I would like to welcome the President of the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic, Mr. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General and his Special Representative Augustine Mahiga for their briefings and for their personal commitment to stabilization in Somalia.
The Kampala Accord of 9 June 2011, the Mogadishu road map of 6 September 2011, the reinforcement of support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) decided in September 2011, and the thorough reconfiguration of AMISOM decided in February by the Security Council were all decisive stages aimed at a single objective, namely, stabilizing the political and security situation in Somalia. Those stages have signalled an unprecedented support by the international community for Somalia with a view to altering the destiny of that country. The international community has done its duty. It has the right to maintain high expectations from Somali political officials. Without their involvement, about which we can still wonder, nothing is possible. Today, almost a year after Kampala and three months from the end of the transition period, where do we stand? At the political level, we are concerned. The road map had four main tasks, accompanied by specific timelines, which the Transitional Federal Institutions signed on to. Today, three of those four tasks have been set aside in order to focus all efforts on adopting a constitution and on reforming current institutions, thus putting an end to the transition period that began in 2004. Unfortunately, even in that single area, certain timelines that were set by the international community and the Somalis themselves have not been met and the political process is now delayed by several weeks.
We therefore need a new impetus, and that impetus begins with appointing members of a Somali Constituent Assembly. The clan leaders, currently meeting in Mogadishu, must move forward and put national interests before their own in order to appoint without delay Somalis who would represent all categories of society, in particular women, who will be part of the Assembly in charge of reviewing the draft constitution. That impetus would also involve finalizing the text of the draft constitution. The drafting experts must complete their work, bearing in mind two elements: first, this is a provisional text that could be subject to further improvement later on and, secondly, the text must respect human rights in accordance with Somalia’s international commitments. Of course, the end of the transition period is not to everyone’s liking. Some seem to be interested in continuing the current instability in order to preserve political influence or to derive financial benefit. To those who want to prevent their compatriots from living in peace, the international community is today ready to say that they can no longer conspire with impunity. The joint letter from the United Nations, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, which was issued a few days ago by Mr. Mahiga, is very clear.
Those who continue to undermine the political process will be subject to sanctions from States in the region and from the United Nations.
At the security level, much remains to be done. Mogadishu continues to be subject to sporadic attacks and a large part of the territory of Somalia is still not under the control of the Transitional Federal Government. But progress has been considerable.
Thanks to the efforts of the AMISOM soldiers, Al-Shabaab has lost ground and life has resumed in the Somali capital. We must pay tribute to the Ugandan and Burundian contingents and to the action taken by Ethiopia. We support their efforts. Thanks to the adoption of resolution 2036 (2012), AMISOM’s means are being transformed. The force will finally have an airlift capacity and its troops will be significantly strengthened. The strengthening is made possible by greater support from the United Nations, but also support from the European Union, which, we must remember, has been financing for several years the entire salary of AMISOM troops, amounting to approximately $200 million per year. No other country in the world benefits from such support. I would like to urge States that would like to increase their support for security stabilization in Somalia to provide financial support for AMISOM soldiers alongside the European Union.
In the long-term, Somalia’s security can only be ensured by Somalis themselves. The training of Somali national forces must be a priority. The European Union is fully engaged along this path in the framework of the European Union Training Mission for Somalia. A restructuring of Government forces and strengthening of the chain of command will still be necessary to make those forces more effective.
As the transition period is nearing its end, of course we have to strengthen our efforts for the development of Somalia, but it is also up to the Somali authorities and to the people themselves to do their share and chart their path. One of the challenges in the coming months will be the development of a new administration, both national and local, that will be able to provide basic services to the population, in particular in the zones freed from Al-Shabaab control, in order to establish the legitimacy of Somali authorities. It is up to the Transitional Federal Government to do its duty, as well as to meet the expectations of the Somali people. In that regard, we welcome the holding of the upcoming Istanbul conference, which we hope will be an opportunity to breathe new life into those issues.