8259th Security Council Meeting: Situation in Somalia

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15-May-2018 01:07:30
Approval of transition plan will set Somalia on path to ensuring its own stability, Special Representative tells Security Council at 8259th meeting.

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The recent approval of Somalia’s security transition plan by the Council of Ministers, and its endorsement by the African Union Peace and Security Council, marked a milestone in the country’s path towards assuming full responsibility for its own stability, the Secretary‑General’s Special Representative told the Security Council today.

Speaking via videoconference from Mogadishu, Michael Keating, who also heads the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), underlined the imperative of implementing the plan. A successful transition would also require deep reform of Somalia’s security forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) alike, he said, whether relating to more flexible joint operations, greater emphasis on policing, adequate enablers or stronger accountability as well as operational support by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

On the political front, he said, there were crises resulting from competition for power and resources, complicated by the weakness of national institutions, ambiguities in the Constitution and growing pains relating to the emergence of federal arrangements. The humanitarian situation, while improved, remained serious, with flooding affecting more than 718,000 people in the central and southern regions, he said. Unity among Somalia’s leaders, complemented by coherent support from the Security Council and the broader international community, would be the key to its success.

On that point, Francisco Caetano José Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, said several challenges had been exacerbated by the spillover effects of international rivalries within the region, which were sowing the seeds of division among Somalis, forcing them to choose sides.

Also speaking from Mogadishu, he pressed the Council to deliver an unequivocal statement requesting that all actors refrain from actions that could further heighten tensions. Underscoring the need to ensure that all parties embraced common goals, he declared: “These people speak the same language, they belong to the same nation and they have the same aspirations.” Warning that Al‑Shabaab had expanded its reach, he underlined that destroying the group would require the Council’s continued attention and predictable funding for AMISOM.

Following the briefings, Somalia’s representative said progress had indeed been made on the President’s priority commitment to security sector reform. The Government had developed a security transition plan through an inclusive process, laying out strategic guidelines that would facilitate detailed planning in the coming years.

Describing the gains made against Al‑Shabaab as “astonishing”, he said stabilization efforts would be just as critical in addressing the causes of conflict. “Our credibility and legitimacy as a Government hinges on our ability to promote social reconciliation, good governance, and provide public services,” he said. While Somalia’s challenges were significant, the Council’s continued support would help to shift the perception of Somalia from weakness to resilience.

Also speaking today were representatives of Equatorial Guinea, Bolivia, Peru, Côte d’Ivoire and Kazakhstan.

The meeting began at 3:26 p.m. and ended at 4:35 p.m.
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