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Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Somalia (S/2008/466)

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I. Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the statement by the President of the Security Council of 31 October 2001 (S/PRST/2001/30), in which the Council requested me to submit quarterly reports on the situation in Somalia. The report covers developments since my last report, dated 14 March 2008 (S/2008/178 and Corr.1 and 2), and focuses, in particular, on the ongoing political process between the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS). This report also provides updates on the security, humanitarian and human rights situations, including on progress made on certain tasks, as requested by the Council in its resolution 1814 (2008), and outlines development activities carried out by United Nations agencies and programmes as well as Somali partners. It also discusses the status of contingency planning for the possible deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation.

II. Main developments in Somalia

A. Political developments

2. On 14 March 2008, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia unveiled its reconciliation strategy, symbolizing the Government’s commitment to achieving peace and stability for Somalia. The reconciliation strategy has two components: the first promotes peacebuilding at the community level, and the other proposes reconciliation between the Government and the opposition based within and outside Somalia. On 23 March 2008, Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein met with the leadership of the Hawiye Traditional and Unity Council to present the proposed strategy paper detailing the Government’s reconciliation programme and also invited civil society representatives to play a constructive role in the reconciliation process. In an address to the Security Council at its high-level meeting on peace and security, held on 16 April 2008 in New York, President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed restated his personal commitment, and that of his Government, to advancing peace and reconciliation in Somalia and called on the Council to assist with the stabilization of the country (see S/PV.5868).

3. With the exception of Al-Shabaab, whose spokesperson, Mukhtar Robow, has stated that the group will not engage with the Transitional Federal Government, the Government’s strategy, by and large, has met with positive reactions from other Somali stakeholders, and from ARS in particular. To mobilize further support from within and outside Somalia, my Special Representative, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, informed members of the Somali diaspora, in an open letter dated 6 May 2008, of his efforts to secure peace in Somalia and called for their support for the peace process.

4. My Special Representative also extended an invitation to the leaders of ARS to engage in preliminary discussions on their role in the Somali peace process, as a prelude to face-to-face talks with the Transitional Federal Government. A high-level delegation of ARS, including its Chairman, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and the Chairman of its Central Committee, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, travelled to Nairobi and met with my Special Representative and other representatives of the international community between 28 March and 5 April. As a result of the discussion, the delegation agreed to discuss the peace agenda advocated by the Transitional Federal Government. The delegation welcomed the United Nations facilitation role and signed a related memorandum of understanding on 4 April 2008.

5. During initial exchanges, leaders of the opposition stressed the need for the international community to give priority to achieving sustainable peace in Somalia and to recognize the responsibility to deploy a neutral force that would be accepted by Somalis. Opposition leaders also identified the presence of Ethiopian forces in Somalia and ongoing human rights violations as key areas to be addressed by the international community. Following the meeting in Nairobi, the leaders of ARS consulted closely with their constituents both within Somalia and abroad to secure their support for further talks with the Transitional Federal Government.

Full_Report (pdf - 180.3 Kbytes)

Faafin: | July 16, 2008

Source: reliefweb, UN


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