UN / SOMALIA

13-Sep-2017 00:02:28
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating, told the Security Council that “the worst of the famine threat has been averted,” but he added that “the damage to lives and livelihoods, particularly women, children and marginalized groups, has been extensive.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SOMALIA
TRT: 2:28
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 13 SEPTEMBER 2017, NEW YORK CITY
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1. Med shot, exterior, UN Headquarters

13 SEPTEMBER 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council meeting
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Keating, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia:
“The worst of the famine threat has been averted. However, the damage to lives and livelihoods, particularly women, children and marginalized groups, has been extensive. 900,000 people have been newly displaced in the last nine months. And the risk of famine still remains.”
4. Cutaway, Council in meeting
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Keating, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia:
“Somalia faces immediate crises as well as basic structural problems, some of which are worrisome in terms of their ability to derail political progress. Providing practical support and political encouragement to the Somali leadership, both at the federal and state level, will continue to be essential.”
6. Cutaway, meeting
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Keating, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia:
“The crisis in relations between Gulf countries has had an impact on Somalia. Anticipated investments and revenue streams have not been forthcoming, and the Federal Government's declaration of neutrality, while receiving widespread support, has not gone down well with certain constituencies. Your continued support is needed to protect Somalia from the potentially destabilising effects of geopolitical rivalries.”
8. Cutaway, meeting
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Abukar Dahir Osman, Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations:
“The Somalian National Army is not ready to take over the security of the country and responsibility for Somalia. And the premature withdrawal of AMISOM in May 2018 is a recipe to disaster. It is crucial that AMISOM is provided with predictable and sustainable funding beyond May 31st 2018.”
10. Cutaway, meeting
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Abukar Dahir Osman, Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations:
“Without AMISOM forces, who are supplied with heavy weaponry, we would not have been able to defeat Al-Shabaab. The longstanding arms embargo on Somalia severely restricts our ability to procure heavy weapons, despite the partial lifting of the embargo in 2013. The time has come for Somalia to be able to get access to qualitatively better weapons than the terrorists. In this regard, we are asking this body – the United Nations Security Council, to consider and develop a clearly defined roadmap to the full lifting of the arms embargo.”
12. Wide shot, end of meeting
STORYLINE
A top United Nations official in Somalia said that “the worst of the famine threat has been averted,” but he added that “the damage to lives and livelihoods, particularly women, children and marginalized groups, has been extensive.”

Michael Keating, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia briefed today (13 Sep) the Security Council via videolink from Somali capital Mogadishu.

He told the members of the Council that thanks to more than USD one billion contributions, the UN agencies have been able to mount a famine prevention response reaching over 3 million people per month and thus avert a major disaster due to “the vicious cycle of recurring weather-related shocks.”

Keating also said “Somalia faces immediate crises as well as basic structural problems, some of which are worrisome in terms of their ability to derail political progress” and called upon the Security Council to provide “practical support and political encouragement to the Somali leadership, both at the federal and state level.”

Also speaking at the meeting, Abukar Dahir Osman, Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations made a plea to the Council to extend the mandate of AMISOM – the African Union Force in Somalia after its planned withdrawal in May 2018.

Osman said “the Somalian National Army is not ready to take over the security of the country and responsibility for Somalia. And the premature withdrawal of AMISOM in May 2018 is a recipe to disaster. It is crucial that AMISOM is provided with predictable and sustainable funding beyond May 31st 2018.”

Somalian ambassador also asked the Security Council to “to consider and develop a clearly defined roadmap to the full lifting of the arms embargo.”

He said “the longstanding arms embargo on Somalia severely restricts our ability to procure heavy weapons, despite the partial lifting of the embargo in 2013. The time has come for Somalia to be able to get access to qualitatively better weapons than the terrorists.”

The United Nations imposed an arms embargo on Somalia in January 1992, in response to escalating conflict and worsening humanitarian situation. The embargo was partially lifted in March 2013 to allow limited arms supplies to Somalian government while maintaining the embargo over non-state actors in the country.
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