Friday, January 21, 2011


Soldiers from Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the
African Union peacekeeping mission that is trying to stabilize the
conflict-wracked country need urgent funding to continue their
operations, a senior United Nations envoy warned today.

"I should take this opportunity to inform that the [UN] Trust Fund for
paying both AMISOM and TFG soldiers is at its lowest," UN Special
Representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga told a meeting of the
Joint Security Committee (JSC) of Somali officials and interested
partners in neighbouring Djibouti, referring to the AU mission by its

Mr. Mahiga made a similar plea in his briefing to the Security Council
last week when he called for international financial and other support
to help the UN-backed AMISOM regain full control of Mogadishu, the
embattled capital, from Al-Shabaab and other Islamist groups. These
control much of southern Somalia, a country that saw its last
functioning central government fall in 1991 and has been torn apart by
factional fighting ever since.

The Council has already authorized a 50 per cent increase in AMISOM's
strength from 8,000 to 12,000 troops.

The JSC was set up two years ago under agreements between the TFG and
some Islamist groups to strengthen the Government's security capacity.
Its members include senior representatives of the TFG security
institutions, AMISOM, the UN, the international community including
the European Union and Arab League, the Intergovernmental Authority on
Development (IGAD), Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and
United States.

At today's meeting Somali Deputy Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
highlighted the importance of the JSC for the cardinal objective of
stabilizing security. Mr. Mahiga stressed that security strategies
must be geared towards enabling the Government to achieve its key
political objectives of expanding its political base, reconciliation
and facilitating consultations on a constitution.

The Djibouti Agreement, a UN-facilitated peace process that began in
2008 and has been joined by one of the rebel groups, seeks to bring
other factions, apart from diehard Islamist opponents like the
Al-Shabaab leadership, into a coalition, and Mr. Mahiga stressed the
need to make the Somali Security Force an all-inclusive entity
including all stakeholders.

"We need to make the Somali security forces more representative of the
Somali population with the participation of all clans and
communities," he said, a view echoed by AMISOM chief Bourbacar Diarra.

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