UN: Somalia passing through a moment of hope - UN envoy

New York, US (PANA) - Noting that Somalia faces a number of "daunting difficulties" after decades of conflict, the UN envoy in Somalia, Mr. Michael Keating on Thursday highlighted that there is also a new momentum in the country for fresh political engagement among its people with the recent electoral process.

"The new government and parliament now have an opportunity to use the goodwill to reboot efforts to build a functional and inclusive Federal State," Mr. Keating said at a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Somalia.

He noted that, "the results of the electoral process, accepted as legitimate by all stakeholders, as well as a smooth and peaceful transfer of power, also made efforts to respond to the ongoing drought and the looming spectre of famine much easier."

"Somalis, including politicians, business people, civil society and members of the diaspora, are taking responsibility for the response, distinguishing Somalia from other countries facing humanitarian catastrophe," he said.

The UN envoy also pointed out that eliminating the scourge of terrorism in the country remained another pressing issue and said that a multi-pronged approach, embedded in a political strategy, was needed to degrade and dismantle the Al-Shabaab militant group.

Mr. Keating also noted that building a trusted security apparatus that are acceptable to all Somalis is essential and added that doing so also offered a major opportunity to build and consolidate the Federal State, saying: "This needs to be approached as such, not just as a military undertaking."

He also spoke about the need to advance the constitutional process and to strengthen conflict resolution efforts through the inclusion of all sections of society, including women, youth, minorities and business, in the peaceful resolution of conflicts, stressing the need to also improve on the human rights situation in the country.

"I am particularly concerned about attacks on journalists and the increase in sexual violence against internally-displaced women and members of minority clans," he said, underlining the need to strengthen the human rights protection capacity in the country as well as fully implementing the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.

Concluding his briefing, the UN envoy urged the Security Council to continue to support the Somalia’s new leadership, new President, and new Prime Minister, to address the challenges the country is confronting.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted resolution in which it extended the UNSOM’s mandate until 16 June 2017.

The Security Council also said that that it looked forward to the report of the review of the UN presence in Somalia which had earlier been deferred until the conclusion of the electoral process.
-0-  PANA  AA  23March2017

23 march 2017 20:19:41




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