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Somalia, Foreign Aid and International Conspiracy – Official Ismail Warsame Blog

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Here is the article you have been searching for, in regards to what was happening to Somalia during the decades of Somali people’s slumber and sleep-walking. This story had also appeared in WardheerNews under the same author.

Take a read.

The story of Somalia’s tragedy is too complex to summarize in a few pages. What I learned though in the course of the past two decades is the fact that when a country breaks up in the way the Somali State failed, it is too hard, if not impossible, to reconstruct it and put it back together again. That is because such a failure creates thousands of well-paid jobs and other beneficial opportunities for a huge number of expatriates or international aid workers and foreign diplomats. It does not take rocket science to figure out that those international employees and their decision-makers would not be acting against their own self-interests in order to see Somalia back on its feet again with all their goodwill intentions and humanitarian intervention. There is no incentive for this to happen. This is the first and most serious obstacle Somalis have to deal with to get Somalia back on track. The second biggest problem is Somalis themselves in abysmally failing to put their acts together by understanding that they are in peril and fatal danger of losing not only their sovereignty, but also their country. This is the core of Somalia’s problem today.
Some, including these foreign expatriates and governments, would argue that the second problem is the crux of the issue as to why Somalis cannot have their country back. That is true too as long as our people do not take responsibilities for their own failure and always quick to blame others for their misfortune and misery they have created onto themselves. Listen with purpose to Somali group debates, the so-called Fadhi-Ku-Dirirka (lazy losers’ shouting clan/personal debates), in coffee and teashops and amateur Radio and TV panel discussions and ever multiplying clan fox-hole websites. You notice that nobody is talking about the big picture of “Somalia first” and putting any political differences or clannish self-interests aside at the moment to save the Nation as priority number one. After all what has been happening in Somalia for the last few decades, isn’t that a double tragedy? Some may conclude that Somalis are a punch of feuding clans that cannot agree to have a nation-state and therefore under such circumstances, two scenarios are plausible:
  1. Let neighbor states take over the country by dismembering it and dividing it among themselves.
  2. Allow foreign re-occupation of the country until Somalis are ready and fit to govern themselves.
We should never give a chance that to happen at any cost. At moment, fieriest diplomatic lobby, intrigues and direct military intervention under the disguise of flashing out Al-Shabbab, another menace resulting from our too long inaction in the vacuum, perhaps also as a punishment for our collective sins and betrayal of our country, are ongoing to opt for the first scenario. Painful as it is, this is the same country whose pilots were flying supersonic jet fighters and producing the best neuro-surgeons decades ago and famous for holding first free and fair democratic elections in Africa.
Following the Ogaden War of 1977-1978, and as fallout of the lost war with the proliferation of clan-based and violent armed opposition fronts, huge refugee camps had been created in various parts of Southern Somalia. In reality the Capital, Mogadishu, had been transformed to a big camp for refugees and internally displaced people, IDPs. With the influx of unlimited food aid from international donors at that time, residents ceased to buy food at markets all together as it is readily available to have anyway. Even households of Government officials had it delivered to their families. The result had been catastrophic with local produce wiped out and bringing farmers to refugee camps as well. The citizens of the whole country had been reduced to mere beggars of foreign handouts. What had happened next was that the law of jangle of the fittest was ushered in and whatever left of the Somali State was up for grabs and Somalia irreversibly became a country nobody owns, leave alone someone to defend it from the imminent collapse. As the regulatory bodies disappeared, unscrupulous traders broke all rules of decency and lost moral compass to sell anything and everything Somalis owned to the highest bidder. Somalia went nuts and out of control. To understand why the Somali Civil War could not be contained, particularly in Mogadishu, one should appreciate the nature of the conflict. First, it is a family feud which will last for centuries in many forms and levels. Secondly, it is economic conflict in which a few greedy business criminals do not want it stopped to prevent the establishment of regulatory bodies of a government at any cost to avoid paying taxes. Theirs is: Deny any administration, regional or central to setup the rules of the road for their trade. Chaos, killings and trade in expired food, medicine and export of everything Somalis owned and adored for centuries are the only acceptable norms for their businesses to thrive. Take note that it was not the warlords, Islamic Courts and even Al-Shabab that kept the conflict in Mogadishu running so long. It is the Mogadishu new business tycoons and merchants of death and destruction that made impossible to bring about law and order in Mogadishu.
