SRSG Mahiga updates the media on the latest developments in Somalia
At a press conference in Nairobi, the Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, briefed on the continuing progress of the implementation of the Roadmap, the Kenyan military operation in Somalia, the security situation in Mogadishu and Al Shabaab's continuing obstruction of humanitarian assistance.
Dr. Mahiga said the key factor to ensure the success of the Roadmap was the political commitment of stakeholders. He said he was satisfied with the progress on the implementation of the Roadmap which has included the establishment of four subcommittees under an overall Technical Committee focusing on the four pillars: security; constitution-making; political outreach and reconciliation and governance. The subcommittees, all chaired by the Transitional Federal Government and co-chaired by key stakeholders, have begun meeting to discuss the way forward on the Roadmap.
The violence was, according to the SRSG, a reminder of the need to bring AMISOM up to its mandated strength of 12,000 troops as soon as possible. "It is, of course, a big challenge and in a sense a big reminder to the troop-contributing countries and to the international community that we should expedite the deployment of the remaining 3,000 troops which have been authorized by the Security Council."
Asked about the UN's view of the Kenyan troops' entry into Somalia, Dr. Mahiga said that the two nations "have a common enemy and that common enemy is Al Shabaab which has been the major obstruction to humanitarian assistance." He explained that the Kenyan forces were operating under a bi-lateral agreement between the two Governments. "We think this, in the end, will contribute to the sum total of gaining more territory, greater security and, therefore, more access to the victims of famine and drought, especially in South Central Somalia," he said.
On the humanitarian front, Dr. Mahiga said Al Shabaab continued to be a major hindrance in getting humanitarian assistance to the Somali victims of the famine brought on by the severe drought. He said there had been negotiated access in some areas, but the needs were still tremendous. He said that during his visit to Mogadishu last week he saw that the internally displaced were still arriving in the city and that they were also going to other areas such as Puntland and Somaliland. He said insecurity was a major deterrent which was stopping the displaced returning to their homes.
For a complete transcript of th press conference, click here