Call for UN mission in Somalia gets our support


09-May-2013

The meeting was hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
“The development of a Somali national security force is vital to guaranteeing security and stability and we support the controlled lifting of the arms embargo, so that government can protect its citizens,” said Mr Morgan.

“In 2011 President Michel called on world leaders for a comprehensive approach to the Somali situation, where the anti-piracy and anti-terrorist interventions are complemented by the establishment of stable government and rule of law in Somalia.

“He also called for a maritime enforcement presence and for strengthening the capacity of coastal states to better defend their maritime zones.

“Seychelles strongly advocates the retention of international maritime forces within the region to contain the ever present danger of piracy.”

Mr Morgan said Seychelles welcomes the government of Somalia’s vision on the building of a sustainable fisheries programme, noting Seychelles is willing to share its experiences in enhancing its criminal justice system with international support.

He thanked the UK for the initiative to convene the international community to discuss how to support Somalia going forward.
“Since our first meeting last year, important breakthroughs have been achieved in the political landscape of Somalia. These changes have signalled the beginning of a noticeable and profound transformation,” said Mr Morgan.

“We would like to commend the people of Somalia for taking ownership of this process. In our view it is critical that all international assistance going forward recognises Somali sovereign ownership of policy and its implementation.

“Any attempt at helping to rebuild Somalia should take place in a balanced regional context in full cooperation and active partnership with its neighbours,” he said.

The Lancaster House meeting was attended by 54 “friends and partners” of Somalia who noted that security in Somalia is improving as the country’s forces and its allies recover towns and routes from the terrorist group Al Shabaab.

Piracy has dropped drastically, famine has receded and Somalis overseas have begun to return while the economy is starting to revive.

But many challenges remain, they said, noting Al Shabaab is still a threat to peace and security. The constitution is not complete. Piracy and terrorism remain threats. Millions still live in internally displaced persons and refugee camps. The country lacks developed government structures, schools, hospitals, sanitation and other basic services.

“We agreed that partnership between Somalia and the international community would form the basis of our future cooperation: the international community is committed to provide coordinated and sustained support for implementation of the government’s plans.

They talked of the need for political progress and to support June 2013 elections in neighbouring Puntland, and to help the Somali government manage disengaged fighters.

“We reiterated our determination to work with Somalia to eradicate piracy and other maritime crimes, and expressed our support for the government’s ongoing efforts to establish internationally recognised Somali waters, which will help it protect its abundant maritime resources and revitalise economic activities, as well as end toxic dumping and illegal fishing,” said a communiqué issued after the meeting.

They welcomed international support to develop Somali maritime security capacities and said they looked forward to the United Arab Emirates’ conference due in Dubai on September 11.

During the London conference, Somalia won international pledges of extra cash and military assistance to help it cope with the twin threats of Islamic militancy and piracy.

Somalia's government is seeking to impose stability in a country ravaged by two decades of civil war, lawlessness and famine, and by its own admission it needs help from outside to rebuild decimated infrastructure and institutions.

At the end of the London summit Britain committed around 180 million pounds (US $279 million), including funding for a planned doubling of the police force, and the United States donated US $40 million on top of the US $1.5 billion it has given since 2009.

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