15 March 2006
Security Council
SC/8662

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

Security Council

5387th Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO COMPREHENSIVE SOMALIA SETTLEMENT;


WELCOMES ‘ ADEN DECLARATION’, FIRST SESSION OF TRANSITIONAL PARLIAMENT


In Presidential Statement, Council Reiterates Urgent Need

For Rapid Finalization of National Security, Stabilization Plan


The Security Council today reaffirmed its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia and commended the efforts of the President of the Transitional Federal Government, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, and the Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, towards reconciliation and dialogue, particularly the signing of the Aden Declaration on  5 January 2006, which culminated in the convening of the first session of the Transitional Federal Parliament at Baidoa, Somalia, on 26 February.


According to a statement read out by César Mayoral ( Argentina), its President for the month of March, the Council welcomed and supported the Parliament’s first session and looked forward to sustained sessions, as Somali leaders sought to peacefully resolve differences.


The Council also reiterated the need for a rapid finalization of an agreed national security and stabilization plan, including a comprehensive and verifiable ceasefire agreement, as well as plans to restore public safety and security institutions and to implement disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.


The Council also welcomed the African Union Summit decision of 25 January 2006, including the possible deployment of an Intergovernmental Authority on Development Peace Support Mission to Somalia, to be followed by a an African Union Peace Support Mission.  On the basis of such a mission plan, it stood ready to consider an exemption to the arms embargo imposed on Somalia by Security Council resolution 733 (1992).


However, the Council condemned the increased flow of weapons into Somalia and the continuous violations of the United Nations embargo.  It further reminded all States of their obligations to comply fully with the measures imposed by resolution 733 (1992) and urged them to take all necessary steps to hold violators accountable.  Continuous violations prevented the establishment of a stable and secure environment and undermined the efforts of those seeking to establish peace in Somalia.


The Council remained seriously concerned over the continued intermittent fighting and armed violence, kidnapping and other use of force, particularly in recent incidents in Mogadishu, the capital, and other parts of Somalia which had caused loss of lives among innocent civilians and had the potential to undermine the current progress achieved by the leaders of the Transitional Federal Institutions.  The Council called on all parties to cease all hostilities and resolve their differences peacefully.


Taking note of resolution A.979 (24) of the International Maritime Organization’s biennial assembly adopted on 23 November 2005 and concerning the increasing incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships off the Somali coast, the Council encouraged Member States with naval vessels and military aircraft operating in adjacent international waters and airspace to take appropriate action to protect merchant shipping, particularly the transportation of humanitarian aid.


The Council also expressed its growing concern over the situation of 1.7 million Somalis in a state of humanitarian emergency or suffering from serious malnutrition, severe livelihood distress and rising civil and food insecurity.  The Council urged all Somali leaders to ensure complete and unhindered humanitarian access, as well as provide safety and security guarantees for humanitarian aid workers in the country.


The meeting began at 1 p.m. and ended at 1:15 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2006/11 reads, as follows:


“The Security Council reaffirms all its previous statements and resolutions concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular the statement by its President of 14 July 2005 (S/PRST/2005/32) and 9 November 2005 (S/PRST/2005/54).


“The Security Council welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 21 February 2006 (S/2006/122), and reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive  and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia and its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, consistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.


“The Security Council commends the efforts of the President and the Speaker towards reconciliation and dialogue, particularly the signing, with the facilitation of the Government of Yemen, of the Aden Declaration on 5 January 2006, which culminated in the convening of the First Session of the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) inside Somalia in Baidoa on 26 February 2006.  The Council encourages all leaders and members of the TFIs to continue their efforts towards inclusive dialogue and consensus-building within the framework of the TFIs and in accordance with the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic adopted in February 2004.


“The Security Council welcomes and supports the convening of the First Session of the TFP and looks forward to sustained sessions of the TFP as Somali leaders seek peacefully to resolve their differences.  The Council calls on the TFP to promote peace and reconciliation in its work towards implementing the Transitional Federal Charter and encourages the members of the TFP to use this opportunity to address key issues of national concern.  In this regard, the Council urges the members of the TFIs to continue to organize their work in accordance with the Transitional Federal Charter, such as the formation of independent commissions and parliamentary committees, which will provide a framework for addressing the complex and divisive issues of the transitional period.


“The Security Council reiterates the urgent need for a rapid finalization of an agreed national security and stabilization plan, to include a comprehensive and verifiable ceasefire agreement, as well as plans for the restoration of public safety and security institutions, and the implementation of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.


“The Security Council reiterates its strong support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and calls upon all Member States to provide their full and active support in this regard.


“The Security Council remains seriously concerned over the continued intermittent fighting and armed violence, kidnapping and other use of force, particularly in recent incidents in the capital Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia, which have caused loss of lives among innocent civilians and have the potential to undermine the current progress achieved by the leaders of the TFIs.  The Council calls on all the parties to cease all hostilities and resolve their differences peacefully in the spirit of the Aden Declaration through the framework of the TFIs.


