|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6614th Meeting (AM)
In Somalia ‘Seeds of Hope and Progress Have Begun to Sprout, But They Need
to Be Carefully and Generously Nurtured’, Security Council Told
Top United Nations Envoy Notes Political ‘Game Change’, with Agreed Road Map,
‘Much Improved’ Situation in Capital, but Warns No Progress without Adequate Funds
Declaring the present a “remarkable moment” for Somalia following recent broad-based agreements, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the east African country appealed to the Security Council today to send an unequivocal message of encouragement to its leadership while firmly opposing any return to political bickering or further extension of the political transition.
“The seeds of hope and progress have begun to sprout, but they will need to be carefully and generously nurtured if they are to bloom into sustainable peace,” said Augustine Mahiga, who is also the head of the United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS), as he introduced the Secretary-General’s latest report.
“The game has fundamentally changed,” he said of the political process, with the long-awaited consultative meeting on ending the transitional phase convened from 4 to 6 September. The meeting had been held in Mogadishu thanks to what he called the “much-improved situation in the capital”, following the withdrawal of Al-Shabaab two months earlier. Comprising a wide range of stakeholders, the gathering had officially launched a road map with tasks to be concluded by the August 2012 deadline for the transition, complete with benchmarks and timelines.
He warned, however, that those objectives would “simply not be realized in the absence of commensurate resources”. In addition, accountability must be ensured from all parties. He had consistently reminded the leadership that future assistance would be contingent upon timely implementation of the road map. However, that assistance was also required right now, to enable the Government to extend the territory under its control and to deliver services and prevent warlords from re-emerging to fill the vacuum left by Al-Shabaab’s withdrawal. “Somalis must see a tangible difference between their lives under governmental authority and their lives under Al-Shabaab,” he added.
Urging backing for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in that process, he echoed the Secretary-General’s support for the rapid deployment of a guard force as part of the Mission to provide protection for AMISOM civilians and United Nations personnel and assets, which he deemed essential to enable UNPOS to facilitate the road map’s implementation. His Office was ready to expedite the deployment of its staff to Somalia, especially to Mogadishu, as soon as accommodation and logistical support was made available.
Noting the continued spreading of the famine zone, he said assistance was coming in from the international community, but more was needed to cover the next five months. In that vein, he appealed to the international community to address the entire challenge of drought in the Horn of Africa.
Following Mr. Mahiga’s briefing, the Council heard from Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, and Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. Mr. Ali reported that his Government was doing its best within its limited resources to exploit the opportunities presented by the withdrawal of Al-Shabaab from the capital, aiming to re-establish security and fill the vacuum with legitimate State authorities.
Describing mechanisms created to help deal with the humanitarian crisis, he also assured the Council that his Government was committed to implementing the road map to end the transition by the 2012 deadline. He outlined ongoing efforts in that regard, including progress in drafting a new Constitution, formulating a national budget and establishing transparency. A resource mobilization plan, agreed with international partners, would spur momentum. A second funding meeting in Somalia — that reached out to a wider group of stakeholders — would also be essential, he added.
Mr. Diarra pledged the African Union’s support to implementing the road map within the deadline. It was essential for the international community to seize upon that “moment of hope” and carry out its commitments in the country. Transmitting the recommendations of a report of the Chairperson of the African Union, he called for deployment of additional troops in AMISOM to reach its authorized strength, along with strengthening the support package from the United Nations and deploying a police unit in Mogadishu as well as a personnel protection unit. Looking to the future, he urged the Security Council to reiterate its commitment to authorize a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Somalia to replace AMISOM, and to set a timeline for its deployment. He suggested that a joint mission be organized for that purpose.
In the discussion that followed those presentations, Council members, followed by the Acting Head of the European Union’s delegation, welcomed the adoption of the road map to end the transitional period, but expressed deep concern over the continuing humanitarian crisis in the country due to both the drought and displacement. Most pledged support to the Transitional Federal Institutions in their bid to meet the objectives of the road map by next August, while at the same time stressing the ownership of Somalis in the process and the need for accountability from the leadership. The United States representative reminded the Transitional Federal Institutions that future international support would be contingent upon the successful achievement of the road map’s benchmarks.
While most speakers paid tribute to AMISON, with many calling for additional support, several, including the representatives of South Africa and Nigeria, seconded the African Union’s call for the Council’s recommitment to the authorization of a United Nations peacekeeping mission to replace it. The representative of the Russian Federation cautioned in that context that the security situation was still perilous, with insurgents controlling half of the country. Most speakers agreed, however, that the period ahead opened unprecedented opportunity for the country’s stabilization. “We must hold ourselves and others to account and deliver real progress in the coming months,” the representative of the United Kingdom stressed.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Colombia, Portugal, India, Gabon, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, China, France, Brazil and Lebanon.
