Friday, June 14, 2013
The new United Nations envoy for Somalia
arrived today in Somaliland, which he said has remained "an island of
relative peace and stability" and could provide lessons for peace
consolidation throughout the wider region.
"We are... here to learn and to support initiatives that will lead to
sustainable peace, stability and prosperity in Somalia and beyond,"
said Nicholas Kay, head of the new UN Assistance Mission in Somalia
(UNSOM) as he arrived in Hargeisa, Somaliland this morning.
In his first visit to the region since assuming his duties as head of
the Mission on 3 June, he met with President Ahmed Mahamed Mohamud
(Silaanyo) and officials of the Somaliland Administration.
He was received by Dr. Mohamed Abdillahi Omar, Minister of Foreign
Affairs and International Relations, who accompanied Mr. Kay to the mass
graves in Hargeisa, in commemoration of the worst human rights
violations of the Siyad Barre regime, which occurred between 1984 and
On his arrival, he said: "I have come to Hargeisa early in my new
assignment in order to make it clear to the authorities and people of
Somaliland that the United Nations supports their aspirations for peace
"Somaliland has remained an island of relative peace and stability in
an insecure region and we believe that there are lessons that can be
learned here about stabilizing the whole region," he continued, noting
Somaliland's efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and to
entrench democracy through holding periodic elections.
"We are also aware of the challenges that Somaliland faces in
institutionalizing a formal system of justice alongside the traditional
one and we look forward to working together to reinforce the rule of
law," Mr. Kay said, stressing that the Mission stood ready to support
constructive engagement between Somalia and Somaliland.
Noting that this was the first of many visits to Somaliland and that
he intends to have a close and fruitful relationship with its people and
authorities of the region, he said the UNSOM office in Hargeisa will be
proactively engaging the administration and civil society to explore
areas of further cooperation.
The mandate of UNSOM is to support the building of national capacity,
peacebuilding, with a focus on good governance, security sector reform,
rule of law, human rights, providing "good offices" for mediation and
political reconciliation and coordination of international assistance.
Meanwhile, the Security Council was briefed
this afternoon by Assistant Secretary-General Tayé-Brooke Zerihoun on
the situation in the Juba regions of Somalia.
Following those closed door talks, Mark Lyall Grant of the United
Kingdom, which holds the Council's presidency for the month, read out a
statement expressing Council members' concern at the deterioration in
the security situation in the Juba regions, particularly in Kismayo, and
at the resulting impact on the civilian population and the humanitarian
"The Members of the Security Council called on all parties to refrain
from any action which may threaten peace and stability in the Juba
regions and to engage with the Federal Government of Somalia in a
constructive manner to achieve a peaceful resolution to the current
crisis and to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation," he said.
Further, Council members underlined their support for the development
of an effective federal system of Government, in line with the
Provisional Constitution and in respect of the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of Somalia, in order to ensure a constructive and
sincere partnership between the Somali Government and local and regional
"The members of the Security Council welcomed the commitment of the
Federal Government of Somalia to lead reconciliation efforts in the Juba
regions with the support of UNSOM, IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on
Development] and other appropriate actors," he said, adding that
Council members urged that this be taken forward expeditiously.
Security Council members underlined the availability of the Special
Representative of the Secretary-General to assist the Government of
Somalia in peacefully resolving the situation.
They also underlined the importance of the issues in the Juba regions
not distracting from the urgent need to end the threat posed by
Al-Shabaab and bring, security and prosperity to the Somali people, the
overwhelming majority of whom are committed to peace through dialogue.
"In that context, the members of the Council underscored their
support for AMISOM [African Union Mission in Somalia] and reiterated
their willingness to take action against those who undermine the peace
and reconciliation process in Somalia," the Council president concluded.