SRSG Kay visits Jowhar meets Governor, community elders and civil society

17 May 2014

SRSG Kay visits Jowhar meets Governor, community elders and civil society

Jowhar, 17 May 2014 - The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Nicholas Kay today made his first visit to the town of Jowhar, in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region. Mr Kay is the highest-ranking UN official to visit the town for the in more than two decades.

Accompanied by officials from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), SRSG Kay met with women, youth, elders and the local administration in a visit aimed at introducing the mandate of UNSOM, taking stock of the progress made in the development of Jowhar and identifying the residents’ needs.

While welcoming the dignitaries, the Governor of the Middle Shabelle region, Abdi Jiinow Alasow, recognized the founding principle of the United Nations as a testament of the world’s collective concern for the welfare of its citizens.

“Countries in the world come to each other’s aid. The world came together to create the United Nations, which represents humanity wherever there is a crisis. This is why Nicholas Kay is here with us today. And whatever challenges that we will share today, it is our hope he will take into consideration and take it up to where they need to be dealt with,” said Governor Alasow.

Jowhar, a rich agricultural town lies 90 kilometres north of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. In November last year, inter-clan clashes were sparked off following a land dispute. The situation became worse with flash floods leading to a dire humanitarian crisis.

Speaking at the gathering attended by a cross-section of the town’s residents, SRSG Kay thanked the residents for their warm welcome and urged them to work harder on their reconciliation and reconstruction efforts.

“Thank you very much for your very warm welcome and hospitality. First, I’d like to ask you to reconcile. Your ceasefire is very good. As the governor said, we need now to move to a real reconciliation between yourselves and build a lasting peace,” said Mr Kay. “It is the duty of the elders to bring back that harmony from the past. It is the duty of the elders now to really reconcile,” he added.

Since its establishment in May 2013 by the UN Security Council, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) has continued to engage with stakeholders aimed at facilitating dialogue and understanding as Somalia embarks on a path of sustainable peace and development.