The meeting began at 10:25 a.m. and ended at 12:55 p.m.
Before the Council was a report of the Secretary-General on Somalia (document S/2011/549), issued on 30 August. It provides an update on major developments in the country since the last report of 28 April, noting in particular that the recent period was characterized by positive political and security developments, but also by a rapidly worsening drought and famine. In the political arena, a stalemate among the Transitional Federal Institutions was broken by the signing of the Kampala Accord in June. The Transitional Federal Government’s troops, with the support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), also made significant military achievements, routing the Al-Shabaab insurgents from Mogadishu and finally taking control of the capital.
The report goes on to state that the Kampala Accord — an agreement reached between the Somali President and the Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament — ended a rift that had threatened to paralyse political progress towards ending the transition. The Accord provided for the resignation of Prime Minister Mohamed Abdhullahi Mohamed within 30 days, the appointment and endorsement by Parliament of a new Prime Minister and Cabinet, and an agreement by all parties to work together with the international community to establish benchmarks, timelines and compliance mechanisms for the implementation of priority tasks. It also provided for regional leaders, the United Nations and the African Union to monitor compliance with that road map.
The withdrawal of Al-Shabaab on 6 August, which granted the Transitional Federal Government control of an estimated 90 per cent of Mogadishu, presented an opportunity to further extend control over the entire capital and enhance the legitimacy of the Transitional Federal Government. However, with the advent of the end of the transitional period, Somalia had witnessed a proliferation of entities claiming to be regional administrations, with some overlapping claims. The United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) was encouraging those emerging administrations to adopt a unified approach and to cooperate with the Transitional Federal Institutions.
With regards to the security situation, the report finds that Al-Shabaab’s withdrawal from the capital had also left AMISOM and the Transitional Federal Government overextended. Martial law had been imposed on the newly vacated areas, and the Somali police force was called to occupy those areas. The report also briefly notes that there was a reduction in piracy and related hostage-taking during the period under review; however, a full update on that situation would be presented in the Secretary-General’s October 2011 report.
Despite political progress achieved, the humanitarian situation was rapidly worsening. A state of famine had been declared by the United Nations in the southern Bakool and Shabelle Hoose regions, as well as in parts of Shabelle Dhexe, the Afgooye corridor and the internally displaced person areas of Mogadishu. Nearly half of the Somali population — 3.7 million people — was now in crisis. There were currently some 640,000 acutely malnourished children in southern Somalia, the hardest-hit area. The crisis, caused by a severe drought across the region, had generated large-scale displacement within Somalia as well as refugee outflows to Ethiopia and especially to Kenya. The report stressed that a multisectoral response was critical to preventing additional deaths, which included health interventions in response to reported outbreaks such as cholera.
Also during the reporting period, the United Nations continued to establish its presence in Mogadishu, where safety and security concerns still imposed a “ceiling” of 52 international staff. At the time of reporting, the rotating permanent presence of various United Nations offices and agencies stood at an average of 30 staff members.
The Security Council Committee created pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning sanctions met several times during the period under review. On 15 July, the Coordinator of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea briefed the Committee on the Group’s final report, which recommended banning all trade by large merchant vessels with ports controlled by Al-Shabaab. Among other things, it also recommended that any federal institution threatening the current Government’s capacity to fulfil its mandate also be considered subjected to targeted sanctions.
AMISOM’s force strength stood at approximately 9,300 since the deployment of 1,000 Burundian troops in March, notes the report. The African Union had also received firm offers of additional troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Uganda to enable its force strength to reach 12,000, in line with Security Council resolution 1964 (2010). The United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) continued to provide logistical support to the Mission, comprising essential supplies, equipment and capacity-building, among other things. For example, the Office had trained more than 1,900 personnel in programmes relevant to peacekeeping. Nonetheless, the report states, a resource gap continued to adversely impact AMISOM’s effectiveness.
