20th July 2024  admin  Category :

Dr. Ali Khalif Galaydh, Prime Minister of Somalia

I want to seize this opportunity to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. I am confident that, under your wise leadership, the Council will continue to be engaged in promoting the principles of the United Nations Charter.

I am delighted to register the profound appreciation of the people and the Government of Somalia at the honour that has been bestowed upon the Secretary-General and the United Nations. Indeed, the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Secretary-General is a recognition of his tireless efforts in the search for durable peace in the world.

The events of 11 September alerted peoples and Governments all over the world to the danger posed by international terrorism. The Somali Government has unequivocally expressed its outrage and disgust at the heinous acts of terrorism perpetrated against the Government and the people of the United States. It has expressed its condolences and prayers to the President of the United States and to 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 a bilateral basis, in the fight against international terrorism.

That commitment and determination to combat terrorism are reflected in recent decisions taken by my Government. First of all, we fully support Security Council resolution 1373 (2001). That resolution sets out the legal framework of the fight against terrorism and the obligations of Member States in that fight.

Secondly, the Somali Government has recently established an anti-terrorism task force, which will put together a national security and anti-terrorist action plan. The task force will gather intelligence and information, monitor the activities of potential suspects and share information with the United Nations.

Thirdly, the Somali Government has engaged ulma — religious leaders — from all sects and schools in the country with a view to enlisting their support in the fight against terrorism.

Fourthly, the Somali Government has also engaged the owners of the money-transfer agencies known as hawala, who have assured us of their commitment to transparency. Hawala owners have pledged to open their records to the United Nations and other interested parties and to share any insightful information with the Somali Government and others.

Finally, a joint committee of cabinet members and members of the Somali Parliament has recently been formed to review the penal code and other laws as part of the country’s national obligations under Security Council resolution 1373 (2001).

For the Government’s programmes against terrorism to be effective, it is incumbent upon the international community to provide us with all the assistance needed. That assistance can be in the form of training and the provision of logistics for our security services. Failure to do just that might lead to the creation of a vacuum that could contribute to breeding terrorism.

For our part, and for the purpose of enhancing security, we have been able to put in camps over 25,000 militia members to be trained and reintegrated into society. Moreover, 8,000 policemen drawn from those 25,000 individuals have been deployed in and around Mogadishu. I am happy to report that in the capital city there are neither green lines nor checkpoints run by the warlords.

The Somali national army is being re-established to reinforce security and to 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 to the devolution of power to the regions. In that context, my Government has, for the first time in 11 years, started collecting taxes in the capital, Mogadishu; this 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 at the seventy-fourth ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was convened at Lusaka in July 2001. In its decision on Somalia, the Council of Ministers

“Expresses satisfaction at the progress made by the Transitional National Government 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.” (CM/Dec.594 (LXXIV), para. 7)

On the question of national reconciliation, the principles upon which that process is built include the following. First, the outcome of the Arta peace process will continue to be the basis for the pursuit of Somali national reconciliation. Secondly, that process will continue to be a Somali process, and the Somali Government will welcome and embrace every positive effort exerted by neighbouring countries and the world community that can facilitate the process. Thirdly, the engagement of those who are outside the Arta peace process through sustained dialogue and negotiations is a crucial component of the national reconciliation endeavour.

In the light of those principles, the Somali Government has succeeded in bringing on board two out of the five factions based in Mogadishu which had not supported the Arta conference. Intensive negotiations are going on 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. The Commission will be operating independently of the Government and it will be composed of 25 eminent Somali political and other prominent public figures. Its mandate will focus on reconciling all the parties in Somalia, with a view to attaining lasting peace and stability for all Somalis. It is envisaged that the Commission will facilitate the process of the establishment of a federal Government which will reflect the desires of Somali society as a whole.

My Government’s policies with regard to the National Reconciliation Commission are consistent with resolutions adopted by the United Nations, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the OAU, the League of Arab States and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. The decisions on Somalia that emanated from the seventh-third and seventy-fourth ordinary sessions of the Council of Ministers of the OAU called upon member States and the international community to assist the Government in its endeavours pertaining to national reconciliation.

In paragraph 3 of the decision on Somalia adopted at the seventy-fourth ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the OAU, the Council of Ministers

“Reiterates its earlier call to the Transitional National Government (TNG) to intensify its efforts so as to bring about … lasting national reconciliation, building upon the outcome of the Arta peace process, and supports the efforts aimed at the establishment of the National Reconciliation Commission”. (Ibid., para. 3)

Lack of funds and resources has precluded the beginning of the work of the Commission and continues to constitute a major stumbling block. Given the importance of this independent Commission and the role it can play in bringing about lasting peace and stability in Somalia, the international community is called upon to shoulder its responsibility and provide the resources needed to enable the Commission to carry out its work.

In paragraph 9 of the decision on Somalia adopted at the seventy-fourth ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the OAU, the Council of Ministers

“Requests the Secretary-General [of the OAU] to work closely with IGAD, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the 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.” (Ibid., para. 9)

It is with deep regret that I must report that the warlords continue to be a major impediment to the national reconciliation process. They orchestrated and have been held responsible for the kidnapping of humanitarian aid workers. That kidnapping perpetrated by the warlords has been condemned by the United Nations and by the European Union, and has unfortunately caused a setback in the peace process. Moreover, paragraph 8 of the decision on Somalia adopted at the seventy-fourth 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 in Somalia (S/2001/963). We thank the Secretary-General and the Secretariat for the support they have extended to the National Transitional Government of Somalia. We have a historical link with the United Nations dating back to the time when part of Somalia was placed under United Nations Trusteeship. We also want to acknowledge the role of the Secretary-General and his continuous interest in my country. We believe that the Secretary-General and the 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 a 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 the international community, particularly the regional and subregional organizations, donors and the warlords. This will further contribute to the vicious circle of inadequate security and the perpetuation of the benign neglect to which Somalia has been subjected over a decade.

In our view, the establishment of a peace-building mission in Somalia is imperative and critical at this moment. We propose the dispatch of a high-level inter-agency United Nations mission to Somalia, with a mandate to critically examine the work of the security office in Nairobi and to re-evaluate, in an objective manner, the security situation in Mogadishu and the whole of Somalia.

In his report, the Secretary-General 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 within which the Committee would function. Members of the Committee must be supportive of 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 the Committee, we must take into account the lessons of experience learned with respect to the mechanism of the Committee of Friends, especially in countries like Angola.

We must also address the issue of reconstruction, rehabilitation and development concurrently. My Government inherited a country that was in a shambles, as is very well portrayed in the Secretary-General’s report, without financial resources and infrastructure. For the past year, my Government has been operating on a budget of only $14 million, despite the daunting challenges. We believe that it is 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. We need the United Nations and its partner aid agencies to reflect this change by planning new initiatives. An operational plan to support good governance and peace-building in Somalia is urgently needed. Peace and security are the key to the agenda of the Transitional National Government (TNG) 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.

I thank the Council very much for affording me this opportunity to brief members on the recent developments in Somalia and to share the ideas of my Government for bringing lasting peace, stability and development to our troubled country.

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