30 Sept 2011 – Morning headlines
- Statement by the African Union High representative for Somalia H.E Jerry John Rawlings at the 20th meeting of the international ICG on Somalia Copenhagen Denmark; 29 – 30 September2011
- Somali Education Minister: Somalia needs remedy not band-aid
- Somali refugees in Mogadishu camps ‘not safe from attack’
- Bahrain to funds specialist hospital and dig wells
- World must act fast on Somalia
- Militants amputate boys’ limbs over theft
- Somaliland president: We will never reunite with other Somalia regions
Statement by the African Union High representative for Somalia H.E Jerry John Rawlings at the 20th meeting of the international ICG on Somalia, Copenhagen, Denmark; 29 – 30 September, 2011
29 Sept- Source: AMISOM – 1272 words
Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark; Ambassador Mahiga, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia; Ambassador Diarra, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia;
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.
- I am delighted to attend the International Contact Group (ICG) meeting on Somalia for the first time.
- Fortunately we are meeting at a time of significant improvement in the political and security situation in Somalia. We are all well aware of the political and security mileage we have collectively recorded over the last two months so I will not restate them here.
- What is important now is to move forward. We have chalked successes in the battle for Mogadishu. There is still a battle for the rest of South Central Somalia to be won. There is yet more to be done to mitigate the humanitarian situation on the ground. Al Shabaab remains a perceived threat. The Somali state needs to be fully reestablished and made functional. On our part in the African Union, it is our earnest expectation, and I want to believe, that of all delegations gathered here today, that in August 2012, we would be in a position to usher in a new political dispensation that is more stable and meets the aspirations of the Somali population and the endorsement of the international community.
- We, and especially the Somali leadership, must honour the countless victims of the over twenty years of carnage and the gallant soldiers from AMISOM and the Somali security forces, by ensuring that progress is now more visibly made on the political front.
- Most of us in this room do not live with the complex realities on the ground hence the need for getting the political and military pressure synchronized. This will call for a very effective coordination of activities.
- There is no doubt that many will want to see the end of this transitional phase but there are those who also seek to perpetuate the transitional phase. Those who will want to manipulate the transitional phase as a means towards their personal goals. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
- Many have wondered if the Roadmap is ambitious. The goals may seem ambitious but they are also necessary if we must move Somalia to a more politically stable entity. In this regard, it is pertinent to say that by securing almost all of Mogadishu, we have created the conditions for the Somali leadership and indeed, all Somali stakeholders, to deliver concrete results in the full implementation of the Roadmap.
- On the humanitarian situation, we remain concerned about the plight of the suffering population still under Al Shabaab controlled areas, who are being denied access to the relief assistance currently being provided by humanitarian agencies. I would like to appeal to Al Shabaab to immediately allow for access to the population and to begin to reconsider the use of force as a means of capturing political power. As has been continually stated, the door remains open to every Somali who would renounce violent opposition and join the peace process.
- As we move towards the adoption of a new constitution for Somalia, allow me to remind our Somali brothers and sisters that, Somalia, as a founding member of the defunct Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the African Union, cannot afford to have a nation and constitution whose ethos are not in agreement with the values and principles enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
- A critical point that requires due diligence is how we proceed with ensuring true and effective federalism in Somalia. The dual-track policy and other initiatives intended to support local peace initiatives and the international community’s increasing engagement with regional administrations has had the unintended consequence of sending a strong signal to Somali clans that in order to count in the future elections, politicians and their clans have to control some territory.
- A major concern, besides the proliferation and mushrooming of entities, is that the boundaries of these entities overlap with each other and when you scratch beneath the surface of each regional state or administration you may find former warlords as leaders. Could we be witnessing the rebirth of warlordism and money-lords in control of states and possibly working with syndicates?
- Women have always played a significant role in the process of peacemaking and conflict resolution in Somalia. In line with the provisions of the Draft Constitution, women must be included in all national institutions and in particular all elected and appointed positions across the three branches of the State and national independent institutions.
- Talking about the inclusion of women in the process brings us to the parliamentary reform task. The reform of the current parliament is critical because it directly impacts on the effective cooperation and coordination of efforts between the parliament as the legislative arm, and the TFG as the executive arm of government. A reformed and more effective parliament is a necessity and as such we must all do what is expected of us to achieve this task. We need a reformed parliament in place early enough to facilitate the holding of a constitutional referendum and the conduct of elections for the leadership of the new dispensation, whether through direct or indirect elections.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
- We should be pleased that the Roadmap addresses the twin issues of good governance and transparency and accountability and the Somali leadership signed up to be transparent and accountable. I urge the transitional parliament to join hands with the government in ensuring that the necessary legislation is in place to fight corruption and abuse of public office including those at the regional and local levels. The African Union will provide all support necessary to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of state and public resources in order to restore the Somali peoples’ confidence in their officials and public institutions.
