1st March 2024 admin Category :
Security Council Meeting on Somalia
by H.E. Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed
Prime Minister of Somalia
Friday, January 14 2011
Let me congratulate you for resuming the President of the Security Council for this month. Let me equally, also congratulate the able leadership for the President of the Security Council last month.
Distinguished members of the Security Council,
I am grateful for the privilege of addressing the Security Council and I take this opportunity to update you on the progress made by our new government in our first 50 days along with some urgent news of the humanitarian situation in Mogadishu and Somalia more generally.
Our message remains fixed and clear. We are focused on security, reconciliation, the transitional tasks (such as the progression of our constitutional process), humanitarian assistance and effective, transparent and accountable governance.
Our vision is that we will quickly fledge into a stable and secure government catering to the needs of our people and capable of providing services to them. We want space for our enterprising population to return home and establish flourishing businesses as they have done around the world.
Our forces, with the support of AMISOM, are winning the security battle. Gradual and incremental though it may be, the secure space in Mogadishu grows daily. That is the nature of urban conflict when protection of civilians is as important as expelling insurgents. While about 60% of the city of Mogadishu is now recognisably under the Government’s control, 80% of the population now live in our areas and this is the real measure of our success. The people of Mogadishu have overwhelmingly voted with their feet and moved to the more secure Government controlled areas of the City.
Furthermore, we are starting to see a rise in the number of young Al Shabab fighters surrendering to Government and AMISOM forces. Seven young men handed themselves in to the Government just last week. Many are evidently weak, starving and distressed. We hear the most disturbing tales of oppression and we know well that a generation of young Somalis will endure long term emotional and psychological damage if we cannot bring an end to the violence soon.
The additional 4,000 troops mandated to AMISOM, for which we are most grateful to this Council, will have a dramatic impact on this process and we welcome their earliest arrival.
Within our first 50 days, our government has openly and transparently completed our first monthly payment of stipends to our soldiers. We are ready to repeat this month in month out and systems are being put in place to have a full biometric register of our forces by month four. This simple act of transparent government is evidence of our intent.
We await the return to Mogadishu in February of 940 soldiers who have completed their EU training in Uganda. The next cadre of recruits is ready to go.
On a final aspect of the wider security issue, our cabinet has debated the issue of indirect fire and civilian casualties at great length. The incessant allegations and the affect they have on public perception must be addressed. We stand side by side with AMISOM who we know to conduct their military operations with integrity and discipline. However, we must do more together to reduce accidental damage and loss of life, better control the use of indirect fire, and reassure our population against enemy propaganda that claims that they are targeted indiscriminately. We have concluded the need to establish a joint committee with AMISOM at Cabinet level that will work with the AMISOM Force Commander to establish, communicate and maintain the protocols in place within which we must all work.
The most effective policy, of course, is to create the strength to eject Al Shabab from Mogadishu outright. Then any need for indirect fire within the city would be entirely removed.
Undoubtedly the most important of the transitional tasks is the completion of a new Constitution for our nation. For such a Constitution to have absolute legitimacy and binding authority, both the process and the eventual content must be beyond reproach and in the sole interest of the Somali people.
An important step in the constitutional process has been taken within the past month, as Parliament approved 15 additional members of the Independent Constitutional Commission.
We have asked the Commission to expedite their work and expand their consultations. We have engaged Somali constitutional scholars, lawyers, religious scholars and experts in Somali culture to review the draft constitution along with Independent Commission, and we intend to be ready to move to the new stage of Parliamentary approval and thereafter to public consultation within the next few months.
The Constitution is such an important document with profound implications for the future of our people and country. It is essential that we take the time necessary to do it right without having to respond to artificial external pressures.
On two separate occasions within the past month, I have dispatched high level delegations to Galmudug and Puntland. In both cases, our delegations have successfully diffused clan disputes which threatened stability in these regions. We continue to reach out to all communities in our country and lead the process of peace building and reconciliation. Ahlu-Sunna Wal Jamia (ASWJ) and the Government has good relationship. ASWJ is part of the council of ministers and hold other key positions, such as the Deputy Commander of Somali Army.
Our government acknowledges the pressing need for immediate progress towards open and transparent governance. I have taken a number of steps very early in our administration to set down standards and provide a clear statement of intent.
The Cabinet has signed a code of ethics and a full declaration of wealth. An Anti-Corruption Commission has been instituted with the power to investigate and review Government procedures and decisions. Ministerial travel can now only be undertaken with my consent, and a full register of Government property and vehicles is being prepared. Our Government is committed to Mogadishu and Somalia and that is where you will find us.
A full Budget providing a comprehensive outline of Government spending in 2011 has been submitted by our Cabinet and approved by Parliament. Ministries have been allocated their budgets for the year, with a priority placed on the payment of civil servants.
The Port of Mogadishu has, in the month of November 2010, collected and deposited into the Central Bank of Somalia record revenues of over $2m. This is the highest recorded monthly revenue over the past 20 years.
Transparency and accountability are the watchwords of our government. The technical expertise within the Cabinet has immediately found ways of demonstrating good process and sound administration. Registering and paying troops; formulating, processing and implementing our budget; and instituting new measures of accountability and transparency within Government. These are all the simple but demonstrative processes we can deliver to inspire confidence. This is just the beginning but in 50 days we have done more than has been done previously. TFG requires a budgetary support from the International Community, in order TFG to deliver services to its citizens.
Success has and will continue to bring with it a variety of challenging consequences.
As many of you may also know, Somalia is in the grip of a potentially devastating drought. Agriculture is in the early stages of collapse. A crisis looms as over 2 million people face starvation. The Government has started delivering aid to the IDPs and the poor as best we can in areas under government control. We have also identified ways of reaching out and delivering aid to areas under rebel control.
We have called on the Somali people to help each other and for businessmen and the people in the Diaspora to donate and support their extended families. We are grateful for the generous donation of 149 tons of food from our friends and brothers in the United Arab Emirates. We thank them and ask others to respond similarly.
UN agencies and NGO’s must accelerate their arrival in Mogadishu and assist in organising the provision of services and humanitarian aid. The long term question of disarmament, demobilisation and rehabilitation must also be addressed.
People who have escaped the terror of Al Shabab need and deserve all our help. Our forces, together with AMISOM, have our security in hand; government is opening up; police are being trained; the Mayor is cleaning and organising the City; and the people are ready to rebuild their lives. We are all ready to work with you.
Currently, AMISOM are the sole agent for international support actually in Mogadishu. They cannot continue to carry the weight of military strategy, security, police mentoring and training, medical aid and humanitarian aid alone. They need support and they need it now. We need support and we need it now.
The debate concerning the future of government in Somalia beyond August this year will undoubtedly have begun among the international community. We do not intend to be bystanders in this debate.
We will demonstrate repeatedly between now and August that we are a legitimate and effective government. We accept that the international community needs a partner it can depend upon and work with. We will be that partner.
We will show that we have a coherent and transparent programme for the future and that despite the most difficult of circumstances, we can lay the foundations for a secure government.
Our political development will not always be pretty, but given time within a secure environment and with the support of the international community to relieve the humanitarian crisis, Somalis will lead Somalia out of its darkest days.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary General to Somalia, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, for the extra-ordinary job that he is currently working with my government to create lasting peace and stability in Somalia.