New York, US (PANA) - The UN Security Council on Wednesday stressed the need for a comprehensive strategy to address the political, security and humanitarian
challenges in Somalia through collaborative efforts.
In a statement issued after the Council members listened to a briefing by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who visited the Horn of Africa country on Friday,
it stated: ``The consequences of the problems in Somalia include terrorism, piracy and hostage-taking''.
The Council reiterated its full support for Ban’s efforts and those of his Special Representative Augustine Mahiga, in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and other international and regional partners, to address Somalia’s challenges, including through the upcoming conference on Somalia in London early next year.
The statement, read by Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which holds the Council’s presidency for this month, also welcomed the secretary-general’s announcement that the UN Office for Somalia (UNPOS) would relocate to Mogadishu next month.
It called for faster implementation of the roadmap of key tasks and priorities to be completed by Somalia’s Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) before the current transitional arrangement ends in August next year, while recognizing the need for international support to facilitate the process.
It, however, said that, ``future support to the TFIs will be contingent on the completion of tasks stipulated in the roadmap and will also take note of the Secretary-General’s view that further extension of the roadmap would be untenable''.
The Council also commended the efforts of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces in their military campaign against insurgents of the Al-Shabaab group, and recognized their significant sacrifices.
It further expressed concern over the food crisis in Somalia and welcomed the international response and the tireless efforts of the relief workers.
It urged member states to contribute to the UN consolidated appeal for Somalia, and appealed to all parties and armed groups to ensure full, safe and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Earlier, Ban told the Council that the withdrawal of insurgents from Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and their retreat from other areas under pressure from the national armed forces, supported by Kenyan and Ethiopian troops, presented an opportunity for the international community to help stabilize the country.
The secretary-general said: ``We must ensure that the military strategy is aligned with political objectives, as more territory is liberated, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) must strengthen its outreach to the local population and form new regional entities in line with the Transitional Federal Charter''.
``On the military front, we must not exclude the incorporation of new forces and the expansion of AMISOM,'' he noted.
He also disclosed that a joint AU-UN joint assessment was underway and its proposal will be presented to the Council.
Ban echoed the appeal by AU and countries contributing troops to AMISOM for the Council’s reconsideration of financial and logistical arrangements for supporting the African mission’s operations in the next phase.
He also said: ``We must also boost our efforts to safeguard civilians and the safety of the relief supply route. I have urged the Government of Kenya, AMISOM and the TFG to uphold the right of civilians, refugees and Somalis asylum-seekers''.
The secretary-general stressed the need for AMISOM to be deployed beyond Mogadishu, noting, however, that, ``this requires the force be brought to its full strength of 12,000 troops''.
``The force also needs to be provided with the necessary equipment, including such air assets as helicopters and military engineering capabilities,'' Ban added.
He said that he had also requested the UN country team to work more closely with UNPOS to support the TFG’s efforts in governance, recovery, development and capacity-building.
``For all of this to be possible, we must expedite arrangements for protecting UN and AMISOM civilian personnel,” the UN chief said, while renewing his appeal for support for a UN Recovery and Stabilization Plan for Somalia.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 14Dec2011