“The Security Council expresses its growing concern over the situation of 1.7 million Somalis in a state of humanitarian emergency or suffering from serious malnutrition, severe livelihood distress and the rising civil and food insecurity in parts of southern Somalia.  The Council urges all Somali leaders to ensure complete and unhindered humanitarian access, as well as provide guarantees for the safety and security of the humanitarian aid workers in Somalia.  The Council emphasizes the importance of the international commitment and coordinated support for improving the humanitarian situation.


“The Security Council commends the neighbouring countries, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU), the League of Arab States, the European Union (EU), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and concerned Member States for their keen interest and persistent efforts in support of the peace, reconciliation and recovery process in Somalia.  The Council encourages them to continue to use their influence in support of the TFIs, in particular to help them in their efforts to move ahead on the key issues of security and national reconciliation.


“The Security Council welcomes the AU Summit decision of 25 January 2006 on Somalia, including the possible deployment of an IGAD Peace Support Mission to Somalia (IGASOM), to be followed by an AU Peace Support Mission.  In the event that a national security and stabilization plan includes the need for a peace support mission, the Council reiterates that it expects the AU and IGAD to work out a detailed mission plan in close coordination with and with the broad consensus of the TFIs and consistent with the national security and stabilization plan.  The Council stands ready to consider an exemption to the arms embargo imposed against Somalia by Security Council resolution 733 (1992) on the basis of such a mission plan.


“The Security Council takes note of resolution A.979 (24) adopted on 23 November 2005 at the twenty-fourth session of the International Maritime Organization biennial Assembly, concerning the increasing incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia.  The Council encourages Member States whose naval vessels and military aircraft operate in international waters and airspace adjacent to the coast of Somalia, to be vigilant to any incident of piracy therein and to take appropriate action to protect merchant shipping, in particular the transportation of humanitarian aid, against any such act, in line with relevant international law.  In this regard, the Council welcomes the communiqué of the IGAD Council of Ministers’ meeting in Jawhar on 29 November 2005, which decided to coordinate its strategies and action plans to face this common challenge in close collaboration with the international community.  The Council further urges cooperation among all States, particularly regional States, and active prosecution of piracy offences.


“The Security Council takes note of the annual report of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia (S/2005/813) and the mid-term briefing of the Monitoring Group on Somalia to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992).  The Council condemns the increased inflow of weapons into Somalia and the continuous violations of the United Nations arms embargo and further reminds all States of their obligations to comply fully with the measures imposed by resolution 733 (1992) and urges them to take all necessary steps to hold violators accountable.  Continued violations of these measures prevent the establishment of a stable and secure environment and undermine the efforts of those who seek to establish peace in Somalia.


“The Security Council reaffirms its full support to the peace process in Somalia and welcomes the commitment of the United Nations to assist in this regard.  In this connection, the Council encourages the TFIs and the international partners to reinvigorate the Coordination and Monitoring Committee (CMC) in the interest of a more effective international engagement in the peace, reconciliation and recovery process in Somalia.”


Background


Before the Council was the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Somalia (document S/2006/122) covering the period since his last report (document S/2005/642) of 11 October 2005, and focusing particularly on the Aden Declaration (document S/2006/14) signed in Yemen on 5 January 2006 by Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, President of the Transitional Federal Government, and Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament.  It details the developments that led to the Aden Declaration.  It also provides an update on the security situation and on the humanitarian and development activities of United Nations programmes and agencies in that country, with a special focus on the serious humanitarian situation created by the drought in southern and central Somalia.


With regard to the Transitional Federal Institutions, the report states that for most of 2005 the situation in Somalia was characterized by the political impasse within the leadership, particularly between the President and Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi of the Transitional Federal Government, based in Jawhar, and the Speaker and some ministers, based in Mogadishu, over such issues as the seat of Government, security and the deployment of an Intergovernmental Authority for Development/African Union peace support mission.


The Secretary-General observes that the signing of the Aden Declaration created encouraging prospects for reconciliation among the leaders of the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions.  Those leaders face complex political and security challenges.  The peace process remains fragile, especially as it relates to implementation of the Aden Declaration.


In addition, the report notes, Somalia is once again the victim of the forces of nature, with the deteriorating food security situation presenting serious humanitarian challenges.  If the drought continues, the humanitarian situation will become worse and the internal security situation will deteriorate.  As food resources diminish, requiring alleviation by external aid, the competition for these scarce resources will increase, leading to increased inter- and intra-clan fighting, hijacking, looting of convoys, extortion and demands for “protection fees”.


According to the report, the international community should continue supporting political reconciliation efforts, especially with regard to the preparation and convening of the Transitional Federal Parliament as envisioned in the Aden Declaration.  Reconciliation efforts are likely to foster improved security and, thus, humanitarian access, particularly in southern Somalia and in Mogadishu, where the operational environment is extremely volatile.  Improved access will enable the increased presence of aid agencies in areas where there are presently very few, thus, enhancing their capacity to respond to growing needs.


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For information media • not an official record