First Security Council visit to Somalia since 1994

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Mark Lyall Grant. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The Somali people have a chance to live in peace and prosper if their leaders continue to rule in their interests and set aside their differences.

Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant of the United Kingdom made the remarks as President of the Security Council on Tuesday, following a 5 day trip to Europe and Africa last week.

The last trip to the Horn of Africa nation by the Council was in 1994.

Ambassador Grant called the visit "historic" and hailed the progress made by Somalia over the last two years.

Challenges remain however, he stressed.

"We underlined the importance of unity amongst the Federal Government of Somalia. We reiterated the importance of the Government of Somalia holding a referendum on the Constitution in 2015 and democratic elections in 2016. We look forward to the Government of Somalia passing key legislations including establishing key legislation. We also underlined the importance of womens' participation in the peace and reconciliation process."

The British diplomat added that the Council was determined "to end the threat posed by Al Shabaab in Somalia and the region".

The other countries visited by the Security Council are Belgium, Netherlands and South Sudan.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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