The report goes on to describe developments aimed at strengthening Somali institutions, including in areas such as policy and coordination; the military; the police; mine action; justice and corrections; and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. It describes efforts to coordinate United Nations plans for recovery and stabilization in Mogadishu, as well as specific actions taken in the area of humanitarian, recovery and development activities. In that vein, the report notes that humanitarian agencies were scaling up their work in Somalia’s southern areas. About 1.16 million people had received food aid, with more than 47,000 others benefiting from food vouchers and cash relief in Mogadishu. The United Nations and its agencies had reached some 400,000 children with vaccinations, and water and sanitation interventions had benefited almost 500,000 Somalis. Continued support for drinking water systems in the hardest-hit areas was under way to more than 1.9 million people. As of 30 August, the United Nations revised Somalia consolidated appeal stood at $1.06 billion, 47 per cent of which had been funded.
Among the report’s observations and conclusions is a call for improved access to aid agencies assisting those in need, as well as an appeal to Member States to contribute generously to the consolidated appeal. A planned high-level meeting in Mogadishu — slated to take place from 4 to 6 September — illustrated the “growing confidence” of Somalia’s political actors about conditions in the country. The failure of the Transitional Federal Government to support the population would undermine its legitimacy and have implications for the political process. In that regard, the international community should support the Government; the Government itself should eliminate any suspected financial corruption or mishandling of donor assistance.
AUGUSTINE MAHIGA, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, presenting the Secretary-General’s report, said there had been positive developments in the country even as difficult times still lay ahead. Beginning with the humanitarian crisis, he said that since the issuance of the report, another district had been declared a famine zone, on 5 September, in the Bay region controlled by Al‑Shabaab. Assistance was coming in from the international community, and the African Union had held its first ever pledging conference on 25 August, raising $350 million in cash and in kind. More was needed, however, to cover the next five months, and he appealed to the international community to address the whole challenge of drought in the Horn of Africa.
On the political side, the peace process had just taken a great step forward. “The game has fundamentally changed,” he said. The long-awaited consultative meeting on ending the transition had been able to convene from 4 to 6 September in Mogadishu, owing to what he called the “much-improved situation in the capital”, following the withdrawal of Al-Shabaab two months ago. The meeting had brought together representatives of the Transitional Federal Institutions, the regional states of Puntland and Galmudug, as well as Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a and most international partners. It had officially launched the tasks to be completed in the next 11 months, with a plan to end the transitional period in a responsible manner, with broad-based consensus and political commitment, along with benchmarks and timelines.
UNPOS had established a dedicated unit to manage the implementation mechanisms, he said. Monitoring mechanisms would be both regional and international in composition. He added that the groundbreaking visit of Transitional Federal Government President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to Puntland at the end of August had heralded a new chapter in relations between the Government and regional administration, as well as overall reconciliation in the country. Mr. Mahiga himself had been reiterating the message that all armed groups should renounce violence and join the peace process. The changing security dynamic might help in that regard.
He warned, however, that benchmarks and timelines enshrined in the road map to end the transition would “simply not be realized in the absence of commensurate resources”. In addition, accountability must be ensured from all parties. He had consistently reminded the leadership that future assistance would be contingent upon timely implementation of the road map. However, international assistance was required right now to assist the Government to extend the territory under its control and deliver services and to prevent warlords from re-emerging to fill the vacuum left by the withdrawal of Al-Shabaab.
In addition, he warned, the extremists were likely to resort to terrorism. AMISOM and the Government forces must be equipped to respond to the threat with a military plan accompanied by a civilian strategy to stabilize and rehabilitate Mogadishu, for which his Office had prepared a plan together with the Government and the United Nations country team; it required initial funding of $5 million. “Somalis must see a tangible difference between their lives under governmental authority and their lives under Al-Shabaab,” he added.
Paying tribute to AMISOM and its troop contributors, he said critical gaps in its logistical support package, including important areas of “life support”, must be considered as the Council prepared to renew the Mission’s authorization. The Council should also give due consideration to finding a more predictable and sustainable source of funds for the reimbursement of contingent-owned equipment. Noting support by the Secretary-General for the rapid deployment of a guard force as part of AMISOM, he said that such a force would provide protection for AMISOM civilians and United Nations personnel and assets, which he deemed essential to enable UNPOS to facilitate the road map’s implementation. His Office was ready to expedite the deployment of its staff to Somalia, especially to Mogadishu, as soon as accommodation and logistical support was made available.
BOUBACAR GAOUSSOU DIARRA, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, thanked the Council and the international community for its support in creating an environment in Somalia that was conducive to the distribution of humanitarian aid during the current crisis. Since the deployment of AMISOM, the Council’s support had been “invaluable”, contributing to the tangible results now seen on the ground. Regarding the humanitarian situation, the African Union was supporting an initiative for a donor contribution conference to support victims of the famine and food crisis across the region. So far, more than $350 million had been raised, and the African Development Bank had pledged another $300 million, as well as other forms of aid. The conference would also call upon the wider international community to support medium- and long-term strategies to fight the impacts of climate change in the Horn of Africa.