- As we talk about restoring faith in public institutions, it is now important to underline the need for reconstruction efforts to begin especially in Mogadishu. I would therefore like to seize this opportunity to recall the outcomes of the Istanbul conference on reconstruction and development in Somalia. We need to urgently activate the Follow-up Committee to ensure that we deliver on rebuilding critical infrastructure for revenue generation, youth employment and social service delivery. The Somali private sector and the Somali Diaspora are a veritable tool, which can be utilized to activate Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) during this critical point.
- We cannot overlook the role the international Islamic Community is playing in Somalia. We fully appreciate and welcome the continued positive role of these countries under the umbrella of the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Conference.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
- I will like to conclude that while the African Union remains committed to supporting the transitional institutions and the Somali people. We will continue to do all we can, through AMISOM, to create an enabling environment for them to effectively implement the Roadmap, and to consolidate the security gains. However, it is important for all our partners to provide AMISOM with what is required, in the right measure and at the right time. I believe what, when and how it is required is sufficiently known to all those in this room. However, Ambassador Diarra will be amplifying these requirements at the appropriate times when he intervenes during the appropriate sessions of our meeting. Let us do what is required because it is the right thing to do.
Bahrain to funds specialist hospital and dig wells
29 Sept- Source: SONNA- 110 words
Bahrain is continuing with its relief effort for famine-hit Somalia by agreeing to provide its first relief aid consignment to the country with the intent to help cure 1,000 citizens with cataracts. Under the agreement, Bahrain will fund the $1.5 million development of a state-of-the-art specialist hospital in Somalia, as well as a nursing school to train medical personnel.
Al Shabaab militias have young boy’s leg and hand cut down
29 Sept – Source: Mareeg Online, Shabelle and Bar-Kulan – 92 words
Al Shabaab on Thursday amputated a young boy in Alamada village south Mogadishu, reports said. Al Shabaab officials had a large group of people gather at Alamada area informing them that they would punish a young boy accused of thef.
Somaliland president: We will never reunite with other Somalia regions
29 Sept – Source: Shabelle, Mareeg Online, Somaliland Press – 127 words
The president of Somaliland on Thursday said that his administration will never reunite with other Somali regions. In a news conference held in Hargeisa, Ahmed Mohamoud Silanyo said politics and aid should not be merged.
Four Shabaab fighters killed in Gedo, Southern Somalia
The Somali government administration in Gedo region on Thursday claimed victory over clashes with al Shabaab fighters that took place in the town of Garbaharey, south of the country. Mohamed Abdi Kalil, the governor of Gedo region, said that two TFG soldiers were killed in the armed confrontation and that four al Shabaab fighters had perished with 9 others injured.
World must act fast on Somalia
29 Sept- Source: New Vision- 623 words
Upon returning to Somalia for my second tour of duty in April this year, I did notice one basic truth; much had changed. I had been to Somalia in 2007 as part of the first Ugandan Battle Group of 1,600 soldiers. At that time, we had a vague idea on how we would go about supporting the TFG largely based in Nairobi and Jowhar.
CAF gives US$200, 000 to Horn of Africa
29 Sept- Source: Africa News- 123 words
The Confederation of African Football has announced the sum of €147,100 in aid of drought victims in the Horn of Africa, and particularly in Somalia. The region has been hit with severe drought and that has resulted in famine killing many people, including women and children.
Somali Education Minister: Somalia needs remedy, not band-aid
29 Sept- Source: todays zaman- 1067 words
Somali Education Minister Ahmet Aidid Đbrahim, in an exclusive interview with Today’s Zaman on Thursday in Đstanbul, said that drought-stricken Somalia needs a sustainable remedy from the international community, not a mere band-aid. “My country has been struggling for twenty years because of civil war and a lack of law and order,” Đbrahim said of the dismal conditions in Somalia.
Somali refugees in Mogadishu camps ‘not safe from attack’
29 Sept – Source: Channel 4 News (US) – 469 words
In an exclusive report, Channel 4 News has spoken to refugees who say women in camps in Mogadishu are being raped and not enough is being done to keep them safe. Somalia’s capital is now swollen with thousands of new refugees fleeing the drought caused by the failure of the last two expected periods of rain.
Somalia: militants amputate boys’ limbs over theft
29 Sept – Source: Humanitarian News – 100 words
Al Shabaab on Thursday has cut the limbs of Somali young boy in cross after accusing him for committing theft and armed robbery.