Despite remarkable achievements in Somalia in the recent past, structural challenges remain and continue to undermine the country’s security and political stability, the United Nations envoy for the country has warned.
DAKAR, Senegal, September 14, 2018 – Briefing the Security Council for the last time in his capacity as UN Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating called on all Somalis to draw strength from the positive transformations going on inside the country and work collectively for the common good.
“The future of Somalia is in the hands of the Somalis,” he declared.
In particular, Mr. Keating – who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) – urged unity among political leaders.
“The more [they] show unity, the greater the opportunity, and the responsibility, of international partners to invest in all parts of the country and its leadership,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr. Keating highlighted four key concerns the country’s leaders need to address, and issues that the international community should keep focusing on.
These include the threat posed by the Al Shabaab and other extremist groups; the risk of political differences overshadowing progress in legislative, reform and security areas; fragmentation within the international community; and the danger of a humanitarian “catastrophe”, especially with most of the population already living in precarious circumstances due to climate change and other vulnerabilities.
“Future crises will result from the combination of climate related shocks; armed conflict provoked by Al Shabaab and unresolved grievances; competition over natural resources; and systemic marginalization of certain groups,” warned Mr. Keating. He underscored the need to reduce the vulnerability faced by ordinary Somalis, through job creation and smart investments that safeguard natural resources and help unlock the enormous economic potential of the country.
Besides political will, Mr. Keating underscored, success will depend on leaders from the political, business and traditional spheres “working together for the common good, leveraging the country’s potential wealth to transform prospects for people – especially the young.”
On 1 October, Nicholas Haysom will replace Mr. Keating as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and the head of UNSOM. Mr. Keating was appointed the top UN official in the Horn of Africa nation in November 2015.
Women have brought ‘important voices’ to Somali politics
Alongside Mr. Keating, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of the UN gender equality and empowerment agency for women and girls (UN Women) highlighted the “once-in-a-generation opportunity” that Somalia currently has to establish lasting peace, and gender equality.
She commended the nation for improving representation of women in public office, illustrated by the “jump” in women’s representation in parliamentary elections from 14 to nearly 25 per cent of seats in the most recent elections.
This progress, she underscored, has brought many “important voices” to Somali politics.
She said it had brought to the centre “the fight to end child marriage, end female genital mutilation (FGM), and change laws that discriminate against women,” noting that the participation of women will be further boosted if more leaders, especially clan leaders, embrace gender equality and support women.
She also called on the international community and the Security Council to support Somalia’s federal and provincial authorities, advance gender equality, act strongly against sexual and gender-based violence, advocate for meaningful participation and recognition of women in all sectors, and support women’s groups in the country.
“Women’s organizations in Somalia are organized. They are dedicated to their country: they are activists, advocates, entrepreneurs, professionals, and patriots,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, noting that as the country prepares to confront the challenges in the days ahead, “women will make the difference.”
Considering that the peoples of Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea share close ties of geography, history, culture and religion as well as vital common interests;
Respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity;
Desiring to bolster their historical ties to achieve their lofty objectives;
The Governments of Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea have reached the following agreement that reflects the aspirations of their peoples:-
1. The three countries shall foster comprehensive cooperation that advances the goals of their peoples.
2. The three countries shall build close political, economic, social, cultural and security ties.
3. The three countries shall work in coordination to promote regional peace and security.
4. The three governments hereby establish a Joint High-Level Committee to coordinate their efforts in the framework of this Joint Declaration.
Done in Asmara, September 5, 2018
For the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
For the Federal Republic of Somalia
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
For the State of Eritrea
President Isaias Afwerki
President Farmajo, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki are scheduled to meet in Asmara on 6th and 7th September.
MOGADISHU, Somalia, September 5, 2018 – Mogadishu 5th September 2018; The president of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is leading efforts to consolidate gains made at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation by facilitating the prospect of a tripartite agreement on economic Integration between the countries of the Horn.