“Somalia is at a crossroads”, he stressed, noting that the country had not known peace in many years, but was now moving towards making political progress. The African Union was particularly pleased with the signing of the Kampala Accord and the results of the 4-6 September consultative meeting in Mogadishu, which had brought together many major players. The Union would continue to bolster efforts implemented by Special Representative Mahiga to implement the road map within the 20 August 2012 deadline.
On the political and military front, the Transitional Federal Government and AMISOM now controlled almost 90 per cent of the capital, with a presence in almost every district of the city. AMISOM would deploy in the last remaining districts as soon as sufficient forces were available. Next, the progress made must be extended beyond Mogadishu, allowing for the Government to work together with local administrations across Somalia towards achieving the principles enshrined in the road map. The humanitarian situation, however, presented new requirements. It was essential for he international community to seize upon that “moment of hope” and carry out its commitments in the country, he stressed.
All of those matters were the thrust of the report of the Chairperson of the African Union, which detailed the results of a recent regional meeting. The report stipulated support for a variety of measures. First and foremost, it supported the deployment of additional troops to strengthen AMISOM and reach the authorized strength of 12,000 troops. It also supported strengthening the support mechanism of the United Nations to fill gaps in AMISOM’s capacity, providing logistical support, as well as attack helicopters, maritime capacities and others. The report also called for the deployment of a police unit in Mogadishu, charged with maintaining order and the rule of law, thereby allowing AMISOM to focus on other essential activities. Finally, it lent support for the creation of a protection force to guarantee the security of the Transitional Federal Government, the African Union and United Nations personnel. That force should supplement the current troop numbers.
Al-Shabaab continued to destabilize and undermine the efforts of the Transitional Federal Government, he continued. It was thus critical to extend the work described today beyond Mogadishu. Preventing foreign elements from further destabilizing Somalia was also necessary. Looking towards the future, the Security Council must reiterate its commitment to authorize a peacekeeping operation in Somalia to replace AMISOM, as well as set timeline for such a deployment. In that regard, he suggested that a joint mission be organized to analyse progress made to date on the ground by AMISOM and to asses the resources needed for a successful transfer to a United Nations peacekeeping mission. The African Union Commission further urged the Council that its future resolutions take into account all recent updates on the situation, including new needs and the results of the recent regional mini-summit.
ABDIWELI MOHAMED ALI, Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, said that, following the withdrawal of the Al-Shabaab insurgents from much of Mogadishu, there were both opportunities and challenges for the Transitional Federal Government, as it strove to consolidate security in the city, provide public services and tackle the enormous humanitarian emergency enveloping Somalia. “We in Somalia recognize, as the Secretary-General’s report states, that failure to do this would fatally undermine the legitimacy and popular support that the Government currently enjoys,” he said.
He reported that the Transitional Federal Government was doing its best within its limited resources to exploit those opportunities. A ministerial committee had been set up, which visited areas vacated by Al-Shabaab. The immediate concern was to re-establish security and fill the vacuum with legitimate State authorities. A state of emergency had been declared in those areas. The Cabinet had also established two security-related task forces, which endeavoured, among other things, to search for weapons and booby traps in the neighbourhoods formerly occupied by extremists. However, he noted, “we must remain realistic as we enter this next phase”. There were still pockets of insurgents that remained in the city, intent on launching a terror campaign against the population. In fact, two large camps for internally displaced persons had already been targeted.
Meanwhile, the Transitional Federal Government and Somali security forces were currently overextended, making it essential for international partners to work together on an urgent basis to enlarge and improve Government security and police forces. To support that united effort, he looked forward to announcing the national security and stabilization plan — a key part of the road map — in the near future. Somalia was the “first line in the global defences against the plague of terrorism”, he emphasized, adding that extremists were focusing their recruitment and radicalization efforts on Somali diasporas in Australia, Europe and the United States. The support of the international community was critical to prevent extremists from upending progress; its assistance would also help to protect civilians and ensure the safe and timely delivery of aid.
Going forward, he said, more support would be required to expand the zone of safety that had been created in the capital. In that regard, he asked the Council to urgently reconsider the recommendation of the African Union Peace and Security Council to increase the mandated strength of the AMISOM force to 20,000 troops from the current ceiling of 12,000, and to provide it with key resources, including marine and air components.
