CALLING FOR PEACE MISSION, SOMALIA PRIME MINISTER TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL FAILURE TO ACT WOULD SEND WRONG SIGNAL TO PARTIES, RELIEF DONORS

19 October 2001
SC/7178

CALLING FOR PEACE MISSION, SOMALIA PRIME MINISTER TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL FAILURE TO ACT WOULD SEND WRONG SIGNAL TO PARTIES, RELIEF DONORS

19/10/2001
Press ReleaseSC/7178

Security Council

4392nd Meeting* (AM & PM)

CALLING FOR PEACE MISSION, SOMALIA PRIME MINISTER TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL

FAILURE TO ACT WOULD SEND WRONG SIGNAL TO PARTIES, RELIEF DONORS

In Day-Long Debate on Situation, Many Speakers Express

Concern at Lack of Progress towards National Reconciliation

The failure to establish a peace-building mission for Somalia would send the wrong signal to the international community, to donors and to local warlords, the country’s Prime Minister, Ali Khalif Galaydh, told the Security Council today as it met to consider the situation there.

Expressing regret that the warlords continued to be a major impediment to the national reconciliation process, Mr. Galaydh warned that the decision not to deploy a mission would contribute to the vicious cycle of inadequate security and to the perpetuation of benign neglect.  It was based on a security assessment carried out by middle-level United Nations field officers based in Nairobi.  He proposed that the Organization send a high-level inter-agency mission to examine the work of the security office in Nairobi and to re-evaluate the security situation in Mogadishu and Somalia as a whole.

The Prime Minister said the Arta peace process -- involving leaders of various Somali groups -- would remain the basis for the pursuit of Somali national reconciliation.  (The process began with the Somali National Peace Conference in Arta, Djibouti, in the middle of last year.).  He said the Government would embrace every positive effort by neighbouring countries and the international community to facilitate it.  In addition, the Government would engage those outside the Arta peace process through sustained dialogue and negotiations.  The Government had established an independent 25-member National Reconciliation Commission.  Lack of funds, however, was hindering the beginning of its work.

He said the Government also welcomed the idea of establishing a Committee of Friends of Somalia but it must be fully engaged in the consultations necessary for designing the framework under which the commission would function.  Members of the committee must be supportive of peace and stability in Somalia and be willing to play a constructive role and have a genuine interest in building upon Arta and its outcome. 

David Stephen, Director of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia, introduced the Secretary-General's report, saying it contained ideas including a proposal to establish a Committee of Friends of Somalia.  In the 10 years since the fall of the Siad Barré regime, Somalia still had no national institutions of

*     The 4391st meeting was closed.

any kind and the main focus of loyalty for many Somalis remained the clan.  The talk now was not about a ceasefire, but about helping Somalis to devise institutions that would rise above the clan.

Restoration of trust was the critical element, he said.  The Transitional National Government was what its name implied -- a transition to a permanent government.  It was a start on which the future could be based.  However, despite suspicion between the clans and past bad experiences with government, it had not given them a negative notion of government.  According to the Arta Charter, the future structure of Somalia should be a federation.

Another problem, he said, was the proliferation of initiatives.  Contrary to the cliché of “divide and rule”, in Somalia there was a situation of "divide upwards", in other words, divide and no rule.  Different leaders travelled outside the country seeking support and claiming to be the true representatives of the Somali people.

Djibouti's representative told the Council much of the burden for the situation in Somalia must be placed on the shoulders of greedy and power hungry leaders.  Time and again they had been brought together, but the more they signed agreements, the more they reneged on their commitments.  All efforts to bring the warlords together had been in vain.  But more than 90 per cent of casualties in Somalia had been civilians.  Appeasing the warlords had not worked and never would.  The people must come together as an alternative to the squabbling warlords.

While not objecting to the establishment of the proposed Committee of Friends, he stressed that the paramount role of the Transitional National Government must not be compromised.  Somalia would not go away and remained a challenge that the international community ignored at its own peril.  It could become a breeding ground for international terrorism and drug trafficking.

The representative of Ethiopia said that contrary to comments made today, the Arta process had been preceded by other genuine efforts to establish a peace process.  Ethiopia had supported the Arta process from the beginning, and continued to support it as a step towards peace and reconciliation in Somalia.  He said the last African Summit had urged the Transitional National Government to create an environment that would encourage those not participating in the Arta process.  It supported dialogue instead of force and affirmed the need for measures to ensure that the territory of Somalia was not vulnerable to groups bent on destroying stability in the region.

Expressing disagreement with the Prime Minister's remark that to support the Somalia Restoration and Reconciliation Council was equivalent to reviving “warlordism”, he called attention to the fact that Ethiopia contained the largest concentration of ethnic Somalis outside Somalia.  While the interests of the Somali people must be foremost, the Council must be positive when considering the legitimate concerns of bordering countries.  Kenya and Djibouti also had borders with Somalia.

The representative of Singapore said it was in the international community’s interest to encourage the establishment of stable governments around the world. 

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Otherwise, terrorists and other extremist elements could easily exploit pockets of instability.  The parallels between Afghanistan and Somalia were compelling and the Council should ensure that Somalia did not become an “Afghan 2001”.  He said the restoration of a United Nations peace-building presence was crucial to Somalia’s recovery.

The representative of Belgium, speaking for the European Union and associated States, renewed the Union’s appeal to the Transitional Government to pursue comprehensive national reconciliation through compromise and respect for all entities possessing some degree of stability.  He said the European Union also encouraged all parties that had not participated in the Arta process to enter into dialogue in that spirit.

On the issue of human rights, he said judicial processes must be strengthened to make fair trials possible for perpetrators of crimes during the civil war.  Attacks against civilians and humanitarian staff members must cease.  The Union also called for the resumption of political contacts between the Transitional Government and neighbouring countries, particularly Ethiopia.

The representative of Tunisia said it was time to define the role of external actors, particularly that of the Security Council.  That was not to say it had a role in deciding Somalia’s future, which would be determined by Somalis themselves, but to help end a situation that had lasted almost 10 years.  There had been other situations where peace-building missions had been dispatched without a prior demand for total security.

He said that specific actions required to address Somalia’s problems included the non-negotiable preservation of its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity; non-interference in its internal affairs; and discouraging the proliferation of initiatives and parallel peace processes; mobilization of assistance for the Transitional Government; establishment of a United Nations presence; and guaranteeing the restoration of Somalia's statehood and of its place in the international community.

