5th December 2023 admin Category :
Statement by the Somali Prime Minister to the UN Security Council :Posted on [21 Oct 2001]
Statement by the Somali Prime Minister to the UN Security Council
I would like to seize this opportunity to congratulate Your Excellency for assuming the presidency of the Security Council, I am confident that under your wise leadership this Council will continue to be engaged in promoting the principles of the United Nations Charter.
I am delighted, Your Excellency, to register the profound appreciation of the people and the Government of Somalia for the honour that has been bestowed upon the Secretary-General and the United Nations. Indeed, the award of the Nobel Prize for Peace to H.E. the Secretary-General and the United Nations is recognition of his tireless efforts exerted in the search for durable peace in the World.
The tragic events of September 11 have alerted the people and Governments all over the World of the danger posed by international terrorism. The Somali Government has expressed unequivocally its outrage and disgust at the heinous acts of terrorism perpetrated against the Government and people of the United States. It has expressed its condolences and prayers to the President of the United States and the families of the bereaved. The Somali Government firmly believes that the International Community must be united and strong in the face of this menace. We reiterate our commitment and determination to cooperate with the United Nations, and on bilateral basis, in the fight against international terrorism.
This commitment and determination to combat terrorism is reflected in the recent decisions taken by my Government:
• We fully support Resolution 1373 of the Security Council. This Resolution provides the legal framework and obligations of the Member States in the fight against terrorism.
• The Somali Government has recently established an Anti-Terrorism Task Force, which will put together a national security and anti-terrorist action plan. This task force will gather intelligence and information, monitor activities of potential suspects and share information with the United Nations.
• The Somali government has engaged the “ulma” religious leaders with a view to enlisting their support in the fight against terrorism.
• The Somali Government has also engaged the owners of the money transfer agencies “Hawala” which have assured us their commitment of transparency. “Hawala” owners have pledged to open their records to the United Nations and other interested parties and share any insightful information with the Somali government and others.
• A Joint Committee of the Cabinet Members and members of the Somali Parliament have recently been formed to review the penal code including other laws as part of the country’s national obligation under Security Council resolution 1373.
For the government programs against terrorism to be very effective, it will be incumbent upon the international community to provide with all the assistance needed. This assistance can be in the form of the training and the provisions of the logistics for the State intelligence services. Failure to do just that may lead to the creation of a vacuum that can breed terrorism.
On our part and for the purpose of enhancing security, we have been able to put in camps over 25,000 militias to be trained and re-integrated to the society. Moreover, 8,000 policemen have been deployed in and around Mogadishu; there are neither green lines nor checkpoints run by the warlords.
The Somali National Army is being re-established to reinforce security and strengthen peace and stability within the country. Members of the National Army will also be instrumental in bringing about the needed security within the framework of the Government’s plans related to decentralization and devolution of power to the regions. In this context, my Government has for the first time in 11 years started collecting taxes in the capital Mogadishu – which has been supported enthusiastically by the public.
The progress made by our Government in the continued pursuit of peace and stability in the country was commended by the 74th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the OAU, convened in Lusaka in July 2001:
Paragraph 7 of the Decisions adopted by this Council “Expresses satisfaction at the progress made by the TNG in the establishment of peace and security in the country and requests the OAU and the international community to continue to assist the government in this regard.”
On the question of the national reconciliation, the principles upon which this process is built upon include:
• The outcome of the Arta Peace Process will remain to be the basis for the pursuit of the Somali National Reconciliation.
• This process will continue to be a Somali process and the Somali government will welcome and embrace every positive effort exerted by the neighbouring countries and the world community that can facilitate this process.
• The engaging of those who are outside the Arta Peace Process through sustained dialogue and negotiations.
In light of these principles, the Somali Government has succeeded in bringing on aboard two out of 5 factions based in Mogadishu, which were not supporting the Arta conference. Intensive negotiations are going with the remaining factions and with the northern administrative entities (Somaliland and Puntland).
My Government has recently established the National Reconciliation Commission stipulated by the Interim Charter. This Commission will be operating independently of the government and it will be composed of 25 Somali eminent political and historical figures. Its mandate will focus on reconciling all the parties in Somalia with the view to attaining a lasting peace and stability for all Somalis. It is envisaged that this commission will facilitate the process of the establishment of the Federal Government System, which will reflect the desire of the Somali society as a whole.
