Nairobi, 12 February 2010 – The UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has congratulated the Somali Government on its first anniversary and urged it to continue its efforts to restore peace and stability to the country.
"The President, Speaker, Prime Minister, Ministers and MPs have made some important steps forward in the past 12 months, which I have personally witnessed when visiting Mogadishu," said Mr Ould-Abdallah. "Unfortunately they have had to spend time and resources trying to stop the violent attacks by extremists who oppose all their attempts to bring normality back to the country."
He said that the Government had made visible progress which included work on the port, airport, Parliament and Isbahaysiga Mosque, among others since being installed in Mogadishu in February last year. In particular he noted that, with little international assistance, the Government had rehabilitated Radio Mogadishu which is now broadcasting to a wide and enthusiastic audience for 18 hours a day.
"Many people recognize that Somalia is moving from being a failed state in conflict to a fragile state with major development and reconstruction needs. The focus of peace efforts should not only be on security, political or humanitarian issues but also on economic development and in particular job creation and the promotion of trade and business," Mr Ould-Abdallah stated.
He praised countries which have stepped in to help Somalia and in particular those providing direct assistance to the Government and those in the region, - the subregional organization, IGAD, and the African Union being the "most supportive and also the most exposed to the contagious effects." He expressed his hope that the international community would show a new flexibility to ensure that the Government continues to make progress.
"Obviously a year is not long enough to put an end to the many human rights abuses which sadly continue," he said. "The opposition has attacked students, women, children and aid workers. This completely unjustified violence has led to continued displacement and human trafficking. At the same time, we need to recognize the advances that have been made.
"I would also point out that the situation in Somalia has been greatly helped by those in the business community and other groups who have made important contributions to help peace and stability in their country. This trend should be encouraged and expanded."