International Conspiracy and Regional Power Play
As the Somali State finally collapsed with the disappearance of all public institutions without an exception in the height of the Civil War, Western donor countries under the framework of the international community devised economic and political plans for Somalia to fill in the power vacuum in the country. These plans are elaborate and act as a case study on neo-colonialism after the end of the Cold War. It would require volumes of books and extensive research to write on this particular subject.
In 1993 representatives of all countries interested in Somalia under the umbrella of OAU/IGAD/Partners with international Western humanitarian organizations gathered to discuss on how to handle Somalia. Ironically, the venue of this gathering was Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. To make a long story short, the participants resolved to set up the infamous “Somali Aid Coordinating Body, SACB (search for how limited this name is in the Google entries), The SACB, an Exclusive Club of Western humanitarian organizations, UN agencies, European Union agencies (EC) and international NGOs. The SACB devised the following two serious documents:
  1. WORKING WITH RESPONSIBLE SOMALI AUTHORITIES (implying here there is no authority in the country, amounting to merely working with clan leaders and local NGOs, possibly with Somaliland, Puntland State did not exist at that time).
  2. SACB CODE OF CONDUCT (their internal regulations dealing with Somalis).
By the creation of this unresponsive, unapproachable and invisible governing body for Somalia, The SACB, and Somalia’s sovereignty on land, air and sea had been effectively taken over. All humanitarian aid assistance, monetary or material from donor countries must be channeled through the agencies of the UN, European Union and INGOs, who have the sole discretion and authority to allocate aid distribution as they wish without any input by or accountability to Somalis. To this day no member country is allowed to unilaterally extend assistance to Somalia. An exception is Turkey which does not fit into this framework and whose recent unilateral assistance to Somalia sparked off competition to do something about Somalia to preempt China’s growing and expanding influence in Africa. The old SACB approach on Somalia continues to this day with different names like recent CMC (Coordination and Monitoring Committee setup to camouflage SACB as TFG appeared on the Somali political scene in 2004) with the same modus operandi. To call a spade a spade, SACB became the real Somali Government operating from luxury homes and executive suites in Nairobi while the report cards of the hundreds of its privileged expatriate employees show they are working inside war-torn Somalia on the most expensive life insurance coverage on earth for them and families. That is why we see signals and hear voices nowadays from individual Western countries that aid to Somalia would be channeled to “international agencies” and spelling that out once again after the election of the new Somali leaders in August this year. Perhaps the New Somali President knows better how to deal with them having worked with these agencies for a long time. An extensive network of local NGOs mostly ran and operated by one man/one woman with a bag and laptops have been established in every corner of the country. Most of these local agencies do not follow the rules of associations and societies to be accountable to Board of Directors, have secretaries of treasuries, constitution and mission to avoid duplication of same activities by others. Without their knowledge, many of these local NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are the sources of information gathering for the “International Somali Government” based in Nairobi. These NGOs sometimes come under different fancy names as Non-State Actors (NSAs), Civil Societies, Non-For-Profit Organizations, Stake-holders and so on with the intention to avoid helping the establishment of effective Somali Government and in that way perpetuate the power vacuum in the country to justify the role of SACAB to the donor community and their tax-payers.
Welcome to the era of neo-colonialism where Somalia is a rather blatant example of the “New World Order”. Or rather, the Somali case is a direct rule by foreign powers. This unmasked way of running Somalia exposes the extent of the depth of the problem in Third World countries today and shed light on Western political expectations from “Arab Spring” uprisings.
Every year, these international agencies compile what they call “Consolidated Humanitarian Aid Appeal For Somalia” amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of Somalia. From various sources of their addressees, I had the unique privilege to see first hand and disturbed by the stunning Cover Letters enclosed with these “Humanitarian and Development Appeals. Cover letters addressed to foreign Western donors read and I quote:

