Speech by SRSG Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah to the African Union Peace and Security Council

11 Sep 2009

Speech by SRSG Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah to the African Union Peace and Security Council

Addis Ababa, 15 June 2009
Mr Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank the African Union for inviting the UN once again to brief this important meeting of the Peace and Security Council and I would like to extend my apologies for being unable to attend this important gathering in person due to a prior commitment.
Since our last meeting, events have been moving quickly. The attempted coup in Mogadishu, which was widely condemned by the AU, IGAD, the UN and many other regional organizations and Governments, has failed. However we must continue to give our full moral, financial and technical support to the Somali Government to ensure there is no repeat of such attacks and we need to keep emphasizing that some of those behind this are on the UN list of Al Qaeda and Taleban terrorists.
This gathering comes less than a week after an important meeting of the International Contact Group (ICG) in Rome which was attended by Ambassador Bwakira and representatives of more than 35 international organizations and countries. The Contact Group, which met from 9 – 10 June added its voice to the condemnation of what it called "the recent attempt by extremist armed opposition groups to overthrow the legal, legitimate and internationally recognised Somali Government."
One of the key areas of discussion during the Contact Group meeting was what steps the international community should take next and in particular the 20 May IGAD communiqué and the subsequent endorsement by the African Union. While some countries felt they were unable at the moment to actively call for all the measures IGAD requested to be imposed, the final communiqué of the Contact Group fully supported the engagement of the Inter Governmental Authority on Development and the African Union Peace and Security Council and called for urgent discussions on the recommendations of their recent meetings.
It should also be noted that the ICG called for concerted actions against those individuals, entities and states, which obstruct the peace process, including the imposition of necessary measures against those who violate the United Nations Arms Embargo.
The countries and organizations in the ICG expressed their appreciation for AMISOM's commitment, welcomed the reinforcement of AMISOM troops and called on all Somali parties to support those working to bring peace and stability to the country. Members also welcomed the announcement by Ambassador Bwakira that he plans to relocate his office to Mogadishu.
As you may have heard I visited Mogadishu myself on 25May and held constructive talks with President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed at Villa Somalia. I would like to thank AMISOM for all its excellent help and support during this trip.

We continue to work on following up the Brussels Conference in support of the Somali Security Institutions and AMISOM which was a great success at the political, diplomatic and financial levels. By raising pledges for $213 million for security in Somalia, it attracted great interest and it is clear that the spoilers were attacking the Government to prevent this money from coming in.

I thank all donors for their support and to appeal to all those who have not yet started the disbursement to do so. We have verified 16 out of the 19 amounts pledged. A total of about USD 78 million i.e. one-third of the amount pledged has been disbursed to either the Somali security institutions or the African Union either through the two designated Trust Funds accounts or bilaterally. So far $15.5 million has been put in the AMISOM trust fund. We are in the process of retaining an accounting firm with the Government of Somalia to expedite its reporting on the amounts received. At the same time my office is helping to coordinate the various offers of training for the Somali police and armed forces to ensure the maximum benefit without any overlap.

Still on the security sector, UNPOS organized a meeting of former Somali Senior Military and Police Officers from 4 – 5 June at the African Center for Strategic Studies of the National Defence University in Washington DC. This was an exploratory meeting to look at lessons learned, best practices and the way forward in meeting current and future security challenges in the country. The meeting was aimed at preparing the ground for broader consultations in the next few months.

Meanwhile my office continues to engage the Somali Diaspora as far as possible. On 8 June I held a meeting in conjunction with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office of some 30 Somali Diaspora members drawn from a wide range of backgrounds. The Diaspora members were keen to become involved in the peace process and to use their skills.
Finally on piracy – as you know this important issue is being debated in many fora including the International Contact Group on Piracy which met in New York. The international maritime presence is a sign of solidarity with the Somali people and East African population, but we all agree the answer lies in providing land based solutions. Over the coming months piracy will decline as the international community continues supporting Somalia.
Thank you