‘Somalia at a critical juncture’ says UN’s political chief in her first visit

7-JUNE 2018 – Mogadishu –“I wanted to come to show how important Somalia is to the United Nations,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo said in an interview after meeting with Federal President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo at the presidential palace in the Somali capital. Mogadishu.

“It’s a high priority” for her and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, she added.

The visit is her first field trip since she was appointed to the high-ranking position one month ago and is part of a regional tour of three countries in the East Africa, including Kenya and Nigeria.

“I had a very good discussion with the President, and it is very clear Somalia has made a great deal of progress over the last decade,” Ms. DiCarlo stated, adding that she had assured the President of the UN’s continued support to Somalia.

Ms. DiCarlo expressed satisfaction with the progress the country has achieved on the political and security fronts and noted recent efforts to expedite the constitutional review process.

Speaking at the presidential palace, Ms. DiCarlo said the aim of her first field visit was to support the ongoing political and peace processes in the country as well as explore how best to assist Somalia to overcome some of its challenges, ranging from the humanitarian situation and security to the political agenda.

The UN official commended the work undertaken by the federal constitutional bodies and the recently held National Constitutional Convention that underscored inclusivity, cooperation, and compromise for the good of the country as critical aspects for finalizing the constitutional review process within this year.

“Somalia is at a critical juncture. Progress on the constitutional review could lead to a breakthrough. Unity of Somalis is essential to advance federalism, reduce violence, defeat extremism, tackle the humanitarian challenges and deliver real benefits to the population,” the Under-Secretary-General added.

Also today, the Security Council issued a Presidential Statement on Somalia:

Voicing Concern over Fighting in Somalia, Security Council Presidential Statement Urges Parties Cease Hostilities, Allow Unhindered Humanitarian Access!

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2018/13 reads as follows:

“The Security Council welcomes the progress made to date by the federal Government of Somalia on security sector, economic and political reforms. The Security Council welcomes the peaceful election of a new Speaker of the House of the People and the resumption of the federal Parliament’s activity. The Security Council underscores the need for the federal Government of Somalia, the Somali federal Parliament and the federal member states to work together in the interests of all Somalis.

“The Security Council notes with concern recent fighting in the Sool region of northern Somalia. The Security Council urges parties to implement, without delay, their commitment to international partners to an immediate cessation of hostilities, including refraining from statements or actions that may raise tensions, and further urges parties to pull back their forces and engage in dialogue. The Security Council notes with concern that the fighting has exacerbated the humanitarian situation and calls on all parties to allow and facilitate full, safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access.

“The Security Council welcomes the resumption of high‑level dialogue between the federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states to make further progress on key priorities. These include power- and resource‑sharing, the constitutional review, fiscal federalism, preparations for one‑person, one‑vote elections in 2020/2021, support for regional security forces and finalizing the justice and corrections federal model, all of which require political agreements that can form the basis for legislation in the federal Parliament.

“The Security Council reaffirms its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia. The Security Council notes with concern that internal and external pressures risk undermining Somalia’s political unity. The Security Council underscores the importance of working to prevent destabilizing effects of regional crises and disputes from spilling over into Somalia, and the need for all stakeholders including Somalia’s international partners to work constructively to support the federal system and its institutions and to respect Somalia’s peace- and State‑building process.

“The Security Council stresses the importance of the full, equal and effective participation of women in the political settlement process and in all efforts towards the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and urges the federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states to continue to promote increased representation and participation of women at all decision‑making levels in Somali institutions.

“The Security Council expresses serious concern at the ongoing threat posed by Al‑Shabaab, and reaffirms its support for a comprehensive approach to security in Somalia, consistent with international humanitarian law and international human rights law as applicable and with full respect for the rule of law. The Security Council welcomes recent progress on developing a conditions‑based transition plan with clear target dates for the progressive transfer of security responsibilities from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to the Somali security institutions, as endorsed by the African Union Peace and Security Council on 30 April 2018 and by international partners at the Somalia security high‑level meeting in Brussels on 2 May 2018. The Security Council commends the federal Government of Somalia, together with the federal member states, AMISOM, the police- and troop‑contributing countries, and international partners, for their collaborative approach to developing this plan, and calls for its effective implementation, starting with Phase One, with full participation from all relevant stakeholders. The Security Council underlines the need to ensure resourcing for the transition plan.

“The Security Council further recalls the critical importance of accelerating the implementation of the national security architecture agreement to provide the foundation for a successful transition. The Security Council urges the federal Government and federal member states to prioritize efforts in this regard, including by integrating and providing federal support to regional forces, as agreed by Somalia’s National Security Council. The Security Council calls on international partners to support the transition and the implementation of the architecture, and to coordinate security assistance in line with the existing Comprehensive Approach to Security structures.

“The Security Council notes that AMISOM’s role in enabling the transition to Somali‑led security will be critical. The Security Council pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifices of AMISOM and its police- and troop‑contributing countries to advance peace and stability in Somalia, and looks forward to the recommendations of the fourth African Union‑United Nations joint review of AMISOM on how AMISOM should be configured to support the transition.

“The Security Council reiterates the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for African Union‑led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council and under the Security Council’s authority consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter. The Security Council further reiterates its call for new and existing donors to support AMISOM, and reiterates that regional organizations have the responsibility to secure human, financial, logistical and other resources for their organizations. The Security Council welcomes the efforts of the African Union and the United Nations to explore options for AMISOM funding.

“The Security Council notes that accelerating Somalia’s economic recovery to support livelihoods and create jobs is an essential component of building peace and stability and supporting sustainable development. The Security Council welcomes the commitment shown by the federal Government of Somalia to the current International Monetary Fund staff‑monitored programme, and welcomes the outcomes of the Somalia Round Table at the Spring Meetings on 19 April. The Security Council urges Somalia to continue to demonstrate progress in order to build the fiscal and monetary track record needed to advance the process towards normalization with international financial institutions and debt relief.

“The Security Council expresses deep concern about the humanitarian situation in Somalia, including the continued risk of famine and the impact of recent flooding. The Security Council welcomes the establishment of a National Flood Committee by the Somali authorities to help coordinate the response. The Security Council underlines the importance of continued international support to address humanitarian concerns and to build long‑term resilience.

“The Security Council expresses concern about all violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights in Somalia, including the continued abduction and use of child soldiers and sexual and gender‑based violence. The Security Council stresses the importance of the protection of civilians, and calls on all parties to comply immediately with their obligations under international law, including under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

“The Security Council notes that the Somalia Partnership Forum will take place in Brussels on 25‑26 June 2018 and looks forward to further progress on political, security and economic reforms. The Security Council further notes that the Forum will provide an opportunity to advance discussions on resilience and responses to the humanitarian situation. The Security Council will continue to follow progress closely, and reaffirms its support for peace, stability and development in Somalia.”

Source: UN NEWS