The President of the Council, Richard Ryan, (speaking as the representative of Ireland), expressed concern about the negative role that some neighboring States could play, noting that not all States had heeded the injunction to refrain from intervention in the internal affairs of Somalia.  He said he supported the multisectoral strategy adopted by United Nations agencies and encouraged donors to respond generously to the consolidated inter-agency appeal.  The Council must reassure the Somali people of its commitment.  It was time to reassess the security situation.

Also speaking today were the representatives of China, France, Ukraine, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Colombia, United States, Norway, Mauritius, Jamaica, Mali, Bangladesh, Egypt, Libya, Japan, Nigeria, Yemen, Syria, Qatar, Iraq and Kenya.

A representative of the Organization of the Islamic Conference also made a statement.

Today’s meeting, which began at 10:20 a.m., was suspended at 1:15 p.m.  Resuming at 3:15 p.m., it adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

Secretary-General's Report

When the Security Council met this morning, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Somalia (document S/2001/963).  The report covers the period since the last report of 19 December 2000 and reviews political developments and the security situation.  It also presents an overall picture of the humanitarian situation and the humanitarian assistance activities of United Nations agencies and their partners, as well as the Secretary-General's observations on establishing a United Nations post-conflict peace-building presence in Somalia.

The most viable option for lasting peace in Somalia is completion of the Arta, Djibouti peace process, the Secretary-General says.  A key role for the international community is to support the peace process, the establishment of the rule of law and the emergence of impartial national political and judicial institutions.  The security situation, however, still does not allow him to recommend the deployment of a post-conflict peace-building mission in Somalia.  The seaport and airport remain closed and no single authority in the country can assure security and unimpeded access to the United Nations, even in Mogadishu.  The Secretary-General will continue to monitor the situation and, when it improves enough to allow for the establishment of such a mission, he will submit a detailed proposal to the Council.

Recalling that there has been no central administration of any description in Somalia for the past 10 years, he says that the Transitional National Government inherited none of the formal institutions of a modern State.  Both the Transitional National Government (TNG) and the Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC), formed by opposition faction leaders, claim to be national, multi-clan alliances.  Both have stated that they wish to pursue national reconciliation.  Since neither seems to disagree on any major political issue, the differences ought not to be irreconcilable.

The Secretary-General stresses that local political settlements deserved more attention.  Nevertheless, disputes that often appear to be purely local cannot be solved by local actors alone.  Thus, the process of rebuilding national institutions should go forward, alongside strong and impartial efforts at local reconciliation.  The Secretary-General calls on Somali leaders to put aside their narrow interests and work together to achieve the return of their country to peace, stability and overall normalcy.  In that context, it would be important for the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to put in place the mechanism for negotiation agreed upon at the Khartoum summit in November 2000.

Ongoing United Nations programmes to enhance local capacities should be strengthened as a parallel means to advance reconciliation at the local and national levels, he states.  On the other hand, the external actors, including the Organization of African Unity (OAU), IGAD, the United Nations and its Member States, will need to help sustain that effort.  A mechanism for exchanging information and coordinating efforts among external actors is needed.  The Secretary-General intends to consult all concerned on the usefulness of setting up a Committee of Friends of Somalia to draw attention to Somalia's needs, as well as mobilize funds for rehabilitation and development.

The Secretary-General continues to be concerned about the human rights situation in Somalia, the report states.  Despite the efforts of United Nations and other humanitarian and development agencies, large sections of the Somali population continue to suffer from the internal conflict and its consequences with little hope of improvement in their living conditions.  Moreover, the unfavourable security conditions in the country continue to impede the United Nations and its humanitarian and development partners from providing assistance to those in need. The Secretary-General reiterates his call to potential donors to respond generously to the consolidated appeals process and contribute to ongoing and future development programmes.

In reviewing the internal political situation, the Secretary-General states that a group, including faction leaders who stayed away from the Arta conference and others who participated but later denounced it, gathered in El-Berde (on the Somalia-Ethiopia border) in mid-January and later in Awasa.  According to Ethiopian officials, the objective of the meetings was to agree on a common platform to facilitate discussions with the TNG.  Leaders of the TNG saw the meeting in Awasa as part of an Ethiopian plan to undermine the TNG.  The faction leaders announced they had reached a number of agreements that would result in the reconstitution of Somalia.  They later announced the formation of the SRRC.  Its aim would be to hold an all-inclusive national reconciliation conference to form a representative Transitional Government of National Unity.  The meeting is now scheduled to take place late in 2002.

Regarding the humanitarian and development situation, the report says that in 2000 conditions across Somalia improved significantly due to positive environmental conditions and good harvests.  However, the gains have been insufficient to break the seasonal cycle for poor and middle-income households.  This vulnerability has been exacerbated by the partial failure of the rains in key food-producing regions of the south; the economic downturn due to the ban on livestock exports from the north; insecurity and violent conflict; and inflation due to injections of new Somali shilling notes. 

These factors are not expected to produce large-scale, life-threatening conditions over the next six months.  However, with persistent malnutrition rates of between 15 to 20 per cent in vulnerable areas and child mortality rates as high as 224 per 1,000, aid agencies will have to continue to provide significant levels of humanitarian aid to prevent rapid livelihood deterioration and loss of life.

An estimated 750,000 people are in need of international assistance to cover food shortfall due to past harvest failure, the report continues.  Environmental factors, while important, disguise the underlying reasons for vulnerability of at least one quarter of the Somali population to threats of violence, displacement, disease and lack of food and water.  The key economic factors affecting livelihoods are man-made.  They include asset depletion and destitution; lack of labour opportunities; limited benefits to the poor from economic expansion; lack of infrastructure and social services; lack of macroeconomic management; and market dependency and volatility.  In response to these conditions, United Nations agencies work in tandem with over 60 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Red Cross movement, elaborated a multisectoral strategy to protect and rebuild livelihoods, prevent and respond to emergency situations and support the transition towards peace and reconciliation.

The report goes on to say that United Nations agencies have adopted a four-part humanitarian and development strategy to increase access to essential social services and build an enabling environment for peace and reconciliation.  The pillars of this strategy are to gain access to vulnerable populations; secure a safe operating environment; provide assistance and protection; and improve coordination, security and support services.  Implicit in the United Nations approach is respect for Somali partnership and impartiality in the provision of assistance.

Citing examples of the tenuous security situation in Somalia, the report says that on 27 March militiamen loyal to one of the faction leaders in Mogadishu attacked the compound in north Mogadishu of the international NGO Médecins sans frontiers-Spain (MSF-Spain).  Six international United Nations staff members and three MSF-Spain colleagues were abducted.  The compound, including valuable health-care equipment belonging to MSF-Spain was looted.  All international staff were eventually released unharmed, but several fatalities were recorded among Somali guards and the militia.  In addition to the ongoing outbreaks of fighting between the various factions, piracy and forcible detention of sailors on trawlers fishing illegally in Somali territorial waters has continued.

