalia’s
stability in recent months, both by Somalis and the international community.
Unfortunately, three out of four transitional tasks had been set aside, and
even the timelines in that area, such as for constitution-building, had not
been met. A new impetus was needed with the formation of the Constituent
Assembly, which must be inclusive. He stressed that the provisional text of
the Constitution must respect human rights. Addressing spoilers, he said
that they could no longer scheme with impunity, as the joint message had
made clear on 1 May.

Noting considerable progress in security and paying tribute to AMISOM and
Ethiopia in that regard, he commended the European Union’s support to
AMISOM, calling for more support from others, as well. The training of
Somali soldiers must be priority to ensure that security became sustainable.
He noted international support for that effort, but said more was needed.
Although the international community had to step up its assistance in some
areas, progress in the next few months would be determined by the actions of
Somali leaders in doing their duty and meeting the expectations of the
Somali people. He welcomed the upcoming Conference in Istanbul to keep the
focus on progress in the country.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said that achieving the goals of
stabilization and foundation-building in Somalia required more concerted
action on the part of the international community. The country must take
advantage of the present opportunity and move forward with the road map, he
said, adding that, to do so, all parties should set aside personal interests
and work to strengthen State authority. Providing international assistance
must be linked to perceptible results. The Russian Federation regretted the
loss of momentum in challenging extremist positions in several parts of the
country. Additionally, the infiltration of weapons was a major challenge;
the international community, therefore, needed to strengthen the arms
embargo and cut off the flow of weapons from Libya and other countries.

Against the recent progress made, he said, the need for economic development
now stood out “in bolder relief”. His delegation supported measures to
broaden the action of United Nations bodies in Somalia. In spite of some
decline in the number of successful attacks, the occurrence of piracy — one
of the main destabilizing forces in the region — had not declined. A
comprehensive counter-piracy strategy, which included the prosecution and
international participation, was needed.

PETER WITTIG ( Germany) agreed that that was crucial to achieve the targets
set out by the road map. “Another extension is not conceivable and would
certainly not be in the interest of Somalia and its people,” he said in that
regard. Great challenges remained, in particular, infighting in the
Transitional Federal Parliament. The international community had always
supported Somalia, however, the past 20 years had taught one lesson: “there
is no solution to the conflict without strong political will among the
Somali political class itself.” His delegation simply did not agree that it
was international support that was lacking, and that language must not be
used as an excuse for delays or failures in the transitional process.
Future support depended on results achieved, he added, noting, “we cannot
accept a call for more, when there is no considerable progress.”

He said that AMISOM had been essential for improvements of the security
situation in Somalia, contributing, among other things, to the establishment
of Somali security forces. It was now critical that the Transitional
Federal Government finally managed to establish a functioning “command and
control” structure. Responsibilities should be handed over to national
forces and the administrations. Turning finally to piracy, he said that, in
addition to the European Union’s counter-piracy engagement at sea, the Union
would launch a mission in the field of maritime security to enhance the
capabilities of the States in the region and to develop their legal

KODJO MENAN ( Togo) said that the international community’s commitment to
peace and security in Somalia had allowed the Transitional Federal
Government and the allied forces to exert their authority outside of
Mogadishu. Real progress had been made in terms of security, constitution
writing, good governance and other areas. However, due to the lack of
resources, as well as the crisis in the transitional intuitions, challenges
remained, and it was necessary to take measures against spoilers of the
peace process. Al-Shabaab continued to lose ground, and its recent
defections were likely to further weaken the organization.

The hope being reborn in Somalia must not cause the international community
to overlook the fact that it was up to the Somalis, most of all, to provide
for the country’s security, he said. It was urgent, therefore, to achieve
an independent security sector, which required strategic planning, training
and the equipping of the military and police, among other elements.
External partners should continue to support Somali states that did not have
the means to do so to combat terrorism. Togo welcomed the decision of the
Human Rights Council regarding the drafting of a report containing specific
proposals to establish, throughout the United Nations system, an approach to
defend human rights in Somalia.

MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco) welcomed continued international support for
Somalia, which he hoped would be built upon in Istanbul. He also welcomed
progress towards completing the transition, although the situation remained
fragile and reversible because of continuing threats from Al-Shabaab and the
humanitarian consequences of the conflict. He condemned terrorist activity
by that group, as well as piracy offshore. Efforts against those crimes
must be strengthened, with capacity built in the country in those areas. In
meeting all such efforts, reconciliation was required.

