UN: UN envoy says Somalia’s political success depends on managing threats

New York, US (PANA) - UN envoy in Somalia, Michael Keating, on Thursday said success in the
country this year will depend on managing threats, notably those posed by the terrorist group
Al-Shabaab, while announcing a "breakthrough" political achievement.

"It gives me particular pleasure to share some breaking news with you, this morning. A decision was taken by the Somali Cabinet on the electoral model to be used later this year.

"This is the culmination of almost six months of intense consultations. It may be a watershed moment, marking the growing political maturity of a federal Somalia," he told the UN Security Council during an update on the situation in Somalia.

Mr. Keating, who is also Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), said the
electoral model is Somali-devised, Somali-led and Somali-owned, adding that real momentum
could and should result from the "breakthrough" achieved on Thursday.

He said his two weeks as UN envoy in the Horn of Africa nation have not been Somalia’s
easiest, as it was marked by tough political negotiations and marred by two terrorist attacks.

"Somalia’s security requires a comprehensive approach, and our political, security,
development and human rights efforts must proceed together," the envoy stressed.

He noted that military and counter-terrorism efforts need to be accompanied by
stronger policing and rule of law.

"The priority must be to strengthen federal and regional capabilities within Somalia as a basis for a longer term transition plan for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which has been in the country since 2007.

"Too many civilians and too many soldiers are dying. Al-Shabab remains a potent threat,"
he said, noting, however, that he was encouraged by the commitments made
by the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, to security sector reform.

On the humanitarian situation, Mr. Keating expressed concern that "millions of children, women and elderly people are acutely vulnerable and in total some 4.9 million people, representing 40 per cent of the total population, are in need of humanitarian assistance."

According to UN estimates, over 1.1 million civilians remain internally displaced and
some 300,000 children under age five are acutely malnourished. Also millions lack
access to basic healthcare, water and sanitation.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  28Jan2016

28 january 2016 18:48:50

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