Introduction of Secretary-General’s Report

DAVID STEPHEN, Director, United Nations Political Office for Somalia, introduced the report of the Secretary-General.  In it, he said, the Secretary-General had submitted ideas, which included the establishment of a Committee of Friends of Somalia.

He said it had been 10 years since the fall of the Barré regime, and still there were no national institutions of any description.  The main focus of loyalty for many Somalis remained the clan.  The talk now was not of a ceasefire, but of helping the Somalis to devise institutions that would rise above those of the clan.  The clan situation might seem complicated, but the crucial question was to find a role for all clans in the future structure of Somalia.  Restoration of trust was the critical element.  The Transitional Government was what its name implied -- a transition to a permanent government.  It was a start on which the future could be based.  However, suspicion between the clans and past bad experience with government had not left them with a negative notion of government.  According to the Arta Charter, the future structure of Somalia should be a federation.

Another problem, he said, was the proliferation of initiatives.  Contrary to the cliché of “divide and rule", in Somalia there was a situation of "divide upwards", in other words, divide and no rule.  Different leaders travelled outside the country seeking support and claiming to be the true representatives of the Somali people.

Address by Prime Minister of Somalia

ALI KHALIF GALAYDH, Prime Minister of Somalia, said his Government had taken a number of decisions that reflected its commitment and determination to combat terrorism, including establishing an anti-terrorism task force which would put together a national security and anti-terrorist action plan.  The task force would gather intelligence and information, monitor activities of potential suspects and share information with the United Nations.  The Government had also enlisted the support of the “ulema” or religious leaders, in the fight against terrorism.  It had also engaged the owners of the “Hawala” money-transfer agencies, which had assured the Government of their commitment to transparency.  Moreover, a Joint Committee of Cabinet Members and Members of the Somali Parliament had recently been formed to review the penal code as part of the country’s national obligation under Security Council resolution 1373 (2001).  For the Government to be successful against terrorists, however, the international community must provide the assistance needed.

On the question of national reconciliation, he said the outcome of the   Arta Peace Process would remain the basis for the pursuit of Somali national reconciliation.  That process would continue to be a Somali process, and the Somali Government would welcome and embrace every positive effort by neighbouring countries and the world community that could facilitate that process.  The Government would engage those who were outside the Arta Peace Process through sustained dialogue and negotiations.

He said his Government had established the National Reconciliation Commission stipulated by the Interim Charter.  The Commission would be operating independently of the Government and would be composed of 25 eminent Somali political and historical figures.  Lack of funds, however, was hindering the beginning of the Commission's work.  He called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility and provide the resources needed to empower the Commission.  He expressed regret that the warlords continued to be a major impediment to the national reconciliation process.

He welcomed the report of the Secretary-General, but noted with regret that the report did not recommend the establishment of the peace-building mission in Somalia.  That decision was based on the result of the security assessment carried out by middle-level field officers in Nairobi.  The failure to establish a peace-building mission would send a wrong signal to the international community, particularly to the regional and subregional organizations, donors and warlords.  It would further contribute to the vicious cycle of inadequate security and the perpetration of benign neglect.  He proposed that a high-level inter-agency United Nations mission be sent to Somalia with a mandate to examine the work of the security office in Nairobi and to re-evaluate in an objective manner the security situation in Mogadishu and the whole of Somalia.

He also welcomed the idea of establishing a Committee of Friends of Somalia, but said his Government must be fully engaged in the consultations necessary for designing the framework within which the Committee would function.  Members of the Committee must be supportive of peace and stability in Somalia and be willing to play a constructive role and have a genuine interest in building upon Arta and its outcome.

Reconstruction, rehabilitation and development must be addressed concurrently, he said.  His Government had inherited a country in shambles and without resources.  It was unconscionable for the international community to wait and watch while Somalia struggled with such meagre resources.  Somalia had moved from the struggle for survival to the struggle for peace.  The United Nations and its partner aid agencies needed to reflect that change in planning new initiatives.  Peace and security were the key to the Transitional Government’s agenda, and there could be no development without them.

Statements

WANG YINGFAN (China) noted that despite the efforts of the Transitional National Government (TNG), the peace process was at a standstill, and Somalia remained divided by the various factions.  The relative stability in Somaliland and Puntland had recently deteriorated.  Armed conflict had escalated recently due to the proliferation of small arms.  Unless the supply was cut off, it would be difficult for the peace process to succeed.  All States must abide strictly by the relevant arms embargoes and work towards reconciliation.

He expressed the hope that the various parties and factions in Somalia would take to heart the overall interests of the country to promote the peace process.  At the same time, the international community, including the Security Council, must give the necessary push to the peace process.  Whether through a Committee of Friends as proposed by the Secretary-General or by sending a peace mission to Somalia, such efforts should be put on the ground right away.

China supported a continuation of the positive role played by the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the European Union, he said.  The current situation in Somalia was very grave, and there was an urgent need for an assessment.  In addition, China called on the donor community to respond positively in helping to relieve the suffering of the Somali people.

JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France), stressing the need to support the TNG, said the Arta Process remained the most viable means to achieve lasting peace in Somalia.  France endorsed a statement to be made by the representative of Belgium on behalf of the European Union.

He said the Security Council had been addressing the situation in Somalia since 1992.  It had devoted a great deal of energy to the crisis, adopting some

20 resolutions, committing billions of dollars and establishing a major peacekeeping force.  The current situation, however, called for increased commitment.

It was essential to assist Somalia to stop the country from becoming another Afghanistan, he said.  It was vital to prevent a situation where new terrorists, driven to seek sanctuary where State structures were weakest, sought refuge in Somalia as they had done in Afghanistan.  Greater United Nations involvement in Somalia was essential, particularly in police training.  France favoured sending a peace-building mission as soon as the security situation permitted it.

KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) said the Council needed to adopt a comprehensive approach for Somalia.  Achieving conditions of peace and security and the restoration of economic activity would help to reduce and even prevent the need for continued humanitarian assistance over the longer term.  It was in the international community’s interest to encourage the establishment of stable governments around the world.  Otherwise, terrorists and other extremist elements could easily exploit pockets of instability.  The parallels between Afghanistan and Somalia were compelling, and the Council should ensure that Somalia did not become an “Afghan 2001”.

