President Hassan hails accession to the Cotonou Agreement as an opportunity for the recovery of Somalia
Source: Office of the President of Somalia
Monday, May 10, 2013
The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, expressed his gratitude for Friday’s decision at the European Union to allow Somalia to be a signatory to the Cotonou Agreement, the EU – African, Caribbean, Pacific States Partnership Agreement.
Speaking of the benefits, the President said, “The benefit of the Cotonou Agreement is that Somalia will be eligible to receive development projects from the EU, which will help us to rebuild our country. These development projects will bring provide jobs to our young people so that they can take part the in the reconstruction of their nation prosperity to Somalis in their country.
“We have placed considerable effort into improving our international relations and this represents a great step in our return to the community of nations.
The recent EU-ACP ministerial meeting in Brussels between 3rd to 7th June 2013 Co-Chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Botswana, Mr Phandu Skelemani, and the State Minister of Commerce and Development of Ireland, Mr. Joe Costello, approved the request from Somalia and after the meeting in a press conference Mr Joe Costello said "Today’s agreement for Somalia to be a member of Cotonou Agreement opens a new door for the Federal Government of Somalia and the European Union, which is sign that Somalia has reclaimed membership of the international forum.”
Mr Nur Hassan Hussein (Nur Adde), Somalia Ambassador to Belgium, Italy and EU was present in the meeting representing the Federal Government of Somalia.
Somalia has been granted observer status immediately, with subsequent accession to full membership next year. Somalia was part of the then LOME Agreement before 1991, which became Cotonou Agreement in 2000.
Somalia: With clashes reported in port city (Kismayo), UN political mission chief calls for immediate end to fighting
8 June 2013 – The head of the new United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) called today for an immediate end to fighting in the southern port city of Kismaayo, where clashes have reportedly led to civilian deaths.
"I urge all parties to commit to resolve differences peacefully. I deplore reports of the loss of civilian life,” the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, declared today in a press statement.
According to unconfirmed reports, clashes that flared in Kismaayo yesterday reignited today. Through his statement, Mr. Kay called for the fighting to cease immediately. “This new chapter in Somalia's history must be one in which issues are resolved peacefully.”
More violence will only prolong the suffering of Somalis and delay the revival they and the international community are working for, the statement added.
Mr. Kay, who took up his post just five days ago, noted that the UNSOM, as the UN Security Council recently reiterated, will play a constructive role in resolving political difficulties of any kind in close consultation with all parties in Somalia and the region. “I am engaging immediately on this issue.”
The statement says that the Mission chief discussed his concerns with Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud today, during their first official meeting in Mogadishu, where UNSOM is headquartered.
They both called for the convening of a reconciliation conference as soon as possible, as IGAD Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Heads of State have proposed.
by Eric Johnston Staff Writer
June 1st, 2013
YOKOHAMA – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has told Japan’s and Africa’s leaders that his country faces four challenges as it struggles to become a constructive member of the global community again after decades of civil war and anarchy.
Meeting on the eve of the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, African rulers on Friday discussed a number of concerns with Mohamud, including immediate basic security issues, as well as more mid- to long-term economic and social needs.
The Somali leader, in turn, identified his own government’s goals: security, meeting basic human needs, good governance and foreign investment.
“First, we must provide human security in order to uphold the rule of law, restore law and order, realize justice reform and establish credible law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Basic human needs, such as food, water, shelter and disease control for the most vulnerable parts of society, as well as able governance are also crucial, said Mohamud, who was elected president last September. Read the full article here.
Somalia demands action over brutal killing
May 29th 2013
FATUMA (not her real name) was at home in Eastleigh, a Somali-dominated suburb of Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, when the police called on her. She showed them her refugee permits but they took the 23-year-old outside and loaded her onto a waiting truck. Along with four other women they were driven to a disused building where they were separated and raped. When they were taken back to the truck, bleeding and with their dresses torn, nobody spoke.
“We didn’t have to say anything to each other because we all knew what had happened to all of us,” she said. Her ordeal was part of a systematic campaign between last November and January this year of torture, rape, extortion and arbitrary detention of Somalis living in Kenya, under the guise of responding to terror threats. The abuses are documented in a new report released on May 29th by Human Rights Watch, a New York-based monitor.
“Kenyan police unleashed ten weeks of hell on communities close to the heart of Nairobi, torturing, abusing, and stealing from some of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people,” said Gerry Simpson, one of report's authors. It is the fourth study into the abuse of refugees by Kenyan police in four years. So far no action has been taken against the officers or officials involved. The UNHCR, the UN's refugee body, has been notably silent.
The violence and intimidation is the rough edge of a campaign to drive tens of thousands of Somali refugees out of Kenya's cities and into the crowded and often lawless refugee camps on the border with Somalia and Sudan. Kenya's High Court is due to rule in June on the legality of a government plan to forcibly relocate 55,000 Somali refugees out of the cities and into camps. Continue reading.
By Abukar Arman
May 19, 2013
If the latest development in Somalia gives you the feeling of being trapped in the Twilight Zone — somewhere between relative security and renewed bloodshed — you are not alone. Due to the array of competing internal and external interest groups and the federal government’s lack of clear grand strategy or capacity to assert its authority, the formation of “Jubbaland State” is proving as highly volatile as some have predicted.
