The United Nations Security Council today strongly condemned the renewed clashes in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and called for an immediate ceasefire in the Horn of Africa country for the second time this month.
In a press statement read out by Ambassador Pascal Gayama of the Republic of Congo, whose country holds the Council presidency for May, the 15 members “strongly condemned the resumption of fighting in Mogadishu” and “expressed their deep concern over the loss of life, the suffering and the renewed violence against the civilian populations.”
The Security Council “called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and urged both sides to find solutions to the problems in Mogadishu within the framework of the Transitional Federal Charter,” he said.
The Council underlined the urgent need for the rapid finalization of an agreed national security and stabilization plan as set out in an earlier presidential statement.
The Transitional Federal Institutions have been working with East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU) and the international community in an effort to develop the National Security and Stabilization Plan to bring peace to the impoverished country.
Before the latest outbreak of fighting, it appeared that Somali leaders were moving fast towards reconciliation. They had agreed on a transitional charter and members of the parliament were engaged in efforts to frame a constitution, giving the first signs of centralized governance in more than 15 years of civil strife.
Security Council members urged all the parties to respect international law, ensure humanitarian access to needy populations and protect humanitarian workers.
Mogadishu is the only capital in the world where the UN does not have access for international humanitarian staff due to insecurity – this despite an estimated 250,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) living in the city. The current fighting in and around the area has displaced thousands of people, many of whom have fled to more stable regions of the country or crossed the border into Kenya.
Saying they would continue to monitor the situation, the members of the Security Council also reminded all 191 UN Member States of their obligation to implement and enforce the arms embargo imposed by the Council in 1992 and they expressed the need to continue efforts to achieve that end through the sanctions committee for Somalia.
Earlier this month, the Council re-established for six months the mandate of the Monitoring Group on Somalia, set up to investigate any embargo violations. A report to the Council from the Monitoring Group said then, in part: “Arms, military materiel and financial support continue to flow like a river to various actors.”