He said the restoration of a United Nations peace-building presence was crucial to Somalia’s recovery.  The safety and security of United Nations personnel should be a fundamental principle in the Council’s considerations.  It would be helpful if the Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator could present a range of alternative options, as well as elaborate on the possible return of the United Nations.  Merely stating that a peace-building mission could not be deployed because of the security situation did not shed enough light.  There were parties in Somalia who were concerned that the peace building office would be an adjunct of the TNG.  Laying out the possible functions of such a mission, as well as conducting a public information campaign at an appropriate time, would help to allay such concerns. 

He reaffirmed that a solution to the situation in Somalia must be based on respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia.  All States should refrain from military intervention in the internal situation in Somalia, and Somali territory should not be used to undermine the stability of the region.  Any violation of the arms embargo should be reported to the sanctions committee.

VOLODYMYR KROKHMAL (Ukraine) said he agreed with the Secretary-General’s assessment of the security situation in Somalia.  He noted that on Tuesday there had been another attack on international humanitarian workers in which a security guard was killed and two other people were wounded.  He asked for further information on that incident. 

He said a political dialogue was the only way to a lasting settlement of the Somali conflict.  He urged the Somali people to continue on that difficult path and embrace the opportunity before them.  He welcomed the commitment of the TNG and other leaders to engage in dialogue without preconditions in the interest of the people of Somalia.  The solution was in the hands of the Somalis themselves.  It would be unacceptable for a solution to depend on the whims of the warlords.  International support was critical for the peace process and establishment of the rule of law.  Further, cooperation between the Security Council and interregional organizations was essential to a settlement of the situation.

ANDREY E. GRANOVSKY (Russian Federation) said his country had always supported a speedy national reconciliation based on respect for Somalia’s territorial integrity.  Success depended on involving all the leading forces in the country, including those who had boycotted the Arta process.  The Security Council must continue to support the efforts made by the Transitional National Government.

He stressed the importance of engaging in dialogue without conditions in order to reach agreement on halting the violence and achieving security in the field.  Regarding the question of a peace-building mission, the Russian Federation favoured sending an inter-agency mission to assess the security situation.  All countries must continue to abide by the arms embargo, he added.

The idea of establishing a Committee of Friends merited attention and was long overdue, he said.  Besides IGAD and other regional organizations, such a body should include other players, including members of the Security Council.  The Russian Federation, through its long-standing friendship with Somalia, would continue to promote the restoration of Somali statehood.

OTHMAN JERANDI (Tunisia) said the Security Council could no longer be a passive bystander in the face of a tragedy that had gone on for too long –- Somalia’s dismemberment and abandonment to its own fate, bereft of all self-respect.  No purpose would have been served by discussing the situation if the Council continued to turn a blind eye to the situation in Somalia.

While appreciating why a peace-building mission could not be sent, he said there had been situations where such missions had been dispatched without demanding total security ahead of time.  It was time to define the role of external actors, particularly that of the Security Council.  That was not to say it had a role in deciding Somalia’s future, which would be done by Somalis themselves, but to help end the situation that had gone on for almost 10 years.

The Arta process was the best means to do that, he said.  The Transitional National Government had managed, with far less financial assistance than expected, to continue its efforts to induce recalcitrant parties to participate in dialogue.  Its success was limited, as would be that of any government lacking the necessary support and facing the same fierce opposition.

He cited specific actions required in addressing Somalia’s problems:  the non-negotiable preservation of its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity; non-interference in its internal affairs; and discouraging the proliferation of initiatives and parallel peace processes.  Other actions included mobilization of assistance for the TNG; establishment of a United Nations presence; and guaranteeing the restoration of Somali statehood and its place in the international community.

STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom) welcomed the Transitional National Government’s commitment to the eradication of terrorism.  The situation in Somalia was relevant, in that it was particularly important to eliminate pockets in which terrorists could operate because there was no authority to stop them.  That made it particularly important to find a solution to the situation in Somalia.  He expressed particular concern about the state of instability in Puntland and stressed that the cycle of violence must be stopped and stopped through dialogue.  He was encouraged by the idea that the Transitional Government was a transition to a permanent government.

He only partly agreed with the representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of external initiatives.  External initiatives could be constructive and it was vital that neighbouring States contribute to the peace process.  Moreover, the approach of drawing on local structures and encouraging wider involvement on the local level was a way forward and a realistic way of breaking the political deadlock.

Regarding the role of the United Nations, he said the essential requirement was for the United Nations to be able to contribute actively to the solution, but the Council had no option but to accept the Secretary-General’s advice concerning a peace-building mission.  That advice had been based on the lack of adequate security.  It was important that the process of investigation remain a technical one of compiling an assessment of security risks.  The Council must respect the assessment of professionals in the evaluation of the situation.

The Committee of Friends should have clear objectives and be able to demonstrate how it would advance the peace process, he added.  He noted that development programmes, though nascent, were developing in Somalia.  He agreed that further steps needed to be taken to assist in the development of a framework for peace.  He said that his delegation subscribed to the statement to be made by the representative of Belgium on behalf of the European Union.

ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia) said the Council last addressed the situation in Somalia in August, when it reviewed the humanitarian situation.  Somalia posed a serious humanitarian and political challenge to the international community.  He did not favour multilateral action.  The Council should reinforce the actions of other actors, and provide sustained economic and political support.  He welcomed the various regional initiatives.  The role of the Council should not be a substitute for regional efforts, but should support and reinforce regional actions.  The political coordination involving the Organization of African Unity (OAU), including the possibility of convening a reconciliation conference, was an approach that would ensure the Arta process was moving in the right direction.

Regarding humanitarian activity and development, he said the United Nations must support the work of the humanitarian agencies.  He noted the Security-General’s view that the right conditions did not exist to open a peace-building office.  He urged a thorough review of the security situation without delay.  He did not oppose the establishment of a Committee of Friends, but it should be recommended only when it strengthened the capacity of the regional actors to solve the problem.

JOSIAH B. ROSENBLATT (United States) expressed the desire to work with all Somalis of good will in rebuilding their country, and looked forward to active engagement in considerations of a Friends of Somalia group.  Noting the Secretary-General’s conclusion that the current security situation in that country precluded establishment of a peace-building office at this time, he was confident that concern for the Somali people would be balanced with concern for the safety of United Nations personnel.  Advocacy efforts for an expanded United Nations presence should be focused on Somalia, not New York.

He said that the United States would, however, continue to work to identify programmes that could benefit the Somali people, within acceptable risks under current conditions.  All must do what they could to improve those conditions, but only the people of Somalia could reclaim their country from chaos and create political legitimacy.  No single group had yet achieved that legitimacy, and it was not for the United States, the Security Council or any other outside power to determine it.