“ON BEHALF OF THE SOMALI PEOPLE” and continue to this day ignoring any Somali political leadership, institution (even “Responsible Authorities”).

Equally important to note here that the European Union has been transformed to a collective body politic in the course of its existence in regards to its foreign aid to 3rd World countries (Developing Countries). To prevent unilateral aid by individual member countries to emerging markets and countries and avoid duplication of such assistance on shopping list by the leaders of developing countries, a document or an agreement called The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness had been produced in February, 2005, effectively controlling who gets what and on what European terms are applicable to a specific country or block of countries. Since Somalia is not signatory to any accord after Lome’ (Togo) Convention of 1975-1989 on Trade and Aid between ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) and European Community countries, including Cotonou (Benin) Accord, its role and interests have been mandated and taken over by a small unit of individuals within European Commission Delegation to Kenya, called The Somali Unit, acting practically and effectively as the National Authorizing Officer (NAO) for Somalia, the very function a Somali Officer would have played if there were a government in Somalia.
Has anyone heard Italy, a longtime colonial power of Southern Somalia, producing a single initiative to help find solutions to Somalia’s predicament? Italy always claims in world forums on Somalia to have the exclusive rights of the Somali issues on the basis of being a former colonial power and legitimate authority to listen to and be respected with regards to Somalia while at the same has nothing to show for in deeds. Italy understood well that once her initiative on Somali peace and reconciliation fails, she will lose all credibility in the eyes of other powers and will be immediately out of the picture in Somalia. Italy’s strategy was reduced to sabotaging other powers’ help in resolving the Somali problem. Her political position has been quite detrimental to Somalia’s national interests and prolonged the agony of the Somali people.
How Other States Rate in the Somali Saga
On the Arab front, Somalia is predominantly suuni liberal religious society. Over many years, however, the Saudis have been engaged in extending religious scholarships to thousands of Somali youths to indoctrinate them in their Wabi version, undeniably responsible for the current religious uphill in the country. This has created religious crisis and conflicts within the community unrecorded before in the history of Somalia. People in Somalia now suffer crisis of identity with regards to their religion (even crisis of attire and clothing as strange foreign fashion of Afghani, Pakistani and Arab tribal origin are imposed on them).
Sheikhdoms in the Gulf were pouring fuel into the fire in Somalia by paying Zakka to the extremist groups on individual basis and through religious charities. Egypt, a country that has been boasting to have strong historical ties with Somalia, could not even provide safe passage within its territory to Somali refugees fleeing civil war. Yemen with its meager resources and its own severe tribal problems has been overwhelmed by Somali refugees, many whom had perished in the high seas of the Red Sea trying to reach its borders. In short the Arabs have been disappointing to Somalis in their time of need. Ironically, it is only them that can extend meaningful assistance without strings attached to any decent administration in Somalia, but that is only if the country has a government, which became difficult to achieve for decades.
Djibouti played more than its capacity with regards to the spoils of the Somali Sate by putting herself in the shoes of her Mother Somalia at League of Arab States. Since the fall of the Somali Central Government, it has been hosting a number of improvised Somali reconciliation meetings to enhance its role among other power players in the region.
Kenya is a country that got the most benefit out of the Somalia’s misery as the HQ of the “International Somali Government” (foreign diplomats and expatriate aid workers of the donor community with hundreds of millions of dollars ear-marked for Somalia spent in Nairobi alone). Speak about the huge capital flight from Somalia, remittances from Somali Diaspora and investment and entrepreneurial talents shaping up Kenya as the East African business hub, not to mention about a broken and desperate people trying to calm their nerves with plane loads of stimulant drug mira (khat), another curse in the Somali tragedy, from Nairobi in exchange for cold cash dollars.
With regards to Ethiopia, a major issue of Somali foreign policy, everybody seems have an opinion and knows better. Here I would limit myself by saying that Somalis are forgiving, but Ethiopia has to choose only one of these two options:
  1. Be a peaceful, friendly neighbor and regional ally by trying to help heal past wounds and reverse the historical burden between the two brotherly peoples. Ethiopia has to stop running Somali affairs from Addis Ababa and instruct its diplomats in foreign capitals to immediately cease their traditional diplomatic lobby to undermine Somali unity. It has to stop infiltrating into Somali society and bullying Somali leaders with its power plays.
  2. Be an enemy in the region the Somalis have to deal with and risk losing all chances of being trusted ever again.
Eritrea seems to be more sincere and sympathetic to Somali cause than Ethiopia, but its rivalry with Ethiopia via proxy war has been causing havoc to ordinary Somalis in Southern Somalia.
Nevertheless, it would be rather mean not to recognize that the above mentioned states and organizations have been doing something good as well that had saved lives, lessened pain and suffering among the general population.
In conclusion, Somalia will rise up again, hopefully in my lifetime and, when it does, we will be stronger than ever before to be a force of good to reckon with.

By Ismail Haji Warsame



Mogadishu, May 27, 2019

Observers and political analysts are searching for reasons to explain the noises SOMALIA’S neighbors are making these days with regards to their relationships with Somalia. Analysts are asking about as to why now supposedly friendly nations of Somalia turn savour and uncomfortable as Somalia starts to rise up again. Observers noted that these nation-states seemed supportive of SOMALIA’S peace and reconciliation efforts in the height of the Civil War, holding and hosting series of talks for Somali faction leaders in their respective capital cities over many years. What has happened now to irritate them?

The reasons for their unhappiness with Somalia now could be multiple. One overarching reason, though, could be that SOMALIA’S current situation beats their expectations of a country emerging from total devastation.

Whatever the reasons may be, here is my take on the issue in an article I authored sometime earlier. It is worth re-reading it.

Please take a read:

Central Authorities in Somalia finally lose its last stronghold of Mogadishu and collapse irreversibly in January 26, 1991. Mogadishu falls into the hands of General Caydiid and hotelier Cali Mahdi as leaders and militia commanders of exclusively Hawie-dominated USC-Ethiopia and USC-Mogadishu/Rome. Like any other city-state of the so-called “Third World” countries, Mogadishu becomes the “real Somalia” in the eyes of the international community, particularly for those involved in Somali issues. The diplomatic world deals with only those, who hold power in the Capital City. Somalia’s “International Partners” express awe and shock at image and exploits of savagery of Caydiid and Cali Mahdi. World press branded them the “Most Powerful Warlords” in Somalia. They continue to dominate the headlines of the international press on Somalia for nearly a decade. Hawie clan come out to be perceived as the biggest, and therefore, the most powerful force to reckon with in Somalia’s clan-dominated politics. Some non-Hawie sub-clans in deep-South-Central Somalia joined the Caydiid-Cali Mahdi bang-wagon to become “second-rated” Hawie clan members. Gosha or Jarer-Weyn or Bantu Somalis opt to call themselves “Kamasle Hawie” (The big-nosed Hawies). Other Somali clans become minor stake-holders or irrelevant in the new Somalia’s high-stakes clan power joking and rivalry. With the connivance and blessing of Caydiid and Cali Mahdi, a tolerable leeway of acceptance, as secondary stake-holders, is accorded to Issak sub-clans in the North-West as Hawie’s incentive for “Anti-Darood alliance”. Darood was deemed “irrelevant minority and descendents of Arab immigrants.” The Marehans of post-Barre Somalia nearly lost self-confidence as part of Darood clan system, as Hawies come into prominence for the first time. The creation of Jubba Valley Alliance with Cayr sub-clan of Haber-Gedir is one of the symptoms of Marehan’s clan-politics schizophrenia in the illusion of new Somalia’s reality in Mogadishu.
As opportunistic and dishonest politicians deceive the people of North-West Regions of Somalia with their imagination of fantasy and fear-mongering of Southern domination, the people of the South-Central have been equally misled into accepting an inferiority-complex on the falsehoods of suffering from centuries of Majertinian slavery. The biggest problem facing any Somali politician hailing from Hargeisa and Mogadishu now is how to un-program or undo the false and dangerous indoctrination of their own clan power-bases. Any rational and acceptable politician in Hargheisa and Mogadishu now fights against this “Been Fakatay (an accepted lie), as the Somalis say. In the case of Mogadishu, these historical falsehoods are the main reasons for holding the entire country hostage and render it stateless for two decades, not understanding that by maintaining the status quo, Somalia, slowly, but surely, is dis-integrating. Some in Hargeisa see such a scenario in Somalia as the best opportunity for Somaliland’s Gooni-usu-Taag (secession) campaign.
As the dust of clan-cleansing finally settled in the North-West Regions (Somaliland), President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, taking over from Abdirahman Tour, faces new challenges of local clan politics. The powerful alliance of Gar-Xajis effectively hinders the leadership and mandate of his new administration in Hargheisa. He takes bold steps to bring them “down to their knees”, according to the contents of a personal letter he sent to his Haber-Awal business community in Djibouti at the time, to claim and boast off victory (I loaned the only copy of that letter to the Former Vice-President of Puntland State, Mohamed Abdi Hashi, and couldn’t get it back from him; he wants to keep it to satisfy his anti-Issak bias on the top of Majertainne bashing). Amid the chaos and anarchy in South and South-Central Somalia, Somaliland unilaterally embraces secession in wishful thinking that it can survive alone after the disintegration of the Somali Republic. They ignore even the recent history of Hargheisa and Zeyla almost got lost as part of the “Haud” and once Somalia disappears, “Somaliland” will be the easiest land and sea-outlet assets to be claimed fast and swallowed irretrievably (Recall Ras Makonen-Haile-Selesse insistence in British-Abyssinian negotiations on Hargheisa and Zeyla being part of the Haud under Ethiopian sovereignty in the 1880s). Perhaps, some in Hargeisa want this to happen rather than to entertain themselves with the annoying music of Somali-weyn, and in this way, offer their children’s children the opportunity (or condemnation) to struggle for freedom once again. Tragically, the Somaliland’s attempt to secede from Somalia stifles, if not eliminate, its world-famous heritage of inventiveness in literature (hal-abuur suugaaneed). This can thrive again within the fold of Somalia with the freedom of people’s imagination again in a wider competitive market for renaissance and renewal of arts and poetry among their brethren. Sadly, the current political atmosphere of Somaliland’s “Gooni-usu-Taag (secession/independence) produces no more Hadraawis and Gaariyes. The opportunity for supply and demand is negligible there. It is “Dawladda Qolka iyo barsadda” (“one bedroom State), as Somalis popularly describe Somaliland, in terms of geographical size and business opportunities.
The Ogadens are torn apart between ONLF, Ethiopian occupation, and Kenyan political marginalisation, amid their disarray, following the disintegration of MOD (Marehan-Ogaden-Dhulbahante) Coalition Government, while the Majertaines suffer from Siyad Barre’s ” Kacaan-diid” (anti-revolutionary) and “power-hungry bunch” profiling syndrome. Many suffer from paranoia, as a result, regarding debate on leadership in any field of human endeavour, where-ever they have to deal and interact with other Somali clan members, and habitually, they opt for low-profile and let go existence in Somalia and within the Diaspora. Fortunately, the Late President of Somalia, Abdullahi Yusuf, proves every one wrong and leads the way to re-kindle their imagination on possibilities and potentialities. Hence, you see the types of Caddes, Farooles, and Abdiwelis, running for office.
In Somalia’s neighbourhood, Djibouti attempts to replace Somalia in international arena, keen to seize all it can chew and swallow from the spoils of the Somali State, after suffering for a long time from the shadows of “Big Brother” Somalia (Siyad Barre’s towering image, in particular), and its junior membership of the Arab League. On the other hand, Ethiopia and Kenya see new opportunities for the scramble of the Somalia, and a good chance to deal with the “The problem Child of Africa,” effectively this time.
In the “Restore Hope”, President Bush’s (Sr) campaign, the international community collectively tries to re-instate Somalia only once. They couldn’t. They, thus, finally decide to leave it to its own device, as they found out that every body there is “he is own Sultan” and cannot be re-civilized as “they are still tribal savages” as Richard Burton described in his First Footsteps in East Africa over two hundred years ago.
The world community, however, faces a new problem: Somalia becomes a danger not only to itself alone, but to international peace and security as defined by the UN. The international community eventually decides to manage the country disintegration peacefully by containing its threat of terrorism within its borders. Powerful nations use proxies to remote control this troublesome and difficult people in the Horn of Africa. To-day, I don’t think any keen observer of Somalia’s tragedy can fail to identify the elaborate levels and multitude of “security, developmental and humanitarian projects” put in place to insure the country’s quiet disappearance from the geo-political map
By ismail H. Warsame”

Briefers, Delegates Stress Vital Need to Restore Governmental Cooperation, Deny Al-Shabaab Space, as Security Council Takes Up Situation in Somalia

22 MAY 2019

Permanent Representative Faults Arms Embargo for Limiting Security Forces while Giving Extremist Group Comparative Advantage

The tasks of restoring cooperation between Somalia’s two tiers of government and denying Al-Shabaab the space to prepare and launch its attacks are vital for the country’s progress, senior officials told the Security Council today.