On the humanitarian front, a high-level committee had been created to confront the famine facing parts of Somalia, he reported. A disaster management agency had been created to synchronize humanitarian efforts. It was comprised of civil society members and was working closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Programme (WFP). The United Nations and its agencies had already provided tons of food to Mogadishu, helping to lower the still high prices of food in the region by some 20 per cent as compared to previous months. The greatest need, however, continued to be felt in areas still under the control of extremists, where the access of humanitarian actors was restricted and the freedom of movement of millions of people was hampered. It was critical to accelerate efforts to reach those in the Al-Shabaab-controlled areas before the crisis “spirals out of control” and threatened the security and political gains.
Turning to the political progress, including the singing of the Kampala Accord, he announced that the Consultative Meeting on Ending the Transition — held successfully in Mogadishu last week — had concluded with the adoption of a road map, complete with specific timelines and benchmarks, to ensure the return of a permanent Government in August 2012. The Transitional Federal Government was committed to implementing that blueprint and delivering the priority tasks of security, reconciliation and good governance, among others, by that deadline. Strong foundations were being built for working relationships with the regional administration in Puntland as well as other regional administrations, he added.
In that light, a resource-mobilization plan, agreed with international partners, would spur momentum. A second funding meeting in Somalia — that reached out to a wider group of stakeholders, would also be essential. Meanwhile, the Transitional Federal Government was identifying and appointing an expert committee to oversee the drafting of a new Constitution, as required by the road map. The committee would soon embark on consultations with all relevant stakeholders, including civil society and human rights organizations, to resolve any contentious issues. It was also formulating a national fiscal budget for 2011-2012, and working to establish the transparency critical to state-building.
MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) said his country stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Somalis in their time of suffering from famine and displacement, and he called on the international community to provide adequate relief to offset the long-term crisis. He welcomed the adoption of the road map to end the transition, but stressed that it was critical that the key tasks be accomplished on time, with the support of the international community and adequate political will on the part of Somalis. He called for accountability and transparency from leaders in that regard.
Paying tribute to AMISOM and its troop-contributing countries, he affirmed that adequate support was needed, pointing out that his country was contributing heavily to that purpose. He urged the United Nations to provide the needed expertise and technical assistance to end the transition, in a coordinated and unified manner, and welcomed the increased presence of other stakeholders in Mogadishu. “We must hold ourselves and others to account and deliver real progress in the coming months,” he said.
BASO SANGQU (South Africa), welcoming the agreement reached by Somali stakeholders on a road map to end the transition, encouraged all Somalis to take ownership of the plan as he reiterated the call of regional leaders for the international community to provide timely support and resources for its implementation. He also welcomed the recent military successes achieved by AMISOM and Government forces. Every effort must be employed to ensure that the control of Mogadishu was maintained and expanded, for which AMISOM’s full authorized deployment was critical. He reiterated the call for the Council to reaffirm its commitment to authorize a United Nations operation to take over from AMISOM.
On the humanitarian front, he noted with concern the deadly impact of the drought and called on Al-Shabaab to provide unhindered humanitarian access, while commending AMISOM for taking on additional responsibilities in providing assistance. He called on the international community to contribute generously to the appeals for an adequate response and commended the African Union on its pledging conference in that regard. On piracy, he noted a reduction of ships being held, and urged the international community to continue its efforts to holistically address that challenge and its causes, such as collapse of State authority, illegal exploitation of marine resources and the dumping of toxic waste. In conclusion, he appealed to the international community not to abandon Somalia in the present critical period.
NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia), also welcoming agreement on the road map, said that the federal authorities must lead its implementation, consolidate achievements on security and advance in the adoption of the Constitution, which must be accompanied by an inclusive dialogue for reconciliation. Transparency and good governance also were essential.
Expressing alarm over the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation, he said it was important to ensure the safety and access of humanitarian workers, so that aid reached those most in need. The transitional authorities must show they could handle such difficult circumstances and demonstrate that the immediate needs of the population were their biggest concerns. The international community must support them in that regard. A comprehensive perspective acknowledged the increasing link between emergency assistance and the creation of conditions for sustainable development and recovery and the assurance of food security in the long term. He also supported assistance to strengthen State institutions as well as adequate resources for AMISOM.
JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL (Portugal) said that despite encouraging progress within the framework of the Kampala Accord, significant challenges remained. It was essential, therefore, that Somali institutions build on the progress by implementing the Kampala Accord and the road map according to agreed benchmarks and timelines. He called on the Accord’s signatories to ensure cohesion, unity and focus in completing the four priority tasks set forth in the road map to end the transition. It was also imperative to ensure respect for human rights and to remove obstacles to Somali women’s participation in public life, which was important for conflict resolution. Regional and international partners must continue to support the Somali people and help them address challenges.
He expressed deep concern over the impact of the famine on the Somali people, particularly children, but said he was encouraged by efforts on the ground by international humanitarian actors to alleviate it. He urged all parties and armed groups to ensure full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian aid workers to reach everyone in need. He called for strengthening the Somali security forces and expressed support for renewal of AMISOM’s mandate, as well as for the Secretary-General’s call for speeding up the deployment of more troops to fill the security vacuum created by Al-Shabaab’s withdrawal from Mogadishu. He also supported expansion of the scope of AMISOM’s support package and the development of a guard force to provide security, escort and protection services to international personnel.
HARDEEP SINGH PURI (India) said the worsening humanitarian situation unfolding in Somalia was a major cause for concern. Nearly 2.8 million people remained in the hardest-hit areas, which were controlled by Al-Shabaab insurgents. In that light, he urged all Somali groups — including Al-Shabaab — to facilitate access to humanitarian workers without delay. India had announced that it would provide $8 million in aid to Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti through WFP, in addition to the $2 million it had already given to the AMISOM trust funds. He joined other delegates in calling on his fellow Member States to respond to the urgent humanitarian appeal.
He said that while the international community confronted the major humanitarian crisis in Somalia, it was also critical to maintain the progress made in transitioning to a stable Government there. Such an achievement would ensure a comprehensive and inclusive reconciliation in Somalia, thereby ending a two-decades-long period of instability. The opportunity presented by the withdrawal of Al-Shabaab from the capital should be used by the Transitional Federal Government to ensure basic services, strengthening both legitimacy and the transitional process. He urged that the number of troops under AMISOM be raised to the mandated 12,000 without delay, and called on the international community to help to “urgently bridge the resources gap” that hindered the Mission’s effectiveness. Without the proper resources, troop-contributing countries would continue to face serious deployment challenges. Member States should support the relevant trust funds without caveat, he added.
The Transitional Federal Institutions had not yet paid sufficient attention to the road map benchmarks related to piracy, he continued. In that regard, port revenues for Al-Shaabab should be restricted. India supported Security Council measures to counter piracy off the coast of Somalia. The international community should also consider the creation of a United Nations-led anti-piracy force, among other concrete measures in that area. India itself had undertaken several effective counter-piracy measures, but wider international support was needed to confront that urgent challenge.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) said Somalia continued to present some of the most complex political, security and humanitarian challenges in the world, requiring the Council’s continued attention. More than 11 million people in the region needed emergency assistance, including some 4 million Somalis who were in need of food. Without urgent action, more than 700,000 people could die in the months ahead. The United States welcomed a high-level meeting on the matter during the upcoming General Assembly session.
“The need is vast and the time is short,” he stressed, calling on fellow Member States to contribute to the consolidated appeal for Somalia. “We must fully fund the emergency response”, so that those who needed such basic assistance as food and water could quickly receive it. In that vein, the United States condemned the “callous” blocking of access by Al-Shabaab to populations in need. All armed groups in Somalia must adhere to international humanitarian law, he stressed.
His delegation also welcomed the signing of the Kampala Accord and the outcome of the recent regional meeting in September, as well as the road map. To that end, he reminded the Transitional Federal Institutions that future international support would be contingent upon the successful achievement of the road map’s benchmarks. Now was the time for “sustained and vigorous peacebuilding efforts” by the Transitional Federal Government. On the security front, he welcomed AMISOM’s significant achievements and urged participants in the Mission to continue their efforts towards consolidating recent security gains.
For its part, the United States would continue to support training and logistical support for AMISOM, he said. It had provided $85 million in security assistance to the Transitional Federal Government. He urged the United Nations to expand its presence in Somalia as the security situation allowed, and echoed the calls of other delegates to pay more attention to the fight against piracy.
NELSON MESSONE (Gabon) welcomed the commitment expressed today by the Transitional Federal Government to do everything within its power to implement the road map. The situation in Somalia remained of great concern; five regions were affected by famine and thousands of Somalis were dying. Humanitarian efforts had provided some support to those living in Mogadishu and in refugee camps across the region; the recent donor conference had also helped to raise some $350 million. Gabon itself had contributed $2.5 million. All of that showed the commitment of the region to confront the crisis. Nonetheless, more long-term solutions were needed. “We must go beyond emergency aid and create support for sustainable agriculture in Africa,” he said, urging the Council to consider long-term action to support food security in the region. In that respect, he looked forward to the upcoming Group of 20 (G-20) meeting.
