The top United Nations official in Somalia today welcomed new leadership in the Interim Jubba Administration and called the establishment of the Executive Council a “milestone” in the country’s political process.
“I congratulate Leader Sheikh Ahmed Madobe Islan on the formal inauguration of the Interim Jubba Administration, as well as the appointed Deputy Leaders and Ministers,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, said during the inauguration ceremony in Kismayo.
“This is a milestone in the process of implementing the 27 August Addis Ababa Agreement,” said Mr. Kay, who is also the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
In August, the Interim Jubba Administration, which oversees the region in the southern part of the country near Kenya, signed the agreement in the Ethiopian capital officially allying itself with Somalia’s Federal Government.
Among its main points, the agreement established the terms of governance in the Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba and Gedo regions.
In today’s statement, Mr. Kay commended the Administration for “their commitment to implementing the agreement” and encouraged the new members “to build on the progress made so far.”
He highlighted the need for the Administration to represent all the people of the three regions, with special emphasis on the participation of women.
“Key outstanding issues, such as the handover of the Kismayo airport and seaport and the return and reintegration of militias must be resolved as a matter of urgency,” he said.
“The United Nations will continue to work with international partners to mobilise resources in support of the Administration’s key priority areas and in the context of the New Deal compact.
UNSOM, which is mandated to support peace-building and state-building as well as the Federal Government’s peace and reconciliation process, has a presence in Kismayo.
It “will continue to facilitate dialogue, offer technical assistance and support the Federal Government and the Interim Jubba Administration in the state formation process,” Mr. Kay added.