Jubbaland is a microcosm of the Somali political conundrum. Not that it is only second to Mogadishu in terms clan-based violence, it has all the highly flammable political elements necessary to detrimentally undermine the current government, and, God-forbid, reignite the 1991 civil war all over again.
For decades, since the founding of the Somali Youth Club (later League,) May 15 has been a special day in the Somali history. In its heyday, SYL was broadly recognized as the most authentic country-wide patriotic movement. This year was even more special as it marked the 70th anniversary of its founding. However, the anniversary passed without any fanfare because of two particular political and legislative trials.
Two contending men with heavily armed militias have each declared himself the “President of Jubbaland” (and a third one has declared himself as the President of Wamoland.) With this latest development, the city of Kismaayo, in due course, could suffer the Galka’yo syndrome where non-compromising clan contention has forced the town of Galka’yo into a demarcation of several political fiefdoms ruled by several different Presidents. Read the full article here.
By Ahmed Soliman
May 7th, 2013
Chatham House, Africa Program
The priorities of the nascent Somali government include security, judicial reform and public financial management. Chief among those concerns is political stability and the long-term task of reconstructing the state. If progress is to be made on state-building, Somalia's government will need to revisit its relationships with influential regional and international partners. They in turn will need to provide the requisite support and space for the government to establish its authority outside of Mogadishu.
The big questions The inauguration of the federal government of Somalia in August 2012 marked the start of the first permanent central government in the country since the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre's regime in 1991. However, the long political transition and the hastily revised and ratified constitution have not resolved the big questions of Somalia's political future, such as the nature of the federal system and the central state’s relationship with existing and aspiring regions. Competition for power at local and regional levels, including from autonomous Puntland and secessionist Somaliland, is likely to characterize the next phase of politics in south-central Somalia.
Since taking office President Mohamud has repeatedly referenced the autonomy of Somalia's government and emphasized that it has moved beyond the transition. This is a positive message for Somalis to hear, and a caution to regional partners, who have a history of intervention in the country. Yet, despite its aspirations, the Somali government will continue to provide only relatively weak central authority: it is still dependent on external military support. Furthermore, the presence of soldiers from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda in Somalia is an immediate reminder of the region's interest in Somalia's security.
Security in the Horn of Africa The interconnected nature of security in the Horn of Africa and the self-interested motivations of regional countries to engage with Somalia need to be recognized. The armed forces of Ethiopia and Kenya have a significant influence in south-central Somalia, supporting a stretched African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and weak Somali national forces. Advances by AMISOM, Ethiopian forces and Somali national forces have led to the ousting of al Shabaab from fixed positions around Mogadishu, Afgooye, Kismaayo and in south-west Somalia. These movements are too often reported as decisive defeats over al Shabaab, but this is an oversimplification.
Under the AMISOM banner Kenya controls Kismaayo, the largest city and main port in the south. Kenya has been accused of trying to install a proxy regime in southern Jubbaland in order to preserve a buffer between Somali Islamists and the Kenyan border. Kenya supports Ahmed Islaan 'Madoobe', the Ogadeni leader of the Ras Kamboni militia, in the ongoing Kismaayo conference on the formation of a Jubbaland regional administration. This process was endorsed by the preceding government under the auspices of the Horn of Africa's regional body, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). However, it is against the wishes of President Mohamud and his government who have called this conference unconstitutional. Kenyan business and al Shabaab are benefiting from the sale of supplies of charcoal from Kismaayo port by the Ras Kamboni militia, even though exports of charcoal are banned by the Somali government and the United Nations. Read the full article here.
By Abukar Arman
May 10th, 2013
Foreign Policy Association
A few days before the “Somalia Conference 2013” held in London on May 7, a foreign journalist friend of mine sent me an e-mail asking what my thoughts were regarding the upcoming conference hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron. I replied: “My heart’s belief in miracles outweighed my mind’s interest in the pursuit of objective analysis.”
I am as optimistic as I was then, but hardly quixotic.
While the conference’s Final Communique outlines specific acknowledgements and directives that could have various effects on various actors, the most important messages were asserted in the implicit, or by way of omission.
The communique acknowledges improved conditions such as security sector, drastic reduction in the number of pirate attacks, receding famine, and the large number of the diaspora returning home. Likewise, it acknowledges challenges such as al-Shabaab’s hit-and-run campaign of terror and the fact that the provisional constitution is an incomplete document that fails to address some of the most serious issues of contention. Read the full article here.
Sir Peter Westmacott
British Ambassador to the United States
May 5, 2013
For the first time in more than 22 years, the United Kingdom has an embassy in Mogadishu. When Foreign Secretary William Hague raised the Union Flag over the new offices on April 25, the UK became the first EU country to return to the Somali capital since the ruinous civil war that began in the early 1990s.
The new embassy is a physical manifestation of the progress Somalia has made since then. It also symbolizes the UK's support for Somalia's development. Today, Britain once again reaffirms its commitment to Somalia, as Prime Minister Cameron and President Hassan co-host in London a conference with over fifty partner countries, designed to mobilize international backing for the Somali government's own plans for the future. Priorities for the conference revolve around three critical prerequisites for Somalia's future development. Read the full article here.