Farmaajo: We Have No One Else to Blame
Today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened a mini-summit on Somalia, with high-level representation from the region and the wider international community. The President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, briefed the mini-summit on recent political and security developments in Somalia. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, provided an update on the operations of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
With less than one year remaining in the transitional period, participants expressed concern about recent divisions within the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) and highlighted the need for the Somali authorities to urgently consolidate their internal cohesion and unity, in order to counter the threat posed by increased insurgent attacks by Al-Shabaab and other extremists. Against this backdrop and the lack of sustainable funding for the TFG security forces and AMISOM, the mini-summit provided an opportunity to consolidate unity of purpose and action in several important areas.
First, the mini-summit reaffirmed that the Djibouti Peace Agreement and the peace process represent the basis for a resolution of the conflict in Somalia. The meeting also reaffirmed the strong determination of the United Nations and the international community to work with the TFIs and the people of Somalia to break the cycle of lawlessness, violence and despair in the country. Collective and coordinated action is crucial to building a peaceful and prosperous future for the Somali people.
Second, participants called on the TFI leaders to complete the remaining transitional tasks by August 2011, in particular the constitution-making process, which should include wide consultations within Somalia and with the diaspora. Other priority tasks for the TFIs include agreeing on post-transition arrangements in coordination with the United Nations and the international community; reaching out to more opposition groups that renounce violence, with a view to expanding its political base; strengthening the capacity of TFG security forces; and improving the delivery and access to basic services for the Somali people. In this context, participants called for a road map of achievable objectives and clear timelines to be developed for the remaining transitional period.
Third, achieving these priority transitional tasks requires more cohesion within the TFIs. It is therefore crucial for the Somali leaders to resolve their internal differences and to work together towards peace and stability, in the spirit of the Djibouti Agreement.
Fourth, participants commended the contributions of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), African Union (AU) and the League of Arab States, in their efforts towards the stabilization of Somalia. They also expressed their appreciation to the Governments of Burundi and Uganda for providing troops and equipment to AMISOM. Participants called for increased financial support to AMISOM and stressed the importance of predictable, reliable and timely provision of resources to AMISOM. They also called for more support for the development of the Somali security forces. The mini-summit noted the Communiqué of the IGAD Council of Ministers and the decisions adopted by the AU Summit of 10 July 2010.
Fifth, the mini-summit welcomed and encouraged the United Nations efforts to improve its internal coordination and effectiveness in Somalia, as well as its intention to enhance its political presence in Mogadishu and establish a light foot print, security permitting, as well as in “Puntland” and “Somaliland”. The meeting welcomed the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to advance the political process in Somalia, including through the revitalization of the High-Level Committee and the Joint Security Committee, and urged him to work closely with regional initiatives.
Sixth, the meeting expressed great concern about the humanitarian situation and condemned all attacks on humanitarian aid workers, including Al-Shabaab’s 16 September expulsion of humanitarian aid organizations from Somalia. Participants condemned the terrorist acts in Uganda in July 2010 as well as the repeated attacks by Al-Shabaab and other extremist groups against the civilian population, TFIs and AMISOM personnel, which have resulted in population displacements and aggravated Somalia’s humanitarian situation.
Seventh, participants recognised the challenges posed by piracy and welcomed the commitment shown by the international community and the TFG to address the roots of the problem, in particular through the enhancement of the lives and livelihoods of affected population and through the efforts of the Contact Group on piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Finally, participants noted that gains in the political and security areas needed to be supported by reconstruction activities to ensure long-term stability. In this context, participants recalled that the Istanbul Declaration identified six initial priority areas for intervention and welcomed the Task Force formed under the co-chairmanship of Turkey and the Islamic Development Bank to follow up. They also commended the work of the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Conference in Somalia. Participants also noted the meeting of the International Contact Group on Somalia that will take place in Madrid on 27 28 September, which will offer an opportunity to continue discussing the important issues addressed today.
The participants welcomed the pledge from the TFG to continue its outreach and reconciliation efforts and expand partnerships with regional and local administrations, in line with the Djibouti Peace Agreement. The TFG also vowed to consolidate unity and cohesion within its institutions and address any divisive forces that may hinder its work. The TFG confirmed its commitment to finalizing the draft Constitution without delay. The TFG also reaffirmed its responsibility to provide security to the people of Somalia by increasing the number of trained Somali recruits, ensuring integration of all security forces, including those of the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a, into the national army, and improving the control and command structure of the Somali forces.
The participants in the mini-summit on Somalia were Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Burundi, China, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, African Union, European Union, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Conference and the United Nations.
I read your article on Foreign Policy with keen eyes and interest. While whining from public officials does not deserve response from any sensible citizen of the Republic of Somalia, I felt compelled to counter false narrative with more objective analysis.