The Somali crisis was, above all, a political one, he said, noting that significant progress had been made on that front. Continued attention must be paid to that process, including through establishing the rule of the State. He welcomed the adoption of the road map — which was intended to establish cohesion within the Government — as well as the establishment of local and regional administrations willing to work with the Government. The need now was to consolidate the political progress and implement, as soon as possible, all the elements set out in the road map — which were critical to ending more than 20 years of instability in Somalia.
Threats to security, including continued conflict in the south of the country, attacks last July in Kenya and continued attacks against aid workers all demonstrated that more work was needed to provide security. AMISOM’s efforts were invaluable, and he called on Member States to continue to assist that force in achieving its mandate. However, the United Nations should consider deploying a “genuine peacekeeping mission” in Somalia. He highlighted the urgency of the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia, adding that Gabon looked forward to the Secretary-General’s comprehensive report on that subject, due in October.
IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) stressed that the window of opportunity created by recent security developments in Somalia must be used in the right manner. Consolidating authority, delivering basic services, fighting corruption and securing national reconciliation were essential for the Transitional Federal Government’s success. Reiterating full support for that Government, he welcomed the signing of the Kampala Accord and noted its timely implementation to date. He further welcomed the adoption of the road map following the consultative meeting organized by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, and he called on the Transitional Federal Institutions to demonstrate unity, cooperation and commitment in carrying out their obligations through an inclusive and genuine Somali-owned political process.
He expressed concern, however, over continuing grave violations of human rights, especially against women and children, as well as the overall humanitarian situation in Somalia. He urged the international community to redouble its efforts in providing assistance to the Somali people. Stressing the need for a multisectoral approach, he further called on all Member States to contribute to the consolidated appeal for Somalia. He commended AMISOM troops for their tireless efforts to stabilize the country and expressed hope that the troop level would soon reach its mandated strength. He called on the international community to continue its support in that regard.
PETER WITTIG (Germany), aligning himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, said he hoped that the road map would be implemented with “determination and a strong sense of responsibility”. Continued international support would be dependent on such progress. He encouraged Somali leaders to continue to demonstrate political will to finalize the transitional process at last. The opportunities provided by the withdrawal of Al-Shabaab must be seized, and the Government must reach out to expand its contingency.
Paying tribute to AMISOM, he said the Mission was proof of the African Union’s commitment in the area of peace and security on the continent, noting training and other support provided by his country and the European Union. Turning to what he called the “catastrophic” famine, he described his country’s assistance in that area and pledged its help to mobilize continued international support, calling on the international community and the country’s leaders to act “swiftly, responsibly and credibly in order to end the Somali crisis”.
U JOY OGWU (Nigeria) welcomed the priorities stated by the Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government. Efforts were critical now to consolidate recent gains by fast-tracking support to the Government and AMISOM. The full deployment of authorized troops was crucial, as was an expanded support package. She encouraged more contributions to the Trust Fund for AMISOM, and supported the deployment of a guard unit. She welcomed the road map’s adoption for the end of the transitional period and stressed that national ownership of such efforts was crucial, as was unity and coherence among the Transitional Federal Institutions.
She said it was troubling that the effects of the drought could be exacerbated by the obstruction caused by insurgents. She called on all parties to guarantee unfettered access to humanitarian workers, and on all Member States to contribute to the relevant funds, noting her Government’s own contributions.
ALEXANDER A. PANKIN (Russian Federation) said that despite the advances of recent months, security remained of great concern in Somalia, as insurgents controlled half the country and were unwilling to lay down their arms. It was important, in addition, that the fight against Al-Shabaab not turn into a clan war. For that reason, AMISOM should be bolstered and the Council should pay due attention to strengthening the sanctions regimes. On the road map, he stressed that transitional leaders must immediately start their tasks with adequate international support.
He called for continued international support to relieve the famine conditions as well, adding that his country stood ready to provide further aid. On piracy, he said that the situation would not improve as long as criminals escaped punishment and for that reason he expressed disappointment at the lag in criminal justice mechanisms. He expressed support for a dedicated guard unit and pledged that his country would continue to support efforts to implement the peace accords in the country.
