Security Council stresses need for political dialogue in violence-wracked Somalia

Security Council stresses need for political dialogue in violence-wracked Somalia

Security Council President Amb. Dumisani Kumalo
Deploring the recent wave of deadly violence in Somalia, especially in the capital, Mogadishu, Security Council members today underlined the need for the political process in the war-torn country to be as representative and inclusive as possible.

In a press statement read out by Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo of South Africa, which holds this month’s rotating Council presidency, the 15-member panel also voiced concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation inside Somalia.

They expressed particular concern also at attacks against African Union (AU) stabilization forces inside Somalia and at leaders of the country’s Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs).

The statement added that the Council backed the need for the rapid deployment of troops to an AU protection force and urged donors to provide greater financial and logistical support to that operation.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, François Lonsény Fall, who briefed the Council today during closed-door consultations, later told journalists that the security situation inside Mogadishu remained the biggest problem.

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG), backed by Ethiopian forces, dislodged the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) from Mogadishu and much of the rest of the country at the end of last year, but the fall of the UIC has brought to the fore some of the inter- and intra-clan rivalries that had been suppressed and the TFG has yet to establish effective authority or law and order in Mogadishu and other main population centres.

Somalia has not had a functioning national government since 1991, when the regime of Muhammad Siad Barre was toppled.

Mr. Fall noted there had been another mortar attack today in Mogadishu, this time aimed at the presidential palace only hours after the government was transferred to the city from Baidoa, where it had been based during the UIC’s rule.

Today’s briefing by Mr. Fall follows the most recent report on Somalia by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who found that although the nation’s challenges are enormous, it still has the best chance in years to reaching a solution to the conflicts that have left it without a government for so long.