UN Security Council voices concern over high-level discord in Somalia + PHOTO
Laaska News May 11,2011
11 May 2011 –The Security Council today reiterated its grave concern over continuing instability in Somalia and stressed the need for a comprehensive strategy to establish peace and stability in the Horn of Africa country through a consultative process to create broad-based institutions.
In a presidential statement, the Council “expressed concern at the discord between the TFIs [Transitional Federal Institutions] and its impact on the political process and the security situation.”
“It reiterates the importance of political outreach and reconciliation in Somalia, and stresses the importance of broad-based, representative institutions reached through a political process ultimately inclusive of all,” the statement noted.
Briefing the Council earlier, Augustine Mahiga, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, urged the UN body to help resolve the political dispute that has arisen between the country’s legislature and the executive over the political structure after the expiry of the mandate of the current TFIs in August.
Somalia’s transitional parliament voted in February to extend its term for three years after the end of the transitional period, a move rejected by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which has instead proposed extending the interim period for one year, saying it wanted to try to enhance political stability and security.
“I appeal to the Security Council to way in on this issue,” said Mr. Mahiga. “The single most divisive issue among the political groups in Mogadishu today is the timing of the elections as provided for [in] the Charter – whether to hold it in July or to defer them to a future date,” he added.
The Council called upon the transitional institutions to “ensure cohesion and focus on the completion of the transitional tasks.” It regretted decisions by the TFIs to extend their mandates unilaterally and urged them to refrain from further unilateral action.
The Council noted with concern that key transitional tasks remain outstanding and urged the TFIs to show results on the completion of those responsibilities before the end of the interim period. Priority should be on reconciliation, drafting of a new constitution and the delivery of essential services to the public.
Mr. Mahiga told the Council that the humanitarian situation in Somalia is approaching “catastrophic proportions” as a result of severe drought and the intensifying military campaign against insurgents, who have been preventing relief delivery to people in need in areas under their control.
He reported that the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Transitional Federal Government forces had made significant and military and territorial gains against insurgents of the Al Shabaab group and urged the UN and the international community to help the TFG establish administrative structures and services in the liberated areas.
The Council strongly commended AMISOM and the Somali security forces for their progress in consolidating security in Mogadishu and recognised their sacrifices. It reiterated its full support for AMISOM and expressed its continued appreciation of the contribution of troops by the governments of Burundi and Uganda.
The Council “stresses the importance of predictable, reliable and timely resources for AMISOM in order for it to better fulfil its mandate.”
In his address to the Council, Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed, pledged that his Government would do its best to restore stability in the country.
“We will do everything it takes to regain our status as a functioning State that protects its citizens, ends all forms of international piracy and extremism, promotes good governance, and produces a nation at peace with itself, and its neighbours,” said Mr. Mohamed.