The United States, he said, would support Somali individuals and organizations that were committed to peaceful political reconciliation and the rule of law.  The Council, and individual Member States, had to figure out how to support the coming together of a critical mass of Somalis determined to work together, in peace and democracy, to rebuild their shattered country.  Unfortunately, the tragic conditions that spurred the original peacekeeping mission still existed.  That mission was sent not to conquer, but to save lives, and the United States was still deeply concerned about the plight of the people of Somalia.

OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said completion of the Arta Peace Process remained a key priority and the only available option for lasting peace.  Concerted involvement by the international community could help facilitate that process.  Continuous and unimpeded humanitarian and development assistance was now, more than ever, essential to meet humanitarian needs, to secure and strengthen the fragile stability already obtained in some regions, and to build the basis for stability in others.

A central task in the peace-building process was disarmament, particularly with respect to small arms, he said.  The international community needed to discuss how the Transitional National Government’s efforts for broad disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation could best be supported.  Norway strongly condemned last weekend’s attack on a Mogadishu police station that had resulted in the deaths of officers and civilians.

He called on the Horn of Africa States to contribute constructively to peace efforts in Somalia.  Long-term regional stability could most effectively be addressed if neighbouring States reinforced the process of national reconciliation and rebuilding of national institutions.  While recognizing Ethiopia’s genuine right to patrol its border with Somalia, Norway also encouraged that country to use its influence with the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council to promote reconciliation with the TNG.

JAGDISH KOONJUL (Mauritius) said there were all indications the Transitional National Government was proceeding in the right direction.  The progress achieved might not be up to the expectations of the international community, but the international community might not have been sufficiently engaged in helping the TNG following the conclusion of the Arta process. The TNG needed to address basic political issues, particularly the national reconciliation, economic and development challenges of the country in anticipation of the elections scheduled for 2003.  The humanitarian situation in Somalia continued to remain precarious, with 750,000 people in need of food assistance, and the TNG had received virtually no assistance from international donors.

The Transitional National Government had made several calls for a greater involvement of the international community in the form of a peace-building mission.  It had been said many times that post-conflict peace-building sought to prevent the resurgence of conflict.  The TNG should be given maximum support to sustain its current policies of administrative rehabilitation in the country.  In light of the 11 September incident, there was an important security aspect regarding the Somali-based organization Al-Itihad Al-Islamiya, with suspected terrorist links.  Past events had shown that failed States were more prone to be the breeding ground for terrorist activities.  It was, therefore, in the common interest of all to have a strong, stable government in Somalia.

He believed the security situation in Somalia had improved in many ways.  The United Nations should consider opening an office in Mogadishu, and he appealed to the Secretary-General to arrange for a thorough security assessment by an inter-agency United Nations team, so that the much-awaited peace-building mission could be deployed in the near future.  He called upon all the political groups in Somalia to engage in peaceful and constructive dialogue with the TNG.  The cooperation and collaboration of the countries in the region, in particular the neighbours of Somalia, would be of utmost importance.  He supported the proposal for a Committee of Friends for Somalia, but that should not result in an increase of initiatives that could impede progress.  He asked Mr. Stephen about the flow of arms into Somalia.

M. PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica) said her country supported the Secretary-General’s proposal for the establishment of a Committee of Friends.  As stated in his report, consultations involving neighbouring countries and other States had broadly agreed that Somalia required urgent attention.  There was also a widely shared view that such a mechanism was needed.

She agreed with the Prime Minister, however, that it should be established in close collaboration with the Transitional National Government.  Jamaica also agreed with the Secretary-General that much more attention could be paid to local political settlements.  With regard to the humanitarian and development situation, she noted that Somalia’s economic and social situation had been disrupted by more than a decade of conflict, as well as more recent droughts and flooding.  Assistance was needed to cover food shortfalls and to address malnutrition.

While noting that United Nations agencies were drawing up plans to address the situation, she expressed the hope that there would be a greater response to the inter-agency consolidated appeal.  Jamaica was concerned that programmes linked to the TNG had received virtually no assistance from the international community, including the United Nations agencies themselves.

MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) said that in view of the Somali people’s tremendous need for peace, whatever progress that had been made was not enough.  As noted by the Secretary-General and the representative of Jamaica, the economic and social situation had been compromised by a decade of war and natural disasters.  The security situation was worrisome, particularly in Puntland, as was the human rights situation in the south and east of the country.

He welcomed the regional peace initiatives, particularly that led by President Hassan el-Bashir of the Sudan in the presidency of the IGAD.  Mali also welcomed the involvement of the OAU, whose latest Council of Ministers meeting had supported the Arta process and reaffirmed Somalia's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He expressed support for the Secretary-General's proposal to renew the mandate of the United Nations Political Office in Somalia for two years.

RUHUL AMIN (Bangladesh) stressed the importance of two basic principles: reaffirming the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Somalia; and asserting that the Arta process remained the only viable option for the success of the peace process.  All parties in the country should support it.

He pointed out the risks of delay or procrastination in ensuring the restoration of Somalia's statehood. While much had been said about peace-building, such efforts should be linked to preventive actions.  There should be no repeat of the expediency measures taken in Afghanistan.  Regarding small arms, ways must be

found to halt supplies flowing into the country.  A fundamental change had occurred by which the warlords had lost popular support.

It was deeply disturbing that programmes linked to the Transitional National Government had received virtually no assistance, he said.  He asked why there

had been such a meagre response to the inter-agency consolidated appeal for

$130 million.  Was it due to security, fiscal or other considerations on the part of donors?

The President of the Council, RICHARD RYAN (Ireland), speaking as a representative of his country, said the inclusion of Somalia on the Council’s agenda was a priority of Ireland.  The international community needed to engage and to be seen as engaged in the situation in Somalia.  He commended strongly the recovery and development activities of the United Nations agencies, but stressed that it was time for a wider range of United Nations agencies to be involved.

He said the completion of the Arta process provided the most viable route to peace.  Some spoilers might continue their violent efforts to thwart the peace process, but the Council must support the Somali people on their way back to peace.  He supported the establishment of the National Commission for Reconciliation and Property Settlement and the attempt to enter into a constructive dialogue.  He called on all countries with influence on the Somalis to encourage them to enter into the peace process.  He called attention to the achievements registered by the TNG and emphasized that any government in Somalia would face the difficulties encountered by the TNG. 

Continuing, he said a closely coordinated effort on the part of external actors would be in the interest of the Somali people.  He recognized the positive effects that the regional actors had had.  At the same time, he expressed concern about the negative role that some neighbouring States could play. He was concerned that all States had not heeded the injunction to refrain from intervention in the internal affairs of Somalia. 

