UN SECURITY COUNCIL MAKES HISTORIC VISIT TO SOMALIA
Mogadishu, 13 August 2014 – Members of the United Nations Security Council arrived in Mogadishu this morning on a landmark visit to Somalia to review progress made by the Federal Government with assistance from the international community, and to demonstrate their continued support for the country’s efforts to ensure a sustainable peace.
The visit by the fifteen-member body is led by the UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Mark Lyall-Grant, and Ambassador Usman Sarki of Nigeria. During the visit the Council members met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, senior members of the Government and the Federal Parliament, and the leaders of the Interim Jubba Administration and Galmudug, Ahmed Islaan Madobe and Abdi Hassan Awale Qeybdid. They also held discussions with the senior leadership of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and members of Somalia’s civil society.
The visit comes at an important time for Somalia as the country prepares to launch the next phase of military operations against Al-Shabaab, addresses a worsening humanitarian situation and pushes forward with political reforms to agree a federal system of governance.
“This is an historic visit, the first visit by the United Nations Security Council for 20 years. Somalia has made some remarkable progress over the last two years and is now a land of hope. The United Nations Security Council has come here to offer support and learn more of the challenges that Somalia faces,” said Ambassador Mark Lyall-Grant adding that the Security Council would closely follow developments in Somalia and continue to “encourage and sometimes question the Federal Government in a search for a better Somalia.”
Commenting on the political process in Somalia, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations (SRSG) Nicholas Kay said that the UN would maintain its support for the federalism process.
“The United Nations is here to support the Somali people and the Somali government to federalize its country; a decision that the Somali people have taken. So we welcome the progress that has been made on that but we recognize that it is also a difficult political process and it will require more efforts, even, to be inclusive as we go forward; more efforts on reconciliation, but in general it is a positive development which we support and we look forward to an eventual, federal Somalia within the coming year”
The UN Security Council delegation includes representatives from Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, China, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, UK and USA.