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was among three experts briefing the 15-member Council, which had before it the latest report of the Secretary-General on Somalia (document S/2019/393). He recalled the crisis that faced Somalia at the beginning of 2019, noting the mortar attack on the United Nations compound on 1 January and the political crisis resulting from the expulsion of Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, on the same day. “We are certainly in a better place than we were at the beginning of the year,” he said, adding that mandate implementation is back on track, particularly in preparing for the 2020 elections, the constitutional review, building police capacity and contributing to the planning for ongoing security operations.

Despite the many challenges, he continued, Somalia remains on a positive trajectory, including in the economic and security sectors. For instance, biometric registration of all Somali National Army soldiers ensures that their salaries are disbursed directly into their bank accounts, he said, explaining that this helps to fight corruption. He said the Federal Government has launched military operations in the Lower Shabelle region to reverse the recent increase in the number of Al-Shabaab attacks, which remain a serious challenge. He emphasized the importance of Parliament moving ahead on bills that are “absolutely essential” for the political road map to stay on track.

Also briefing was the Special Representative of the Chairperson for Somalia and Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), who reported that progress on the dialogue between the Federal Government and the federal member states is increasing. In addition, the Somali National Army has retaken some of Al-Shabaab’s strongholds, but the group remains a potent threat with the ability to recruit troops and collect funding. AMISOM, however, is registering progress in implementing the transition plan endorsed by the African Union Peace and Security Commission and the Security Council, he said, adding that it has already handed over responsibility to Somali security forces in Mogadishu Stadium, and completed a drawdown of 1,000 troops, with a view to making its final exit guided by its partners.

A third briefer, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that Somalia’s humanitarian situation remains among the most protracted in the world. The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019 identified 4.2 million Somalis, one third of the total population, in need of life-saving assistance. Expressing concern over the impact of the ongoing drought and the situation of internally displaced persons, she said acute food insecurity has risen by 10 per cent since February and more than 2.6 million people remain internally displaced. Civilians, who have borne the brunt of ongoing armed conflict and violence, remain exposed to targeted and indiscriminate attacks, she said, underlining that Somalia must develop sufficient capacity to protect civilians.

In the ensuing discussion, Council members stressed the need to provide coordinated support for building up the capacity of Somalia’s security forces. South Africa’s representative called for ongoing implementation of a comprehensive approach to security, with joint planning by AMISOM, the Federal Government, UNSOM, UNSOS and international partners. It is imperative that the Federal Government and the federal member states resolve their differences through sustained and inclusive dialogue, he added.

The representative of the United States encouraged Somalia to engage with the Panel of Experts servicing the Sanctions Committee concerning Somalia, emphasizing that his country will not support lifting sanctions without Somalia’s full participation with the Panel.

Somalia’s representative expressed his condolences for today’s attacks in Mogadishu, saying his country is more determined than ever to combat “the menace of faceless, borderless international terrorism”. However, Somalia cannot implement the transition plan effectively “with one hand tied to our back” due to the long-standing arms embargo, he said. He expressed regret that decisions made at United Nations Headquarters continue to have a negative impact on the capabilities of Somalia’s security forces, thereby giving Al-Shabaab a comparative advantage.

On the political front, he said Somalia has demonstrated that its lawmakers can debate contentious issues in a pragmatic manner. This month alone, the Government succeeded in getting petroleum industry legislation through the lower house of Parliament, and the Cabinet approved a new draft election law, reflecting the Government’s commitment to inclusive politics as well as the promotion of human rights. He went on to stress the urgent need to address the humanitarian situation and to invest in long-term solutions leading to sustainable development.

Also speaking today were representatives of the United Kingdom, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, France, Peru, Poland, Dominican Republic, Belgium, Russian Federation, Germany and Indonesia.

The meeting began at 3:07 p.m. and ended at 5:34 p.m.


RAISEDON ZENENGA, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), spoke by video-teleconference from Mogadishu, saying that the Mission began the new year facing a security crisis arising from the mortar attack on the United Nations compound on 1 January and a political crisis resulting from the expulsion of Special Representative Nicholas Haysom on the same day. “The two incidents severely disrupted the Mission’s engagement with the Federal Government of Somalia,” he said, noting that the incidents also left the Mission’s staff deeply demoralized. UNSOM immediately prioritized the safety and security of its staff and, together with the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and the United Nations country team, took measures to provide secure accommodation and a more secure working space for staff. A lasting solution to the threat will only come from denying Al-Shabaab the space and opportunities to prepare and launch attacks, he said, adding that the United Nations and international partners are working together to enable Somali forces to dominate mortar-launching areas.

“We are certainly in a better place than we were at the beginning of the year,” he continued, pointing out that mandate implementation is back on track, particularly in preparing for the 2020 elections, the constitutional review process, building police capacity, and contributing to the planning for ongoing security operations. Despite the many challenges, Somalia remains on a positive trajectory, including in the economic and security sectors, he reported. For instance, biometric registration of all Somali National Army soldiers was completed on 3 March and all 16,000 registered soldiers are now receiving their salaries directly into their bank accounts. “This has cut out middle men, reduced corruption and ensures regular payment of salaries.” The Federal Government has also launched military operations in Lower Shabelle region to reverse the recent increase in Al-Shabaab attacks. In an unprecedented development, he reported, current military operations have catalysed joint planning and systematic generation of capable, accountable, acceptable and affordable Somali Army units.