He called on all parties to intensify their efforts to meet all political
tasks in the time required. Somalis must transcend their differences and
put peace and national unity above their personal considerations and
partisan differences. Somalia owed much to the United Nations and the
international community for political and humanitarian support, but more
solidarity was required. Gains made must be built upon. He expressed his
country’s commitment to support Somalis in their quest for security,
reconciliation and stability.

NÉSTOR OSORIO ( Colombia) said that the encouraging situation in Somalia was
not free of risks, and, therefore, efforts must be stepped up to maintain
the gains made thus far. Security remained unstable, with terrorist attacks
and other insurgent activity. Measures should be imposed on internal and
external actors who obstructed peace in Somalia. The implementation of the
arms embargo must be strengthened, as well. Noting AMISOM’s greater
capacity and geographical reach, he said further assistance was still
required. Greater technical, financial and training resources were needed
for the Somali national forces, as well.

He said that any sustainable solution to piracy should be part of a
comprehensive solution to rule of law and stability in Somalia. The efforts
of the Transitional Government to reach out to areas recovered from
Al-Shabaab should be supported. In all areas, Somali leaders must renew
their commitment to complete all their tasks by the August deadline. The
upcoming Istanbul Conference would be important in strengthening the
partnership with Somalia to meet future challenges.

JOSÉ FILIPE MORAESCABRAL ( Portugal) said that his delegation was worried
about delays in implementing some of the key tasks of the road map, as well
as about the long-lasting impasse in the Transitional Federal Parliament.
It was crucial that the Somali authorities put into action the Garowe
Principles, which provided a solid basis for the way forward, by
establishing and adopting a new constitution, subjected to a referendum in
due course. That document must be underpinned by respect for the human
rights of women and minorities, and should create a framework for all
Somalis to take part in public life. It was also critical to guarantee the
accessibility and deliverance of basic services to the population, to
support sustainable peace and development, and to build an effective
Government and re-establish an independent judiciary.

Through the United Nations and the European Union, he said, Portugal would
continue to support AMISOM. In that regard, he called on the new
troop-contributing countries to fully integrate their forces into the AMISOM
command and control structure, and called upon other donors to contribute to
sustainable funding for that presence. The Somali authorities’ unbroken
commitment to effective governance and security was essential to
consolidating AMISOM’s gains on the ground, he said, calling further on the
Transitional Federal Institutions to fully embrace the leadership of that
process. Finally, with the Somalis remaining among the most significant
refugee populations in the world, Portugal was worried about the
impoverishment of the Somali population, which, along with conflict and
drought, contributed to the daily growth of the number of refugees and to
the Somali Diaspora. Portugal urged all parties to ensure full and
unhindered access to humanitarian aid across the country.

GERT ROSENTHAL ( Guatemala) said given the encouraging signs and important
and positive developments seen in recent years in Somalia, the coming months
represented a possible turning point for the future of the country and for
the entire Horn of Africa. He welcomed the efforts made so far, which had
great potential to lead to a new phase in achieving stability and peace. On
the implementation of the road map, Guatemala considered the conclusion of
the drafting of the new constitution a priority, and its adoption a starting
point for national reconciliation. The election of the Constituent Assembly
and the new Parliament was also of great importance. It was essential to
end the transitional period on 20 August, in line with the road map, and he
reaffirmed the Garowe Principles, and agreed with the Secretary-General’s
Special Representative that the transition should be Somali-led.

On the security strategy, he said the peace process largely depended on the
successful expansion of the security strategy across Somalia. In that,
AMISOM’s strategy coordination and expanded operations were already showing
positive results. To ensure that the political process continued, he called
for a redoubling of efforts to end terrorism, noting that despite AMISOM’s
successful military operations, Al-Shabaab was still a threat, attacking
innocent Somalis and others. Piracy off the Somali coast and the Guild of
Aden still posed a serious threat to maritime safety and economic
development in the region, and he reiterated that piracy was a consequence
of the challenges facing Somalia on land. It was important, therefore, for
the Security Council to support the country to address piracy’s underlying
causes. On the humanitarian situation, Mr. Rosenthal was pleased that
Somalia no longer suffered from famine, although the situation remained
fragile. Finally, he commended the Government of Turkey and the
Secretary-General for convening the next Conference in Istanbul at such a
crucial moment for Somalia.

HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India), acknowledging what he called significant
progress in security, stressed the need to strengthen AMISOM, particularly
in light of the continuing threat from Al-Shabaab in the form of terrorism
and other violence. Commending troop-contributing countries for their
commitments to AMISOM, he noted his country’s contribution to related trust
funds. It was important to strictly implement the weapons and charcoal
trade bans, which helped to fund the insurgent group, as that would expedite
stabilization and reconciliation in the liberated areas.

He said that gains on the security front needed to be matched by progress on
the political track. He hoped that inclusivity in the political process was
encouraged by taking into consideration traditional social structures and
accommodating existing regional authorities into the federal system. The
international community should remain vigilant of forces that could
undermine the process and it should remain engaged with Somali stakeholders
and provide assistance in political, security and humanitarian spheres, as
required by the post-transition Somali authorities. For that purpose, he
welcomed the scheduled Istanbul Conference. He pledged that his country
would continue to partner with all stakeholders for the stabilization of

WANG MIN ( China) said that the Somali peace process was at a key stage, and
he welcomed steady progress in implementing the elements of the road map.
That process still faced many challenges, and the potential for new
conflicts was emerging in the region. China believed that national
reconciliation was the only way to ensure peace in Somalia; fully
implementing the road map and ending the transitional process on time, as
well as complying with relevant international accords, were critical in that
respect. China also supported the Transitional Federal Government in
further enhancing its capacity-building. Under the current circumstances,
the international community should continue to support the efforts of the
United Nations, the African Union and IGAD. The United Nations should
continue to strengthen its support to AMISOM, he added, welcoming the
progress made at the London Conference. China also looked forward to the
results of the Istanbul Conference on Somalia, to be held later this month.

RAZA BASHIR TARAR ( Pakistan) said that “a new leaf is being turned in the
history of Somalia.” Domestic political consensus among all Somali
stakeholders was essential to usher in a new era, and each step in the
challenging journey was invaluable, since progress towards constitutional
development and State-building was fraught with a myriad of obstacles. He,
therefore, sent a clear message of encouragement and solidarity to the
Somali people and leadership. It was essential for all political
stakeholders in the country to seize the present moment, to rise above their
differences and work towards a broader agreement on pending issues of the
road map. The unique opportunity presenting itself as unanimity on the
“broad contour” of future governance, as well as the sustained engagement of
the international community, must not be lost.

Political progress would remain fragile without corresponding gains in the
security area, he said, welcoming, in that regard, the increased role of
AMISOM in enhancing the effectiveness of the Somali forces. Recalling that
the Secretary-General had highlighted, in his most recent report, that the
scarcity of resources was undermining progress, he said he hoped that the
issue of resources would merit the Council’s due attention. Pakistan
supported a comprehensive approach to address maritime piracy off the Somali
coast and in the Gulf of Aden; in that regard, it supported the addition of
the maritime component to AMISOM, as well as actions of the international
naval coalition against piracy.

AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan) welcomed the recent political and security
progress in Somalia, which illustrated the transitional authorities’
commitment to implement the road map. Despite some delays, the road map was
being implemented and there was a real opportunity to move the country to a
new political phase. While Somalia was responsible for its own peace,
stability, development and prosperity, continued international support for
the political process was still crucial. He was encouraged by further
consolidation of the partnership between the United Nations and the African
Union to bring peace and stability to Somalia. The International Contact
Group on Somalia and the London Conference highlighted the need for action
against spoilers. It was crucial to continue all necessary efforts to
effectively address the threats and challenges to the road map’s successful
implementation, including through measures to support steps to combat the
actions of actors that sought to undermine or block the peace process.

He expressed serious concern over the increasing number of non-conventional
attacks by Al-Shabaab, as well as reports about its announced strengthened
alliance with Al-Qaida and other militia groups in the country. As Somali
forces and AMISOM made territorial gains, it was critical to continue
helping them build capacity to effectively prevent asymmetric attacks and to
improve civilian security. The end of the transition should encourage the
international community to invest seriously in Somalia’s long-term recovery
and development. The humanitarian situation also needed continued
attention, and he stressed the need to redouble efforts to find long-term
solutions for internally displaced persons.


* *** *


For information media • not an official record


      ------------[ Sent via the dehai-wn mailing list by dehai.org]--------------

(image/jpeg attachment: image001.jpg)

Received on Thu May 17 2012 - 11:48:55 EDT
Dehai Admin
© Copyright DEHAI-Eritrea OnLine, 1993-2012
All rights reserved