Source: UN News Service/allAfrica
The Security Council today called for predictable, reliable and timely resources to support the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Somalia to strengthen its capability to help the country’s transitional government implement its commitments to restore peace and stability.
« The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support to AMISOM [the AU mission) and expressed their continued appreciation for the commitment of troops by the troop contributing countries, » the Council said in a press statement after hearing briefings from B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Ramtane Lamamra, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security.
The Irrespective of the structure of the State to be defined by the constitution, it is vital that Somalis have a national security sectorCouncil reaffirmed its full support for the Djibouti Agreement as the basis for the resolution of the conflict in Somalia, the Kampala Accord and the Roadmap to end the transition in Somalia by August this year.
Member of the Council commended the unity of purpose demonstrated at the recent Constitutional Conference held in the Somali town of Garowe, and encouraged inclusive and representative dialogue with the Somali people on the draft constitution.
They urged the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) to remain united, demonstrate strong political will, and focus on the timely implementation of the roadmap. Future international support to the TFI would be contingent on the completion of their tasks, they stressed.
The Council also expressed its readiness to support action against spoilers who seek to undermine the peace process in Somalia.
It stressed its grave concern over the continuing dire humanitarian situation, and the thanked humanitarian community for their tireless efforts to alleviate the suffering, as well as aid donors for their generous contributions.
In his briefing, Mr. Pascoe urged the international community to provide the TFG with the means it needs to become more cohesive and inclusive, while strengthening its ability to deal with the security challenges, carry out reconstruction and collect revenue.
« Irrespective of the structure of the State to be defined by the constitution, it is vital that Somalis have a national security sector, » he said.
He voiced concern over the impact of the current parliamentary crisis over the post of the Speaker, and appealed to the international community to support the interim Government to resolve dispute through dialogue.
« On the security front, Al-Shabaab continues to be a threat despite its withdrawal from Mogadishu in August. It has stepped up its suicide attacks in the capital. A concerted military offensive of the African Union Mission in Somalia and regional powers may present a chance of defeating them, » he said.
He outlined a strategy focusing on five areas to ensure Somalia’s political, economic, and social development, and identified the main challenges facing the country.
The first is to ensure that the final draft of the constitution is completed by 20 April and adopted by a National Constituent Assembly the following month.
That will be followed by the election of a new parliament to be sworn in by mid-June, Mr. Pascoe said. The timetable is ambitious timetable, but he reiterated that there was consensus, both inside and outside of Somalia, that there will be no extension of the current transition period, which is due to expire in August.
Mr. Pascoe also stressed the importance of expanding the control of the Government throughout the country, especially in areas that have been recently recovered from Al-Shabaab.
Improving governance and promoting transparency in the use of financial resources in the country, as well as increasing the capacity of the TGF security forces are also key priorities.
Revitalizing Somalia’s economic activity and making sure that basic services are delivered to the population is also crucial, Mr. Pascoe pointed out, adding that reconstruction has already started in various areas of the country and new businesses are beginning to emerge.
Mr. Lamamra told the Council that despite the obstacles, there has been significant progress in Somalia, which should encourage the international community to continue providing support.
« In spite of severe challenges of a devastating humanitarian crisis, the gains made on the ground have created an unprecedented window of opportunity to further peace and reconciliation, and help the Somali people open a new chapter in their troubled history, » he said.