UN envoy highlights progress but warns of “danger zone” for Somalia

14 May 2014

UN envoy highlights progress but warns of “danger zone” for Somalia

Nairobi, – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, today addressed members of the international community in Nairobi on the situation in Somalia in a joint briefing with AU Special Representative Mohamed Saleh Annadif and Director of the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) Amadu Kamara.

Mr. Kay drew attention to the progress that had been made in Somalia in recent months, noting that the Federal Government had been strengthening its relationships with the Somali regions, in particular the Interim Jubba Administration, and was engaged in the ongoing talks with political leaders from Baidoa. He also welcomed the progress on financial management and transparency, with the creation of the joint Somali-international Financial Governance Committee, as well as the Federal Parliament’s approval of the Government’s programme of work and budget.

Mr. Kay paid tribute to the sacrifices made by the Somali National Army and AMISOM in the recent military operation against Al Shabaab, and noted that security in the capital, Mogadishu, appeared to have improved in recent weeks.

He further commended the President, Prime Minister, the Speaker and Members of Parliament for their work and commitment.

SRSG Kay also voiced concern about the urgent need for faster and greater progress in the coming months:

“Somalia is approaching a danger zone in a number of areas. Politically, there needs to be urgent progress in establishing the mechanisms to revise and implement the constitution, oversee the establishment of Federal States and prepare for elections. Somalia needs continuity and stability to take this forward. But the Federal Government must also urgently demonstrate progress and they and Parliament must work together on this agenda.”

Mr. Kay stressed the need for urgent progress on stabilisation in areas that have been recovered in the military offensive. He said more locally acceptable administrations need to be established, noting that unless peace dividends are seen soon, there is a danger that military success will not be consolidated and insecurity will return.

“Without more economic progress, the credibility of the international community and Federal Government is also in danger. The Somali people must see greater benefits from the Somali Compact. More money needs to go into, and come out from, the various international funds established to support Somalia’s development.

“The humanitarian situation risks slipping into the danger zone as well. Philippe Lazzarini, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator, has recently flagged the funding crisis affecting existing humanitarian operations. He has also highlighted the real danger of the existing crisis getting worse as a result of ongoing drought, poor rains, and Al Shabaab’s blockade. While we don’t know which way the food security situation will go, this is no time for ‘business as usual’ in Somalia.”

"Military pressure must be maintained, while at the same time, the community must be involved in organising its own defence," the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Mahamat Annadif, said at the event. "We need to see swift deployment of police in newly recovered areas, and the main supply routes to these towns must be secured."

Mr. Annadif urged the Federal Government to appoint locally elected leaders to administer recovered towns, and the international community to continue to provide support to the UN Trust Fund in support of the Somali National Army and Quick Impact Projects for newly recovered areas so that the populations can reap the dividends of peace. Click here for more