A professional, well-organized security force must be established in Somalia by August 2011, the end of the mandate of the current Transitional Federal Government (TFG), if peace and stability are to be assured, the top United Nations envoy for the strife-torn country said today.
“If well utilized, this is a reasonable period to rebuild the initial element of your country’s security forces,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah told a Joint Security Committee (JSC) meeting of Somali officials and interested partners in Nairobi, capital of neighbouring Kenya.
“We all are here to help, not to study or to delay our contribution to what is a joint undertaking between you and the international community… Security forces should be better organized and strengthened. What has been achieved since the 7 May attempted coup is great but more needs to be done,” he added, referring to a surge in armed violence targeting the TFG then.
The JSC was established in January under agreements signed in Djibouti between the TFG and some Islamist groups to strengthen the Government’s security capacity. Its members include senior representatives of the TFG security institutions, the African Union and its peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the UN and other members of the international community, including the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in East Africa, the Arab League, Norway and the United States.
Mr. Ould-Abdallah singled out AMISOM for its work under such adverse conditions. “The courage of the AMISOM troops and their heroic conduct will never be fully appreciated at their true value,” he said.
He called on Somali leaders to continue their commitment to dialogue and working together more closely to achieve peace and stability in a country that as been ravaged by factional fighting and has not had a functioning central government since 1991.
He also urged the international community working to remain focused on key priorities including security, humanitarian assistance, human rights as well as development, particularly job creation.