Technical preparations for universal suffrage elections in 2010 are also making progress, he continued. The Federal Cabinet has approved the draft Political Parties Bill and the Electoral Bill and submitted them to Parliament, he said, emphasizing that their adoption is absolutely essential to keeping the political road map on track. Concerning progress on human rights, he said federal authorities have completed investigations into the killing of civilians during last December’s elections. This week, the Federal Parliament also ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The disputed electoral processes in Galmudug and Jubaland, scheduled for July and August, have become a source of concern, he said. “As was the case in South West State last year, the risk of violence is very high,” he warned, urging federal and regional authorities to draw lessons from South West State and to avoid violence when managing disputes. He went on to express concern over deteriorating relations between Somalia and Kenya arising from their maritime boundary dispute. “It has implications for Somalia’s State-building and peacebuilding efforts,” he said.

FRANCISCO CAETANO JOSE MADEIRA, Special Representative of the Chairperson for Somalia and Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), said that Somalia today witnesses encouraging signs of political engagement, adding that the country’s entire political class recently met in Puntland. Dialogue between the Federal Government and the federal member states is increasing and Somalia, with AMISOM’s support, is making progress in other areas, including constitutional review and electoral reform. A draft electoral law has been submitted to Parliament with a view to final adoption in the coming months, he said, adding that progress has also been made on voter registration towards the successful holding of elections.

AMISOM’s new mandate covers delivery of a support package, including training of trainers, to enhance national capacity for electoral security, he continued, welcoming the appointment of an official in charge of a federal electoral security taskforce. Al-Shabaab remains a threat, but the Somali National Army has retaken some of their strongholds, with AMISOM’s support, he said. In one town, 90 per cent of the population have already returned home and quick-impact projects are being delivered. The town’s recovery represents the overall success of AMISON and its partners, he said, expressing hope that more areas will be liberated from the extremist group.

He cautioned, however, that Al-Shabaab remains a potent threat with the ability to recruit troops and collect funding. It is also important to remain vigilant over the presence of ISIL, which might be exploiting the shift of Al-Shabaab’s geographical focus. AMISOM is registering progress in implementing the transition plan endorsed by the African Union Peace and Security Commission and the Security Council, he said, adding that it has already handed over responsibility to Somali security forces in Mogadishu Stadium, and completed a drawdown of 1,000 troops, with a view to a final exit guided by the Peace and Security Commission and the Security Council. AMISOM has already completed reconfigurations in three sectors and will do the same for the remaining sectors in the coming months, he said, requesting that the Council consider maintaining AMISOM’s current troop level before moving on to the second phase of the transition plan.

URSULA MUELLER, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that Somalia’s humanitarian situation remains among the most protracted in the world. The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019 identified 4.2 million Somalis, one third of the total population, in need of life-saving assistance and protection. This marked a decline in needs from 2017, when famine was averted, raising hope that resilience activities led by the Government and development partners could make further gains. However, current humanitarian indicators across the country are indicating a deterioration, she said.

There are three areas of concern, she said, citing the impact of the ongoing drought, the situation of internally displaced persons and protection. At this point in the season, any rainfall will be too little and too late to reverse the drought’s impact. Indeed, acute food insecurity has gone up by 10 per cent since February, she said, noting that the repetitive nature of climatic shocks is a stark reminder that Somalia is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. With more than 2.6 million internally displaced persons, Somalia ranks fourth in the world, she said, adding that displacement continues to be driven by ongoing armed conflict, climate shocks and the search for livelihood opportunities.

Somali civilians have borne the brunt of ongoing armed conflict and violence, she said, noting that they are exposed to targeted attacks and indiscriminate attacks. It is essential that Somalia develop sufficient capacity to protect civilians, she stressed, emphasizing that responding to the worsening humanitarian situation with life-saving interventions and protection remains a priority focus. However, progress in State-building and security, as well as greater investment in development, are essential to lifting Somalia out of humanitarian need, she stressed.


KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom) said that restoring cooperation with the United Nations and the international community is critical, noting that “Somalia needs the guidance and technical capability”. Applauding the bravery of AMISOM and the efforts of the African Union, she said all partners must work coherently together to achieve success. The next 12 months will be critical to progress on political reform, she said, emphasizing that the political agreements between the Federal Government and the federal member states, particularly on constitutional review, are essential. Turning to the humanitarian situation, she said early-warning indications seen are in some ways worse than those from two years ago.

TANANA JOHANNES MPANYANE (South Africa) emphasized the need for sustained and coordinated international support to build up the capacity of Somalia’s security forces. He called for ongoing implementation of a comprehensive approach to security, with joint planning by AMISOM, the Federal Government, UNSOM, UNSOS and international partners, among others. Stressing the imperative of sustained and inclusive dialogue for the Federal Government and federal member states to resolve their differences, he said there is also need to resolve the current stalemate between the two houses of the Federal Parliament. He applauded UNSOM’s assistance to the Somali authorities in promoting the participation of women and young people in State-building and peacebuilding, and urged the international community to support the Somali 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan.

