UN envoy urges global support for Somalia

United Nations, March 12: A top UN official in Somalia Tuesday told the Security Council that insecurity in Mogadishu poses challenges for Somalis and their international partners, urging global support to build a cohesive state.

“The best hope for peace and stability in Somalia, the Horn of Africa and beyond remains a united, secure and federal Somalia,” Xinhua quoted Nicholas Kay, special representative of the Secretary-General, as telling the 15-member Council via video conference from Mogadishu.

“This is achievable. Somalia can reach its goal of an agreed constitution, a nation-wide electoral process and increased security by 2016,” Kay said.

He noted that 2014 is a crucial year marked by security and political challenges, which will be overcome if the Somali government and international partners remain united and if both accelerate delivery of their mutual commitments.

“Progress in Somalia has been mixed so far, but it is progress, ” he added. “National reconciliation, federalism, the conclusion of the constitutional process and the rebuilding of security institutions are critical.”

However, the envoy noted, security remains a vital concern, particularly in Mogadishu where the situation has deteriorated as insurgents carried out often complex suicide attacks against several targets, including a UN convoy, the Presidential compound and the National Intelligence headquarters, all in February.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army (SNA) are pursuing a renewed offensive against Al Shabaab insurgents, who in 2011 were forced to retreat from the capital, he added.

IANS