Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti
Permanent Representative of
Brazil to the United Nations
The situation in Somalia
New York, 12 May 2010
I welcome the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources of Somalia, Mr. Abdurahman Ibrahim, and thank him for his remarks. I also thank Mr. Ould-Abdallah, for his briefing and for his commendable work as Special Representative of Secretrary-General for Somalia. And I welcome Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union and through him I would also like to convey our appreciation to the African Union for its support to Somalia.
The Transitional Federal Government has been able to withstand fierce armed opposition and make progress in some important areas of the Djibouti process and the transitional agenda. Nevertheless, many challenges still remain in the path to peace, stability and development in Somalia.
The signing, on 15 March, of the framework agreement between the TFG and Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa was an important achievement in the reconciliation policy adopted by President Sharif. We look forward to the implementation of the agreement and urge other armed groups to renounce violence and join the Djibouti process. The decision by the Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee to list al-Shabaab and eight individuals should be seen as a wake-up call to all recalcitrant groups.
Unity within and among the Transitional Federal Institutions will remain essential to achieving further progress towards peace and stability.
The security situation in Somalia remains a matter of great concern, despite progress in international support to the restructuring of TFG security forces and to AMISOM. My delegation deplores, in particular, the attacks to the Mission, including the one directed against its headquarters on 27 April. We once again pay tribute to the troops from Uganda and Burundi for their contribution to the stabilization of Somalia. We are encouraged by the efforts of several Member States to train, equip and fund AMISOM troops and TFG security forces. We note, in particular, the launching of the EU Training Mission to Somalia.
We are encouraged by the progress reported by the Secretary-General regarding UN activities in Mogadishu. We hope that security and political conditions will soon allow for a more substantive UN presence in the capital.
As the TFG rebuilds its security forces, steps must be taken to avoid that the civilian population continue to bear the brunt of the conflict.
Fleeing conflict zones as Mogadishu is not always a guarantee against danger and violence. We strongly condemn the taking of a medical compound by armed groups on 7 May. Blatant disregard for the principle of distinction was also displayed in the attack against the mosque in the Bakara market, on 2 May, which killed and injured scores of innocent people.
Against this background, it is disquieting to learn that World Food Program operations in Somalia remain suspended in all south-central Somalia but Mogadishu and that the World Health Organization had to reduce its activities in the country due to lack of funding. In addition, it is disturbing to learn that the 2010 Consolidated Appeal is funded at 15%.
Resolution 1918 (2010) represents an important step against piracy. We encourage all stakeholders to engage with Kenya in addressing its concerns with regard to efforts to fight impunity at sea. Brazil also welcomes the establishment of a regional center to prosecute suspected pirates in Seychelles. Not only States from the region but all affected States, including flag States and States of nationality of victims, have a common responsibility in tackling the problem. I should also stress that a comprehensive solution to piracy off the coast of Somalia will only be achieved through addressing its root causes on land. In this regard, Brazil is encouraged by the increasing cooperation on antipiracy between the TFG, "Somaliland" and "Puntland" noted in the report. This could also build confidence and have a positive influence on other core issues related to Somalia's future.
Before concluding, I would like to say a few words on reconstruction and development. Progress in revenue collection and the TFG's renewed focus on delivering basic services and rehabilitating infrastructure are commendable. Tending to the fundamental needs of the population and fostering income generation are as important as the restructuring of security forces. Socio-economic development can greatly reduce the appeal of the insurgency and the pirate militias. The TFG should be actively supported in this regard, including through capacity building. We welcome the convening of the Istanbul Conference on Somalia and look forward to its outcome.
The situation in Somalia is among the most difficult challenges on the Security Council's agenda. The partnership between the TFG and the international community should be strengthened. It has already borne some fruit and it is the most promising way to peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.