JONATHAN COHEN (United States) strongly condemned recent attacks by Al‑Shabaab while noting the progress under way through political and constitutional reform efforts. The transfer of security responsibility from the African Union to Somali national forces is essential, he said, adding that, to that end, all parties must coordinate closely to avoid security gaps that can be exploited by nefarious actors. He urged coordination between various United Nations offices to ensure peace during the upcoming elections period. On the arms embargo, he encouraged Somalia to engage with the Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts, emphasizing that the United States will not support lifting sanctions without Somalia’s full participation with the Panel of Experts. The ongoing humanitarian crisis facing millions of Somalis is particularly concerning, he said, pledging that the United States will continue to provide support and assistance.

YAO SHAOJUN (China) said the overall situation in Somalia remains complex and called upon the Security Council and the international community to provide better support and assistance. “We should fully respect and maintain Somalia’s national ownership of its domestic affairs,” he added. Strengthening coordination and communications with the Federal Government is critical, as is supporting efforts of the African Union to help in the maintenance of peace and security in Somalia. The country still faces threats from Al‑Shabaab, and the international community should provide stable and predictable financial support to enable Somalia to fight the group. The international community must also remain focused on increasing humanitarian assistance to Somalia, he said, adding that all international partners must honour their commitments and provide assistance to the country.

GBOLIÉ DÉSIRÉ WULFRAN IPO (Cote d’Ivoire) welcomed the positive movement of the Federal Government and the federal member states towards reconciliation as well as the economic growth achieved thanks to various measures, including expansion of the tax base. Concerning security, he said Al-Shabaab continues to pose a threat and condemned the group’s attacks. Emphasizing the need to promote human rights since civilians are increasingly becoming victims of atrocities, he also warned against violence and sexual abuse of children. Welcoming the Prime Minister’s pledge to improve the human rights situation, he urged Member States to heed the Secretary-General’s call to address the needs of 4.2 million people in Somalia for 2019.

JUAN MBOMIO NDONG MANGUE (Equatorial Guinea) welcomed the progress made by the Federal Government and the federal member states, while also expressing concern that two chambers of Parliament stopped cooperating. Urging international and regional organizations, including the United Nations and the European Union, to support major programmes initiated by the Federal Government, he also called for more prominent participation by women in politics and other fields. He also welcomed the efforts of Somalia and Kenya to normalize relations, and applauded UNSOM for providing strategic support for Somalia and AMISOM on peacebuilding and State-building in the areas of governance, security-sector reform, and constitutional review.

NAWAF A. S. A. ALAHMAD (Kuwait) expressed concern that one third of Somalia’s population requires assistance, recalling that the Council expressed support for the country last month by extending AMISOM’s mandate. Applauding the significant progress made by the Federal Government, he also welcomed the accelerated implementation of the transition plan and the establishment of a legal framework for elections. Emphasizing that Al-Shabaab remains the main threat to Somalia’s national security, he condemned the extremist group’s recent attacks targeting the United Nations compound. Such incidents demonstrate the need to ensure AMISOM’s effectiveness and for the State to regain its overall control. This is particularly important in terms of implementing political agreements, he said, stressing that the international community has a responsibility to help Somalis rebuild a State.

SAMER MELKI (France) expressed concern over the delay in implementing the transition plan and in reintegrating regional forces. Emphasizing the essential need for constructive dialogue between the Federal Government and the federal member states, he said that when there is political will, real progress is possible. For the security transition to succeed, AMISOM must continue its reconfiguration in support of the transition plan, he said, adding that the Mission’s work in the south of Mogadishu is an example of what good cooperation means to the transition plan. The idea is not to withdraw troops from particularly sensitive areas but from areas that have been secured, he added. He went on to stress that the European Union cannot continue to finance the bonuses paid to AMISOM soldiers by itself. He also asked the briefers about the prospects for integrating the transition plan into the national security architecture, and whether the African Union has any intention to seek funding from new donors to finance AMISOM.

GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) said his delegation expects that reforms will be implemented, including in the areas of security and justice. Applauding economic growth and praising the Government’s financial management, he nevertheless pointed out that the majority of the people still lack basic services. Only through cooperation and reconciliation can Somalia respond to challenges, he said, stressing the necessity of active participation by women in the country’s political, social and economic life. Noting with concern Al-Shabaab’s increased use of explosive devices, he expressed support for the joint review team’s proposal to keep AMISON’s troop strength at the current level, bearing in mind the humanitarian consequences of not doing so.

JOANNA WRONECKA (Poland) said the growing number of Al-Shabaab attacks and the increased presence of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) in Somalia are deeply worrying. Poland is also concerned about the stalemate between the Federal Government and the federal member states, she said, noting that it puts the gains made to date at risk and threatens crucial reforms. She called upon all political actors to engage in constructive dialogue, with foreign and regional actors extending impartial support for national reconciliation. Expressing concern about reports of human rights violations not only by Al-Shabaab but also by Government and regional forces as well as clan militia, she called for tougher policies to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers.