He supported the multisectoral strategy adopted by United Nations agencies and encouraged donors to respond generously to the consolidated inter-agency appeal.  The United Nations development agencies had a crucial role to play.  The Council must reassure the people of Somalia of its commitment.  It was time to reassess the security situation.  Was there anything that the United Nations could do to assist the TNG to achieve security? he asked.

ROBLE OLHAYE (Djibouti) said Somalis who had returned to the country to participate in the Transitional Government had left behind their families and conditions of security to take part in the rehabilitation of the country.  They had a keen appreciation for the state of the security situation.  Their assessments should be taken into consideration in determining the security situation in Somalia.

He said much of the burden for the situation in Somalia must be place on

the shoulders of the greedy and power hungry leaders.  Time and time again, the so-called leaders had been brought together.  The more they met and signed agreements, the more they reneged on their commitments.  All the efforts to bring the warlords together had ended in vain. He called attention to the fact that more than 90 per cent of the casualties had been civilians.  Appeasing the warlords had not worked and never would.  The people must come together as an alternative to the squabbling of the warlords.  

He said his Government had sought the participation of the actors in Somalia to come together to achieve peace and to agree on disarmament, but they had opted to stay away and to continue destructive activities.  The people of Somalia must be free to exercise their rights and choose their own government.

He said the SRRC, announced by the Somali leaders who had met in Awasa, Ethiopia, was not an entity that had existence, context or relevance.  It was an attempt at reincarnation of the vanishing “warlordism” and was aimed at the destruction of the Transitional Government.  He was concerned by the casual manner in which some accorded a parallel status to that organization and ignored the interests of the Somali people.

He said he did not object to the establishment of the Committee of Friends if the aim was to support peace and stability and reconstruction.  Normally, such a committee was a gathering together of friends of like-minded countries, but the paramount role of the Transitional Government must not be compromised.  Somalia meant different things to different people, and many wounds remained raw.  Nevertheless, Somalia would not go away.  It remained a challenge that the international community ignored at its own peril.  It could become a breeding ground for international terrorism and drug trafficking.  He hoped that the international community would look again at the Somali situation.  He said that his country had made tireless efforts to help the Somali people achieve tangible peace, reconciliation and stability.

AHMED ABOUL GHEIT (Egypt) said that in the case of Somalia, the Security Council had completely failed to implement its pledge to give equal priority to the maintenance of international peace and security in every region.  That country had not received the equal priority that the Council had given to other conflicts in Africa and outside the continent.  Neither had it paid special attention to the specific characteristics of the Somali conflict.

The Council could not ignore the arms embargo imposed on Somalia, he said.  It had, however, done nothing concrete to enforce it.  The Council was capable of enforcing sanctions regimes as it had done in Sierra Leone, Angola and Afghanistan.  There was no justification for the Council to evade its responsibility to ensure the implementation and enforcement of the embargo.

While appreciating the reasons for the Secretary-General's decision not to recommend the establishment of a peace-building mission, he reiterated that the United Nations must be ready to confront the dangers in Somalia as it did in other States or regions.  The Council could not wait for the perfect security conditions before deploying the mission.

ABUZED OMAR DORDA (Libya) said it was common knowledge that his country was the only one that had maintained an embassy in Mogadishu throughout the conflict.  Libya had also called for the convening of meetings on its own territory to enable the various factions to seek peaceful solutions that would ensure peace and stability for the Somali people, as well as unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity for the country.

He said the Council must achieve one of the aims that defined its most important functions -- the maintenance of international peace and security.  The warlords wanted to abort the Arta process in their own self-interest, and the perception that the United Nations was not serious in supporting it had led them to believe they could return to their old ways.

Should the international community neglect Somalia, he warned, outlaw forces, whether they were terrorists, drug lords or arms dealers, would see Somalia as an ideal haven.  The Council must act seriously in Somalia.  Calling on the Transitional National Government to ensure security before a peace-building mission could be deployed was like putting the cart before the horse.

The Council suspended at 1:15 p.m.

When the Council reconvened at 3:15 p.m. YOSHIYUKI MOTOMURA (Japan) said the establishment of the Transitional National Government was the first step in the daunting task of national rehabilitation.  Building an effective, permanent and functional representative government would be far more difficult.  It could only be achieved with the commitment and agreement of the Somali people themselves, as well as adequate assistance from the international community.  Japan attached importance to enhancing the role of civil society in building peace and in the subsequent reconciliation process.  To that end, his Government would contribute $500,000 for a project to be implemented by War-Torn Society International, a non-governmental organization.  The contribution would be made through the United Nations Somali Trust Fund. 

He commended the efforts of the humanitarian personnel working in that unstable and challenging situation and insisted that they be adequately protected.  The international community, and particularly the Security Council, should call on all parties to acknowledge the impartiality of relief agencies and the non-governmental organizations and to cooperate with and ensure the safety of their personnel.  Japan attached great importance to the educational and training needs of the children of displaced families.  In addition to helping sustain their families, the children will also have to assume the future tasks of national reconciliation and rehabilitation.  His Government would provide financial support in the amount of $3.9 million for the United Nations Children's Fund project in Somalia that provided children with learning opportunities and prepared them for the restoration of peace, law and order.   In addition, Japan had also decided to provide emergency assistance amounting to $420,000 in response to the appeal of the World Food Program (WFP) for drought-relief assistance.

He supported the view that with the security situation being so uncertain, the establishment of such a mission at the present time would be premature.

JEAN DE RUYT (Belgium), also speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, renewed the Union’s appeal to the Transitional Government to pursue comprehensive national reconciliation through compromise and through respect for all entities possessing some degree of stability.  The Union also encouraged all parties that had not participated in the Arta process to enter into dialogue in that spirit.  He welcomed the creation of the National Commission for Reconciliation and Property Settlement, which must function, he said, independently and with the ownership of all Somalis and the support of the international community.

Regarding human rights, he said that judicial processes must be strengthened to make fair trials possible for perpetrators of crimes during the civil war.  Attacks against civilians and humanitarian staff members must cease; he paid tribute to the non-governmental organizations which were operating under difficult conditions, including lack of transit facilities and danger from mines.  Regarding the issue of terrorism, he urged the Transitional Government to cooperate with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, established by resolution 1373, and with the United States.  The European Union was studying how best to help it do so.