President Farmajo, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki are scheduled to meet in Asmara on 6th and 7th September to hold discussions on strengthening the economic and security stability of the region.
The leaders would also discuss measures to end all political and social conflicts between the countries of the horn to promote harmony and a happy coexistence between neighbors of the horn.
President Farmajo’s vision is to promote free trade flow, and a mutual economic cooperation between all the countries of the Horn of Africa.
Somalia seeks to play a key role in economic and social integration of the Horn of Africa to foster trade and investment, and to improve connectivity between the people and businesses of the Horn.
In Beijing, Somalia signed the Belt and Road Initiative that enhances connectivity and promotes economic development, and an agreement on improving Economic and Technical Cooperation between China and Somalia.
Somalia’s ambition to take the lead in facilitating a robust Horn of Africa trade bloc would foster stronger economic stability and development for the Horn nations.
The Somali Region or the Ogaden Region have been under-fire for months. Over the weekend the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) send the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) to takeover the capital of the region, they ceased the important buildings as the looting and destroying of city, therefore, the army took the Parliament, the banks and major buildings. While the local group Heego of Abdi Illey created havoc. By Saturday, there was reports of calm, but the army was out and the Liyu Police had taken control.
Today on Monday after time in house-arrest, Illey have been sacked and he has gotten a successor by the authorities. However, the violence isn’t slowing down, but escalating to heavy proportions. You can wonder how many Somali people have to die, because of the will of Oromo to annex this region and its resources. Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the EPRDF needs to react and stop the violence. That Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali have been silent and not really reacted, but let the Oromo attack these areas and killing, also accepting the army ceasing JigJjiga, isn’t a good sign. That is a sign of internal battlefield within the Federal Republic. Not pacing down, but more violence and more hurt for innocent civilians.
“The town of Tuliguleed has been a flash point for conflict between indigenous Somalis and Oromo settlers in the past but what has transpired in the past 24 hours has never been seen before. Heavily armed Oromo militia’s launched an indiscriminate attack on multiple Somali inhabited villages on the border between Ogaden and the neighboring Oromo regional state. Armed Oromo militia’s entered the villages and began indiscriminately opening fire on civilians, forcing hundreds to flee to the nearby town of Tuliguleed and the surrounding areas. The rogue paramilitary militia’s began subsequently burning villages to the ground, till it was completely ash. A total of nine villages where burned to the ground” (Halgan Media – ‘Oromo Militia’s Burn Down Nine Villages In Ogaden Within The Past 24 Hours’ 06.08.2018 link: http://halganmedia.net/oromo-militias-burn-down-nine-villages-in-ogaden-within-the-past-24-hours/).
There are reports of violence also in Harar, Dire Dawa and not only in the areas around Jigjiga. But this is deliberate activity, especially when the authorities have cut the Telecommunications, the internet and everything else used to spread a single word. This is what the EPRDF have done in Amhara and Oromia, when they have forced their State of Emergency to control these areas. Instead of doing it there by the Tigray People’s Liberation Force (TPLF), not the Queero and the Oromos feels big enough to charge at the people of Ogaden. This happens as the oil revenue has come.
This comes after killings last month in Moyale, as their been movement and seems to be planned violence now within the Ogaden. Like they want to burn and destroy, so they can move in and occupy it. It is an ancient tactic done by plenty and now the Oromo is doing it to their Somali brothers. This is sad as the Oromo and Oromia have been protesting and fighting for their rights. Instead of living in solidarity and trying to forge unity with the rest of the Federal Republic. They are using violence against brothers. That is just sad and mediocre of the people whose deserved to be free from toils of the TPLF. Is using the same means and deception of violence against others. They should know better, because they really had their hurt and pain for so long because of EPRDF.
It is impossible to know at the moment how many whose died in the skirmishes from ENDF and Queero in Ogaden. But each one, is one to many, just like every single one dying in Oromia because of the TPLF, was one to many. No one deserves to die because of the attitude of supremacy or ideals of that sort. Peace.