Saturday September 15, 2018
By KEVIN J KELLEY
Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo. PHOTO | AFP
Somalia has made progress in addressing some of its problems but
continues to experience "profound insecurity" and a dysfunctional
political system, a United Nations official told the Security Council on
UN Special Representative to Somalia, Mr
Michael Keating, in his farewell speech, noted that "the structural
problems that shape Somali politics and security have not fundamentally
changed" during his nearly three-year tenure.
Keating recalled that upon taking office in November 2015 he was
immediately summoned by then Somalia's president to discuss a crisis in
relations between the central government and federal member-states.
current threat of a similar rupture suggests that Somalia's quest for
political stability may not be nearing its destination, Mr Keating said.
jihadist group remains a formidable fighting force, he added, warning
that "a premature departure of Amisom could be disastrous."
The British diplomat said, instead, Amisom requires more predictable donor funding.
Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), established in 2007, operates under
the Security Council mandate and receives funding from the United
Nations and the European Union.
The 20,000-strong Amisom comprises troops from Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, and Burundi.
A plan to drawdown the mission was extended to May next year with troops scheduled
begin leaving by February. This followed concerns that the Somali
security forces were not sufficiently trained to take over from the
Mr Keating said in addition to the mayhem wreaked by Al Shabaab, there was potential violence among Somali clans.
and local governments failures to deliver basic services and ensure
justice have enabled the insurgents to exercise political as well as
military power, he noted.
"Too often people turn to Al Shabaab" instead of Somali authorities due to poor or non-existent governance, Mr Keating said.
"Corruption is systemic," he added. "Untraceable money changing hands continues to be a defining feature of Somali politics."
UN envoy recited a litany of ills that, he warned, will remain uncured
if the Security Council's members do not cooperate among themselves.
continue to experience profound insecurity, high and costly levels of
violence, ruthless attacks by al-Shabaab, limited access to justice and
basic services, absence of local governance, chronic poverty, lack of
income and jobs," Mr Keating declared.
this, however, "should not obscure some remarkable achievements in the
last three years." These constitute "a largely untold story that is a
credit to both Somalia and the UN," Mr Keating said.
cited a peaceful transition of presidential power and an increase in
women's share of parliamentary seats from 14 per cent to 24 per cent,
which he noted is higher than both the African and global average.
Famine was averted in 2017, although there remains "a high risk of humanitarian catastrophe," he said.
Keating further noted that intense diplomatic activity by the UN and
the regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) has
prevented a military conflict between Somalia's two breakaway regions of
Somaliland and Puntland.
"A national framework for addressing chronic insecurity is in place," he remarked.
crises will result," he warned, "from the combination of
climate-related shocks, armed conflict provoked by Al Shabaab,
unresolved grievances, competition over natural resources, and systemic
marginalisation of certain groups.”