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Issue 451 -- Sept 18- 24, 2010
UK Statement In Security Council Debate On Somalia
Statement by Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations, at Security Council Debate on Somalia, 16 September 2010
Thank you Mr President. I would like to welcome this morning the Special
Representative of the Secretary General, Mr Augustine Mahiga, for his
first appearance in his new capacity in the Security Council. I would
also like to thank the honorable Foreign Minister of Kenya for his very
heartfelt, thoughtful, and insightful contributions to our discussions
today. And also to thank the Permanent Representative of Somalia for his
contribution to the debate.
The situation in Somalia continues to be of deep concern. There have been a few bright spots, as the Secretary Generalís report spells out. Free and fair presidential election in Somaliland in July led to a peaceful transfer of power from one government to another. But that is hugely overshadowed by some very distressing incidents, including the Kampala bombings, the attack on the Muna Hotel and the attacks by armed opposition groups in Mogadishu during the holy month of Ramadan.
These have been shocking reminders of the impact of instability in Somalia both on the Somali people and on the wider region. The Minister set out very starkly today the immediate threat to Kenya from the instability in Somalia.
We extend our deepest sympathy to the government of Uganda, the transitional federal government and the Somalia people for the tragic losses they have suffered. And I pay particular tribute to Uganda and Burundi for their continuing commitment to AMISOM and the difficult operation they face in Somalia. We condemn any attacks on AMISOM unreservedly, including attacks on the Transitional Federal Government and the Somali people.
It is essential that all parties fully support the Djibouti Peace Progress and join efforts to bring peace to Somalia. There are only 11 months remaining of the transitional period as defined by the Djibouti Agreement. Important transitional tasks still need to be completed. It is impetrative that the Transitional Federal Government and the International Community intensify their efforts towards a more peaceful and stable Somalia.
I would like to make five points this morning, on the UN operation in Somalia, the political situation, peacekeeping, the problem of piracy and the humanitarian situation.
First, we welcome the Secretary-Generalís work to review the UNís operation in Somalia and his efforts to encourage better coordination between the UN agencies. We must have a coherent and integrated UN approach if the UN is to deliver the strong leadership that we all want to see.
We welcome the Secretary-Generalís plans to increase the UN presence in Somalia. We do not underestimate the difficulties. But we need all parts of the UN working in an integrated manner to deliver a single strategy. And we look forward to seeing further details on how this can be achieved.
But, second, greater UN engagement cannot deliver progress without political leadership from the TFG. We urge the TFG to intensify their efforts towards dialogue and reconciliation, and to deliver better governance and reform of the security sector. The constitutional process provides an opportunity for the TFG to reach out to those outside the Djibouti process and give them a stake in Somaliaís future. The TFG must resolve its internal differences, which are deeply damaging. There can be no successful military strategy in a political vacuum.
The actions of spoilers also need to be addressed. Arming, training and supporting armed opposition groups in Somalia, particularly Al Shabaab, has a serious destabilising effect. The AMISOM force commander made this clear when he briefed Council members on Monday this week. The Foreign Minister has reinforced that message to us today. It is also in contravention of UN Security Council Resolutions. We strongly support the SRSG in calling on all parties to abide by their obligations and work to foster peace in Somalia and the wider region. This Council must assume its responsibilities in this respect.
Third, AMISOM continues to play a vital role in providing security. We welcome recent announcements by the AU, IGAD and the region about plans to increase the number of AMISOM troops. We agree with the three briefers this morning that AMISOM and the TFG Security Forces in Somalia need more support.
The UK was pleased to be able to contribute $1.5m to AMISOM earlier this year for radio support, in addition to the $15 million of support we have already given via the Trust Fund. We will continue to look at how we can provide support in the future. It is essential that AMISOM and the TFG receive adequate funding and we look forward to discussing this issue in more detail with the Secretary-General.
Fourth, the international community must also continue its efforts, through the Contact Group, to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia. We look forward to the comprehensive report that will be presented to the Security Council in October on this issue.
Finally, Mr President
The most serious impact of the instability in Somalia is on the Somali people themselves. The humanitarian situation remains deeply worrying and has been compounded by recent fighting and attacks on humanitarian workers and their compounds by armed opposition groups, including Al Shabaab. We hope that the World Food Programme will be able to restore its programmes in South Central Somalia as soon as it is safe to do so.
Now more than ever, the UN must show strong leadership in Somalia, and the international community must do all it can to ensure that the UN has the support it needs. We welcome Mr Mahigaís determination to give that leadership. We look forward to discussing these issues further at next weekís high-level meeting. Thank you.