Ms. MORRISON (Dominican Republic), noting the stalemate between the Federal Government and the federal member states, said progress on this front is vital for national reconciliation. Welcoming the draft electoral law, she said women’s participation must be one of its key objectives, and at least 30 per cent of seats in the 2020 elections should go to women. Noting that Somalia’s youth unemployment rate is among the world’s highest, she expressed concern that young people are at risk of being recruited by extremist groups and joining piracy groups. She also called for the release of children involved in armed conflict and for granting them amnesty.

MARC PECSTEEN DE BUYTSWERVE (Belgium) took note of positive developments, including the meeting of federal and regional leaders earlier this month. Noting that his own country is governed under a federal system, he stressed the importance of strong relations between the Federal Government and the federal member states. He went on to emphasize the need for efforts to raise international support, especially bilateral cooperation programmes, to move in the same direction.

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) noted with concern Al-Shabaab’s infiltration of cities using explosives they produced themselves, such as those used in the recent attack in Nairobi, saying they pose a threat to the region. Countering it is a top priority, he added. Concerning the national security architecture, he said the gradual transition of security responsibility should take place in accordance with the existing plan and developments on the ground. AMISOM’s reconfiguration should go hand-in-hand with Somali reforms. He went on to emphasize that, with elections set for 2020, it is unwise to carry out an abrupt troop reduction. Transformation of the Horn of Africa countries and the establishment of good neighbourliness will only be possible if Somalia’s sovereignty is respected, he emphasized, warning against foreign intervention. Any new Special Representative should be guided by this principle, he added.

CHRISTOPH HEUSGEN (Germany) said federalism can work where there is a strong federal Government and strong federal states. It is unfortunate that their first meeting seeking reconciliation did not yield the expected results, he said. Regarding the protection of women and children as well as sexual violence in conflict, he said the Government must strengthen the legal framework to prosecute perpetrators. The impact of the drought and the number of people in need of assistance are striking, he said, stressing that the impact of climate change must be one of the considerations when devising future mandates.

DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia), Council President for May, spoke in his national capacity, saying that the international community’s continued and proactive engagement is essential for peace and stability in Somalia. Welcoming the commitment of the Federal Government and the United Nations to strengthen cooperation, he said their relationship must always be guided by the fundamental principles of sovereignty, national ownership and mutual response. He went on to describe the strengthening of UNSOM’s mandate in support of the upcoming elections as a step in the right direction, especially in light of the political impasse between the Federal Government and the federal member states threatening progress in key political and security sectors. Noting that Al-Shabaab is carrying out almost daily attacks in Mogadishu, he said it is high time to effectively cut that group from the sources of its weapons and financing. Given the situation, AMISOM’s continued presence and its need for predictable and sustainable funding cannot be overstated, he emphasized. He went on to express concern that the 2019 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan is critically under-funded. “The international community clearly has no magic wand to resolve the Somali situation, but it could — and obviously should — do more to alleviate humanitarian suffering,” he said, urging all parties to respect international humanitarian law and remove all impediments to the delivery of relief supplies.

ABUKAR DAHIR OSMAN (Somalia) expressed his condolences for today’s attacks in Mogadishu, saying his country is more determined than ever to combat “the menace of faceless, borderless international terrorism”. In two years, Somalia has witnessed transformational progress and thanks to strong political will, is on track to fulfilling key benchmarks that it set for itself. Among positive developments are a record level of tax revenues and the biometric registration of public security officers, he said, adding that timely salary payments are a way to combat corruption. While significant gains have been made against Al‑Shabaab in the past eight weeks, including the retaking of the strategic towns of Sabiid and Bariire, the group remains a threat, he said. However, Somalia cannot effectively implement its transition plan “with one hand tied to our back” due to the long-standing arms embargo, he said, expressing regret that decisions made at United Nations Headquarters continue to have a negative impact on the capabilities of his country’s security forces, giving Al-Shabaab a comparative advantage.

Turning to the political front, he said Somalia has demonstrated that its lawmakers can debate contentious and sensitive issues in a pragmatic and mature manner. This month alone, the Government succeeded in getting petroleum industry legislation through the lower house of Parliament, he said, noting that the law includes a revenue-sharing formula agreed with the federal member states. Meanwhile, the Cabinet has approved a new draft election law, reflecting the Government’s commitment to inclusive politics, as well as the promotion of human rights. Emphasizing that investing in youth is the most effective way to rebuild the nation and counter the ideology of violent extremist groups, he encouraged United Nations agencies to train and recruit more locally. He went on to stress that the humanitarian situation must be addressed urgently, alongside investment in long-term solutions leading to sustainable development. “By taking a comprehensive, prevention-oriented focus, we can together strengthen the nexus between humanitarian and development assistance,” he said.

Mr. MADEIRA, Head of AMISOM, said it is essential to support the Somali national security forces, adding that the Government’s presence allows it to “win hearts and minds”. As for implementation of the transition plan, he said the transitional drawdown should be gradual in order to ensure that gains are not lost. AMISOM will be guided by the evolving situation and stands ready to support developments on the ground, he added.

Mr. ZENENGA, Deputy Head of UNSOM, cautioned that as long as there is no restoration of cooperation between the federal member states and Federal Government leaders, it will be difficult to schedule a meeting between them. Going forward, the international community must focus on key priorities that will ensure progress, he emphasized, adding: “This is what we call the must-not-fail priorities.” The restoration of cooperation between the two tiers of government and passage of the electoral law are also vital.

For information media. Not an official record.