My Government’s policies with regard to the National Reconciliation Commission are consistent with the resolutions adopted by the UN, the OIC, the OAU, The League of Arab States, and IGAD. The decisions on Somalia that have emanated from the 73rd and 74th Sessions of the Council of Ministers of the OAU call upon the Member States and the international community to assist the government in its endeavours pertaining to national reconciliation.
Paragraph 3 of the decisions adopted by the 74th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers “Reiterates its earlier call to the Transitional National Government to intensify its efforts so as to bring about a lasting national reconciliation, building upon the outcome of the Arta Peace Process and supports in the efforts aimed at the establishment of the National Reconciliation Commission.”
Lack of funds and resources are precluding the beginning of the work of the Commission and continues to constitute a major stumbling bloc. Given the importance of this independent Commission and the role it can play in brining about a lasting peace and stability in Somalia, the international community is called upon to shoulder its responsibility and provide the resources needed to empower this Commission.
Paragraph 9 of the decisions adopted by the 74th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the OAU “Requests the Secretary General, to work closely with IGAD, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Conference and the wider International Community, to continue to support the Transitional National Government in its efforts to sustain reconciliation and reconstruction in Somalia.”
It is with deep regret that the warlords continue to be a major impediment to the national reconciliation process. They have orchestrated and have been held responsible for the kidnapping of the humanitarian aid workers. This kidnapping perpetrated by the warlords has been condemned by the UN and the EU and had unfortunately caused a set back in the quest of the peace process.
Moreover, Paragraph 8 of the decisions of Somalia adopted at the 74th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the OAU strongly condemned the warlords who persist in their stubbornness in blocking the peace efforts in Somalia.
The Somali Government welcomes the report of the Secretary General on the situation of Somalia. We thank the Secretary General and the Secretariat for the support they extended to the National Transitional Government of Somalia.
We have a historical link with the United Nations dating back to the times when part of Somalia was placed under the Trusteeship of the UN. We also want to acknowledge the role of the Secretary General for his continuous interest in my country. We believe that the Secretary General of the UN and his Secretariat are genuinely interested in promoting peace and national reconciliation in Somalia. We wish to thank the Secretary General for his comprehensive report on the situation in Somalia; however, I would like to highlight some points with respect to this report:
• We note with regret that the report does not recommend the establishment of the Peace Building Mission in Somalia. This decision is based on the result of the security assessment carried out by some middle-level field officers stationed in Nairobi.
• We believe the failure to establish a Peace Building Mission in Somalia will send the wrong signal to international community and particularly the regional and sub-regional organizations, donors and the Warlords. This will further contribute to the vicious circle of inadequate security and the perpetration of the benign neglect that Somalia has been subjected to over a decade.
In our view, the establishment of the Peace Building Mission in Somalia is imperative and critical at this moment. We propose the dispatch of a high level inter-agency UN Mission to Somalia with a mandate to:
• Critically examine the work of the security office in Nairobi.
• Re-evaluate in an objective manner the security situation in Mogadishu and the whole of Somalia.
The Secretary General in his report expressed his intention to consult all concerned on the feasibility and usefulness of setting up a Committee of Friends of Somalia to focus on ways and means of drawing attention to Somalia’s needs in the area of national reconciliation as well as to help mobilize funds for rehabilitation and development. The Government welcomes the idea of the establishment of this Committee; it must however be fully engaged in the consultations necessary for designing the framework under which this Committee would function. Members of this Committee must be supportive for peace and stability in Somalia and be willing to play a constructive role and have a genuine interest in building upon Arta and its outcome. Furthermore, during the process of the formation of this Committee, we must take into account the lessons of experience learned with respect to the committee of friends’ mechanism especially in countries like Angola.
We must also address the issue of reconstruction, rehabilitation and development concurrently. My government inherited a country in shambles without resources; financial and infrastructure. For the past year, my Government has been operating on a budget of only $14 million dollars – despite, the daunting challenges. We believe that this unconscionable for the international community to wait and watch while we struggle with such meagre resources.
Briefly put, Somalia has now moved from the struggle for survival to the struggle for peace. The United Nations and its partner aid agencies are needed to reflect this change in planning new initiatives. An operational plan to support good governance and peace building in Somalia is urgently needed. Peace and security is the key to Transitional National Government’s agenda and there can be no development without peace and security.
This underpins a process by which the people of Somalia would begin the work of putting the country back together. The United Nations and the international community’s role are therefore vital for this endeavour.
Thank you very much for affording me this opportunity to brief you on the recent developments in Somalia and to share with you the ideas of my Government for bringing about peace, stability and development to our troubled country.