Statement by SRSG Kay to the 392nd meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council
Mr. Nicholas Kay,
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia
and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM)
to the 392nd meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council
Addis Ababa, Monday, 26 August 2013
Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union,
Your Excellencies and dear colleagues,
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to brief you on the developments in Somalia and on the efforts being undertaken by the United Nations in support of the Federal Government of Somalia to bring peace and stability to the country.
It’s a great pleasure and privilege to be here. One of my highest priorities is to work hand in hand with the African Union.
At nearly the 90 day mark of UNSOM, I pay tribute to Ambassador Mahiga, my predecessor as SRSG, who was well known here at the AU Peace and Security Council.
Almost a year since its formation, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) has continued efforts to consolidate its authority, and made some progress in line with its Six-Pillar Policy Framework in areas of security, public finance and political engagement. On 16 June, the Federal Parliament formally launched the Constitutional Review Process, expressing its commitment to a broad process that would involve civil society. Additionally, a law establishing a Constitutional Review Commission was passed on 3 July, and the process of selecting its Commissioners is underway. In these efforts, among others, it is important for the FGS to demonstrate that it is effectively reaching out beyond Mogadishu to realize its vision of a federal Somalia, demonstrating commitment to dialogue with other regional administrations. We commend the Government for its efforts thus far, which deserve full and continued international support.
Somalia still faces many challenges. For one, the security situation remains volatile in Southern Somalia and particularly Mogadishu. The month of Ramadan saw a surge in security incidents as a result of the continued threat posed by Al-Shabaab. On 19 June, Al Shabaab operatives perpetrated a complex attack on the United Nations Common Compound (UNCC) killing staff working for the United Nations as well as innocent Somali civilians. This incident was followed by a similar attack, on a facility adjacent to the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu that also injured and claimed both Turkish and Somali lives. An AMISOM convoy was also targeted in the same area.
Nonetheless, we must remember how far we have come, and not least, thank the women and men of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Ethiopia National Defence Forces (ENDF) as well as the Somali National Security Force (SNSF) and their allies. I pay tribute to the commitment of the brave and courageous AMISOM forces who risk their lives to bring peace to Somalia. They have made progress possible. We must not allow these hard-won gains to be reversed.
The Secretary-General recognizes the challenges faced by AMISOM in holding and expanding areas under its control. The UN stands ready to continue its support to AMISOM, including through the continuing assistance of UNSOA and the mobilization of reliable and predictable funding for AMISOM. The Secretary-General continues to request the UN Security Council to give a positive consideration to AMISOM’s request in this regard. I also recognize the acute need for AMISOM to have the necessary force multipliers and enablers. The United Nations looks forward to working jointly with the AU and in close consultation with the Federal Government, in undertaking a review of the deployment of AMISOM. This exercise begins today and finishes 6 September. It is also expected to establish benchmarks for a possible future deployment of a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation. I hope too that it will give due emphasis to the importance of making rapid and significant progress on enhancing the capacity of the Somali national security forces.
The results of the mission will capture the views of the Somali Federal Government and will explore the opinion of other sectors of the community. The findings, which will include several options in support of the military strategy, in line with the political strategy, will be submitted to both the PSC and the UN Security Council for consideration. I hope the mission can count on the full cooperation and facilitation of the Troop Contributing Countries and Police Contributing Countries.
In our ongoing support to the Federal Government’s peace consolidation efforts, the UN, AMISOM, the European Union (EU) and other bilateral partners should ensure that we work closely together to establish efficient coordination mechanisms, especially in the areas of security and rule of law area under the leadership of the Federal Government (FGS). UNSOM is mandated to assist the Federal Government in coordinating international support. We welcome the Government’s work to finalize a New Deal compact with international partners and we look forward to the Brussels conference on 16 September as an important opportunity to consolidate a new phase in the relationship between the Government and partners. The partnership of the UN with the African Union (AU) is vital to reaching our shared objectives in Somalia. I am committed to helping UNSOM and AMISOM to work hand in hand.
Successfully meeting the major peace-building challenges in the country depends primarily on the efforts of the Government of Somalia. Foremost among these challenges is the establishment of a well functioning federal structure. The current situation in Kismayo highlights the need for such a structure. We welcome the sustained efforts by IGAD to assist the Federal Government of Somalia reach an interim solution. I salute the tireless efforts of Dr. Tedros in his capacity as Chair of the Council of Ministers of IGAD. In this regard, a close IGAD-AU-UN partnership is particularly important. UNSOM stands ready to support the IGAD initiative, and we hope that further progress can be made soon.
Since the deployment of UNSOM, on 3 June, I have sought to assist the Federal Government to take forward key political processes, in particular on federal arrangements. UNSOM also has begun to work with others to enhance the Government’s capacity to provide basic services, justice and the rule of law, and so provide tangible peace dividends for the Somali people.
I have not restricted my activities to Mogadishu. In Hargeisa from 13 to 14 June, I committed to supporting initiatives for sustainable peace, stability and prosperity, including the ongoing dialogue with Somaliland facilitated by Turkey. I also began a dialogue with authorities in Somaliland over their opposition to Security Council resolution 2102 (2013).
Following my visit to Puntland from 13-14 July, I have continued working with the relevant authorities and international partners to support an inclusive process for future elections in Puntland, as well as to facilitate improved relations between Puntland and the Federal Government.
The new Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM) will only be able to discharge its mandate in Somalia by working in true partnership with others, be they from Africa or the rest of the world.
I am most grateful for the support I have received from Ambassador Annadif, the SRCC, from Governments in the region and from the African Union.
We should never forget the international dimensions of the conflict and instability in Somalia. Terrorism and piracy respect no borders. Progress is being made in Somalia, but the goals are reversible if we do not maintain and increase our collective efforts. To fail to do this would have serious consequence in and beyond Somalia. Let us not run that risk.
Collectively we have achieved a lot and I genuinely believe we are on the brink of achieving great things in terms of helping Somalia in its task of peace-building and state-building. We should not lose focus and we should increase our efforts at this critical moment.