LI BAODONG (China) said that recent progress showed the “good intentions” of many parties in Somalia towards the consolidation of peace. Military operations of AMISOM had made significant achievements and improved the security situation; however, the peace process still had a way to go. In China’s view, the international community should be focused on several key elements. First, the current window of opportunity should be used to “vigorously promote the peace process” and implement the road map. It also should support the African Union’s efforts to resolve the Somali conflict. In that respect, China supported the extension of AMISOM’s mandate and called upon the United Nations to provide more technical, logistical and related types of assistance. The Council should consider deploying a peacekeeping operation in Somalia at the appropriate time. China was deeply concerned by the spread of the humanitarian crisis, and it had donated $16 million to WFP. He called on the international community to provide more assistance to confront that urgent challenge.
EMMANUEL BONNE (France), referring first to the humanitarian situation, said that as of last week, an official state of famine had been declared in six regions. Worse yet, the peak of the famine had still not been reached. It was critical, therefore, for Member States to continue to provide their support. France had contributed €30 million in aid, as well as others forms of assistance. It was necessary that all those involved — AMISOM, United Nations country teams, non-governmental organizations and others — coordinate their actions as best they could. AMISOM’s work in freeing Mogadishu from the hands of Al-Shabaab showed that the situation “can change”, but the vacuum left by the insurgents must not be filled by new warlords.
Also critical was the strengthening of AMISOM forces to the mandated 12,000 troops, he continued. It should be kept in mind, however, that that deployment was not an “end in itself”, but a way of restoring peace so the Transitional Federal Institutions could lay the foundation for Somalia’s future. The Transitional Federal Government must be aware of the short time it had to achieve those objectives, namely, doing all in one year what it had not been able to do in the past six. United Nations support and expertise of the Transitional Federal Government would play a decisive role in that effort and should be strengthened as much as possible on the ground. In that regard, France also supported the establishment of a distinct AMISOM unit of 300 soldiers to protect personnel on the ground.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil) welcomed improved security and the results of the consultative meeting in Mogadishu, noting that the Constitution, reconciliation and improved governance were rightfully accorded high priority. In order to build on the positive momentum of recent events, it was important that the Somali Government and AMISOM consolidate Government control, and in that effort, enhancing AMISOM’s capabilities was crucial. In addition, addressing the humanitarian crisis and ending the famine should be at the top of the international community’s agenda, she added, noting her country’s contributions of funds and food. She agreed on the need to address, not only the immediate crisis, but also the long-term challenges to sustainable development and food security in Somalia, and pledged her country’s continued support in that regard.
Council President NAWAF SALAM (Lebanon), speaking in his national capacity, expressed deep concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Somalia and insisted that humanitarian aid reach all those in need. Noting his country’s contribution to such assistance, he called for adequate aid to be provided by the international community. It was also critical that a long-term strategy be instituted to meet all the challenges in Somalia. He welcomed the road map for the end of the transition and encouraged all stakeholders and partners to engage with the Transitional Federal Institutions in the interest of fulfilment of all tasks. He also called for the capacity of those Institutions to be strengthened to enable them to provide services to the population and fill the vacuum left by Al-Shabaab’s departure. He echoed the Secretary-General’s call to seriously consider the African Union’s proposal on AMISOM, and sought increased support for the Mission.
PEDRO SERRANO, Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union, noted encouraging progress from the Kampala Accord and the adoption of the road map in Mogadishu on 6 September. The European Union would, as a member of the Technical Committee facilitating cooperation to implement that blueprint, spare no efforts in supporting the Transitional Federal Institutions on its path to reform. But while progress had been made in security with the withdrawal of Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu, the unfolding famine posed a new challenge. Consequently, the bloc was responding to immediate needs by allocating over €166 million for food, health care and water and sanitation facilities through partners and United Nations agencies like WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It was also investing in longer-term solutions to build resilience to future droughts by allocating an additional €175 million for development funds for 2011-2013.
Highlighting the European Union’s security sector support, he said it had extended its military training mission for Somalia by another year on 28 July. That mission would focus on developing command and control structures and “forming” trainers who could take over the training programme. The EU NAVFOR ATALANTA forces, which participated in anti-piracy naval operations off Somalia’s shores, had also been extended through 12 December 2012. In addition to boosting maritime capacities in Somalia and the larger region, the Union supported efforts to strengthen the rule of law. But given the shifting security situation, he underlined the need to broaden resource mobilization and identify alternative and additional funding sources for AMISOM and the Transitional Federal Government as they faced such new challenges as consolidating security in newly accessible areas.
* *** *For information media • not an official record