The Union also called for the resumption of political contacts between the Transitional Government and neighbouring countries, particularly Ethiopia, and for those countries to abstain from military involvement in Somalia and to respect the arms embargo.  He supported regional efforts to find a solution in Somalia and agreed that coordination of the efforts of external actors was needed.  A consultative mechanism to that effect and a Committee of Friends of Somalia were worth examining.  Before the deployment of a peace-building mission, a new security assessment should be carried out and all parties should work to bring about the right conditions.  The Union was participating in the reconstruction of the country, and was ready to examine possibilities for institution-building and good governance.  He hoped that all possible actors would cooperate towards ending the conflict.

ARTHUR C.I. MBANEFO (Nigeria) said that since December 2000 the internal political situation had evolved and the Transitional National Government had begun to take hold and put in place the infrastructures of administration and a functioning State.  It was, without doubt, one good omen that, after many years of effective representation in abeyance, Somalia was finally able to send an ambassador to the United Nations.  In the clearly daunting task of moving the peace process forward and creating a more stable environment in the country, the inclination of the Government to reach out and bring on board all the parties yet to accept its authority was most commendable. 

He said that all Somalis, as stakeholders in the peace of their country, must put aside all parochial considerations and fully embrace dialogue.  That would pave the way for lasting peace, stability, national rehabilitation and reconstruction.  On the issue of the humanitarian and development situation and the response of the international community, the Secretary-General's report offered a grim and disturbing assessment.  The food security in the country, especially in the southern part, had deteriorated.  As a result, some 750,000 people were in danger of starvation and, therefore, in need of international food assistance.  That situation had been compounded by the prevalence of diseases such as cholera, as well as lack of water and basic infrastructures. 

Although the United Nations and its partners had contributed to alleviating the emergency situation, he warned that much remained to be done if the challenge was to be fully confronted and the Government given a fighting chance of consolidating peace.  It was particularly disturbing that only $20.7 million, or 16 per cent of the $126 million requested for the consolidated inter-agency appeal for 2001, had been provided by Member States.  With respect to security, the Secretary-General had concluded in his report that the time was not ripe for a United Nations post-conflict peace-building office for Somalia, as there was no single authority in the country that could assure security and unimpeded access to the United Nations, even in Mogadishu. 

What could the United Nations and the international community at large do to see Somalia through that delicate period? he asked.  One step was to mobilize resources and enhance support.  The United Nations must lead the way and be in the vanguard of all such efforts.  The Council should urgently undertake a fact-finding mission to Somalia to assess the situation on the ground.  Many have waited a long time for the current moment.  That must not be allowed to slip away.

ABDALLA SALEH AL-ASHTAL (Yemen) said his Government was linked to Somalia by maritime boundaries and through historical, cultural and economic links.  The collapse of the Somali Government had led to instability in the region and an increase in the arms trade, smuggling and piracy along the seas and drug trafficking activities, which had consequences for neighbouring countries.  Along with the criminals who used the seas for their illicit business were the desperate, who were braving the waves to try and find a better life.

He said the Arta process, which had been hosted by Djibouti, was the shining star in the series of events connected with Somalia in recent years.  He encouraged dialogue between the Transitional Government and various factions.  He looked positively on the proposal for a Committee of Friends of Somalia and supported the proposal to establish an office of peace-building in Somalia.  He emphasized that the role of the Council was to work to establish peace in the country.

ABDUL MEJID HUSSEIN (Ethiopia) said that contrary to some comments that had been made today, there had been genuine efforts to establish a peace process that had preceded the Arta process.  Meetings had been held in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Libya and Yemen in the attempt to solve the question of Somalia.  Such attempts had led to the Arta process.  He stressed that Ethiopia had supported the Arta process from the beginning and continued to support it.  It was a step forward for peace and reconciliation in Somalia.  His Government had played an important role in trying to ensure that all parties were on board.

He called attention to the last African Summit and noted that it was the first time an Ethiopian head of State had taken his place at the African Summit.  The Summit had urged the Transitional Government to create an environment that would encourage those not participating in the Arta process.  It supported the use of dialogue in the place of force and affirmed the need for all measures to be taken to ensure that the territory of Somalia was not vulnerable to groups bent on destroying any stability in the region.  They had urgently called on the international community to support the Transitional Government, as long as it was committed to peace.  Those who had not taken part in the Arta process had to be on board.  The Transitional National Government had rejected the presence of some actors for unknown reasons, and the opposing factors had questioned the validity of the Transitional National Government.

Noting that Ethiopia had always been transparent and frank, he said the Transitional Government was not of one mind.  It had been suggested that Ethiopia should try to help to facilitate negotiations.  His Government was ready to do that, but there were some members of the Transitional National Government who were not comfortable with Ethiopia’s participation.  He stressed, however, that Ethiopia would not take sides, but would support the interests of the Somali people. In that context, he emphasized that the Arta process did not have the political support of everyone throughout Somalia.  Moreover, the Arta Charter had not said certain groups could not participate. 

He said there was hostility towards the Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council because Somalis meeting in Ethiopia had established it.  He welcomed the comments of the Prime Minister of Somalia, who had said that his Government would welcome the efforts of all countries that would facilitate the Arta process.  He did not agree, however, with the comment that to support the Somalia Restoration and Reconciliation Council was equivalent to reviving “warlordism”.  He called attention to the fact that, next to Somalia, the largest concentration of Somalis was in Ethiopia. 

In answer to the question about whether the international community should wait until all factions were aboard before beginning the Arta process, he said it should disregard all those who were not for peace.  He called on the Council to enforce the arms embargo and stressed that illegal arms were shipped to Somalia by air and sea.  Ethiopia had suffered terrorist attacks from groups who had received arms through Somalia.  The attacks had stopped only after Djibouti had taken action against terrorist groups that resided in Somalia.  He had proof that terrorist groups connected to Al Qaeda were established in Somalia.  He declared that there were some in the Government who were part of the problem. 

Calling attention to the humanitarian needs resulting from the failure of the rains, which had left hundreds of thousands in distress, he said thousands had crossed into the Ethiopian part of the Somali region.  He called for international assistance to help the Somali people.  While the interests of the Somali people must be foremost, the Council must be positive when considering the legitimate concerns of bordering countries.  Kenya and Djibouti also had borders with Somalia. 

FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said that today’s speakers had been unanimous in stressing the need for the international community to pay more attention to the difficult situation in Somalia.  While the international community and the United Nations had been exerting singular efforts to find solutions to crises in other parts of Africa and the world, no attention had been paid to Somalia, where all the resolutions adopted over the years had remained a dead letter.

He said the Arta conference, which had encompassed a significant part of Somali society, had represented a glimmer of hope.  In solidarity with the Somali people, the Arab Summit in Amman earlier this year had called for the utmost cooperation with the elected President to ensure security and territorial integrity.  The OAU summit in Lusaka had reaffirmed the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Somalia.

