25 September 2010 Somalia’s President told the General Assembly today that the transitional Government he heads is striving to restore State institutions and provide services to the people despite the violence perpetrated by insurgents, and urged the United Nations to act decisively against groups engaging in acts of terrorism.
President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said his Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has been able to make some progress in the impoverished and violence-wracked Horn of Africa country, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991.
The TFG has recruited competent staff to distribute food to internally displaced persons (IDPs), created jobs for the youth, prepared a draft constitution and trained members of the security forces.
It was also re-establishing the judiciary and addressing disputes through a democratic process, he said.
His administration had reconciled with some of the armed opposition groups, the President said, but the largest insurgency, Al-Shabaab, which he described as a terrorist organization, continued to engage in brutal violence that has claimed the lives of large numbers of people.
“I call upon the UN Security Security Council to pass a strong resolution with a view to deterring the spread of Al Qaeda terrorists and their home-grown affiliates such as Al-Shabaab.
“Furthermore, I call upon Member States to continue with their support to the TFG to enable it to provide the direly needed services to the Somali people and in its efforts that aim at stabilizing Somalia,” Mr. Ahmed said.
On Thursday participants at a UN mini-summit issued a communiqué in which they called on the TFG to end its internal differences and deliver basic services while also urging the international community to do much more to support efforts to bring peace to Somalia.
Today the President drew the General Assembly’s attention to the problem of the dumping toxic waste in Somali’s territorial waters and said illegal fishing off the country’s coast contributed to the rise of the problem of sea piracy now rampant along East Africa’s Indian Ocean coast.
Mr. Ahmed urged the international community to help rehabilitate some of his country’s critical State institutions such as the judicial system, as wells as education and the health infrastructure.
“I would like to emphasize the gravity of the current political and economic situation, and that unfulfilled promises will not, in any, assist Somalia out of the current condition. Therefore, I appeal to this august body and all individual member nations who pledged to help Somalia to fulfil their promises,” he added.
Later today Mr. Ahmed met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who noted the strong support for Somalia at this week’s mini-summit and reiterated the UN’s support for the TFG and for the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM).
He called on the President to reach out to more opposition groups and consolidate relationships with those groups that are part of the Government, such as the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a (ASWJ).
The Secretary-General also emphasized the urgent need to complete key tasks, including an inclusive constitution that reflects all sections of Somali society, by the end of the transition period next year.
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