The Secretary-General’s report accurately reflected the economic and humanitarian situation as well as the need for humanitarian assistance to save tens of thousands of Somalis from imminent death, he said.  Their problems could not be tackled in the absence of material and other support.  Syria appealed to all donor States to contribute all forms of assistance to help the Transitional National Government to rebuild the country.

NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER (Qatar) said some political forces inside Somalia had resisted efforts to build coalitions.  Following the Arta conference, in which Qatar had participated, it was hoped that the Government emerging from that process would be able to exert its authority and restore peace and security.

Since the civil war, there had been a break-up of Somali civil society, he said.  The Somali people still needed the international community and the United Nations to come to the aid of the fledgling government.  If the international community did not give that support, Somalia may become the refuge of fugitives currently seeking sanctuary from justice.

MOKHTAR LAMANI, Permanent Observer, Organization of the Islamic Conference, said the United Nations should continue to cooperate with the Islamic Conference, the League of Arab States, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and other organizations in search of peace in Somalia.  There was need for a mechanism to exchange information, and he supported the proposal for a Committee of Friends.  The peace process and the establishment of the rule of law needed to be supported and the presence of the United Nations in Somalia could help the peace process.

He emphasized his support of the Transitional National Government and said the United Nations should provide the necessary assistance to rebuild the infrastructure of the country.  All were obliged to help the country to put an end to the war that had afflicted the Somali people for a long time.  The solution of the Somali problem was the responsibility of the Somali people.  It was high time that the international community assumed its responsibility to assist humanitarian activities.

He went on to say that the world was facing turbulent times.  Everyone felt the upheavals in international life.  The international community was seeking to reorder its priorities and the situation in Somalia demanded immediate attention to allow peace and stability to prevail.  The international community, however, must respect the internal sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia.

MOHAMMED ALDOURI (Iraq) said he was taking part in the meeting to express support for Somalia and its people, and to express concern with other Arab States for Somalia to return to being a stable independent country.  His Government supported the Transitional National Government in its efforts to establish stability.  The international community should support such efforts seriously, in accordance with the principles of the Charter.  Transforming such concerns to programmes, however, would assume large financial resources.  He hoped that the Arab States would be able to provide some of those resources.  There should be a redoubling of efforts to provide for immediate assistance to enable Somalia to reconstruct, to rehabilitate its society and to establish peace and security.

He said the appointment of a peace-building office would help to solve some of the main problems in Somalia, particularly with regard to those who had remained outside of the Arta process.  The governing of Somalia required a high level of honesty and such treatment would provide unity for the Somali society.  The Transitional National Government was moving towards that objective.  Today’s meeting was a positive development and he hoped the Council would continue to publicly air such discussions.  Hesitancy and reluctance would not help the situation in Somalia, or assist the Somali people to overcome their problems.

BOB F. JALANG’O (Kenya) welcomed the Transitional National Government of Somalia back to the international community, where it could play its role on behalf of Somali people.  Kenya knew only too well the problems Somalia had faced since 1991 and, having shared pain and tears of its neighbours in a sprit of friendship, Kenya would continue to support the ongoing peace processes, including the IGAD’s task to implement mechanisms agreed upon at the Khartoum summit last November.

He reiterated earlier calls for immediate humanitarian assistance for the region.  He added that, while the Secretary-General's report expressed concern about the security situation in Somalia, his delegation supported the suggestion calling for the creation of a Committee of Friends of Somalia.  Kenya would gladly participate in such a venture.

Through IGAD, the OAU and the United Nations, much had been done to find a lasting solution to the problems caused by the decade-long absence of a central administration in Somalia, he continued.  The Transitional National Government could provide hope, at long last hope.  He called on the United Nations to redouble its efforts to assist the people and Government of Somalia to return to normalcy as soon as possible, particularly through the establishment of workable national institutions, security and legal organs that could facilitate economic recovery and development.

Response of Representative of Secretary-General

Mr. STEPHEN, told the representative of Mauritius that the mandate and resources of his Office did not allow it to monitor the flow of arms into and out of Somalia.  However, one of the reasons for Kenya's banning of trade with Somalia was the flow of arms from Somalia into Kenya.

He told the representatives of Mauritius and Ireland that security matters were different from the political activities of the Secretariat, and he could not offer a professional estimation of the security situation in Somalia.  He had visited Mogadishu a week before the taking of the hostages, when security had been poor.  Returning in the first week of September, he had found the situation much better as a result of improved policing.

Responding to a question from the representative of Bangladesh, on the meagre donor response to the consolidated inter-agency appeal, he said he could not speak on behalf of donors.  It was possible that their past experiences had not encouraged their expectations for success.  However, it was expected that more contributions were in the pipeline.

Regarding the structure of the Committee of Friends proposed by the Secretary-General, he told the representative of Mali that it was designed to provide information to countries interested in the situation in Somalia.

Prime Minister's Response

Mr. GALAYDH said that with the regard to post-conflict peace-building that his country had suffered from "Somali syndrome" since the events of 1993.  The authors of those events were the same warlords who were still hampering peace in Somalia and who remained outside the Arta process.  If they had any ideas for peace, those ideas would have been forthcoming over the past decade.

He said that if total security was the condition for deployment of a peace-building mission, there could be no hope for the country because donors would stay

away, as would others who could facilitate development.  Somalia, a United Nations Member State, should not be judged any differently from the way other countries were judged.  All it asked was to be treated like other Member States.  The Council had sent missions to Liberia and elsewhere.  Why was Somalia being singled out?

Regarding the Arta process, he said there had been 12 other peace processes.  They had been tailor-made for the warlords and others.  Arta had succeeded because it was a Somali process centred on the interests of Somali civil society.  There was no other game in town.

No warlord, group of warlords, clan elders or people with fancy resumes could impose a solution on Somalia, he said.  Those who thought their long borders and troubled history with Somalia gave them a right to interfere should take their show elsewhere.

Somalis had inflicted deep wounds upon themselves, losing about two generations in the process, he said.  The country welcomed anybody who wanted to help.  The Council deserved greater respect from so-called experts like the representative of Ethiopia, who had claimed that members of Al-Qaeda operated in Somalia and that members of the Transitional National Government were in bed with the terrorist group.  Such people should produce facts.

Regarding foreign assistance, he said the best foreign aid for Somalia was rainfall, which had not been forthcoming for the last three seasons.  The majority of Somalis were pastoralists who depended on the export of cattle.  They had been unable to do so owing to fear of Rift Valley fever.

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For information media. Not an official record.