Statement by H.E. Prof Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Prime Minister of Somalia to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, 20 Feb 2012
Statement by H.E. Prof Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, the Prime Minister of Somalia Meeting with Committee of Ambassadors of ACP
Brussels, Monday, February 20, 2012
H.E. Mrs Shirley Skerritt-Andrew, Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors,
Assistant Secretary General of ACP Committee of Ambassadors
Excellencies, Distinguished Ambassadors,
Ladies & Gentlemen,
I am in Brussels to visit the EU and am very pleased to have the opportunity to talk to the Committee of Ambassadors of the ACP.
Somalia is one of the founding members of the ACP, and although we have been facing our own internal challenges the past 20 years, we are hopeful we will soon return to the international stage and take our rightful place.
Today I want to give you a brief update of the political, security and humanitarian situation in Somalia.
Somalia has been caught in an endless political transition, from 2005 to today.
My government was formed as part of one-year extension, from Aug 2011-Aug 2012, with the specific mandate of ending the transition.
Since 2000, successive transitional governments have been presented with shopping lists of deliverables numbering close to 20, from security, peace, good governance, DDR, health care provision, the building of civil administrations on and on. In the past, the list was too long, too unfocused and too unrealistic to be successful.
Our strategy in consultation with other stakeholders was to streamline the deliverables into manageable and realistic goals and encapsulate them in a concisely mapped out Roadmap with clear timelines.
The signing of the Roadmap on 4-6 September was a big political achievement because it brought together for the first time our transitional federal government and the regional administrations of Puntland and Galmudug, as well as the moderate Islamists ASWJ.
The 4 goals of the Roadmap are
- Political outreach and reconciliation;
- Completion of the constitution making process and reform of parliament
- Delivery of good governance structures
We are making significant progress on each of these – let me give you a brief overview of each. I’ll start with the political ones and move on to the security front.
Reconciliation: Social reconciliation is a necessity if we are going to find a way to get past the abuses and atrocities of the last 20 years. The Somali people need to rebuild the trust that has been lost in violent conflict, resource conflicts, clan rivalry, religious ideology battles, etc.
On the national level, we have been active in bringing together the TFG, regional administrations such as Puntland and Galmudug, and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa to sit down and agree to support the Roadmap priorities and process.
We are also encouraging local communities in various regions and districts to kick start local governance and local economic development and we support local level reconciliation and peace building initiatives across the country.
We have also developed a policy and strategy to reconcile communities in the newly liberated areas, a process that will lead to the re-establishment of peace committees and local administrations in a bottom-up approach.
Constitution: The Transitional Federal Charter calls on our government to complete a constitutional process to bring the transition to an end. We are now in the final six months of this process.
We have a draft constitution that has been developed over the last 5 years, and requires only the finalization and harmonization of some of the large outstanding questions, and some intensive public consultations over the next few months. In line with the Garowe Principles adopted at the First National Consultative Constitutional Conference held in December 2011, a national constituent assembly shall be convened in May 2012 to provisionally adopt the new constitution and usher in a new era of Somalia’s political future, based on processes and fair play.
We are arriving in Brussels just at the end of our Second Consultative Constitutional Conference, where we built upon the decisions made at Garowe I. We agreed on the details of the selection criteria for our national constituent assembly, our next parliament and on the upper house of parliament, the system of government and the federal structure of our nation.
As you can imagine, it is necessary for societies that have undergone protracted conflict to examine their social and political arrangements and begin dialogue on a renewed and revised social contract. Thus the constitutional making process under way is a parallel process and tool for conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Reforming our parliament is another key priority and as we approach the end of this transitional period, we will start the process of selecting our future lawmakers, focusing on the creation of a leaner, more efficient parliament.
Good Governance: My government has been committed to the strengthening of Somalia’s public institutions as well as the transparent management of our public assets and finances. We are committed to putting in place system wide sturdy integrity institutions that can glue back the compact between the citizens and public institutions.
Towards that goal, we have overseen the streamlining of the revenue collection system and have prepared our 2012 budget that was approved by the Council of Ministers in December 2011.
We have revived Somalia’s Bureau for Investigation of Corruption and we plan to turn it into a robust anti-corruption institution.
Most recently, we have been working on the design of a proposed Joint Financial Management Board that will ensure the channeling of both public financial management and international aid efficiently and effectively towards social and economic dividends to Somali citizens.
Security: The security situation in Somalia has improved considerably since we took office.
We started with the defeat of the extremist group Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu in August 2011, and AMISOM and our forces have since been consolidating the peace in the rest of the city. Today almost 100% of Mogadishu is TFG-controlled, and Al-Shabaab has been reduced to fighting the population with cowardly hit-and-run tactics such as suicide bombs.
It is most gratifying to see for the first time in many years, the streets and throughways of our capital city opening up and filled with cars and pedestrians, and to see young children happily playing soccer on the beaches.
Securing ALL of Somalia is one of our key priorities, so with the assistance of AMISOM and our neighbors in the region, we have taken the fight to Al-Shabaab-held territories around the country and are succeeding in liberating different parts of the country, including Gedo, Juba, central Somalia and Hiiraan.
We have developed a 3-year National Stabilization and Security Plan (NSSP) that envisions the rebuilding of our army, our police force and our justice institutions, as well as the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of our youth so that we can turn these youth into actual citizens of a peaceful country. The EU is a significant partner in the support it provides both to AMISOM and to our TFG forces.
Humanitarian: The humanitarian situation in Somalia has improved dramatically from July 2011 when the UN declared the famine in Somalia.
This famine was man-made and exacerbated by the actions of Al-Shabaab who refused to allow humanitarian agencies to access the most needy.
My government responded rapidly and effectively, by creating a Disaster Management Agency and ministerial committees, and mobilized international assistance.
We are grateful for the support that came pouring in from the international community.
Now the UN has declared the famine is over, but we must remain focused as many of the victims require resettlement to their home towns and villages and some assistance to restart their lives.
To conclude: As we head to London in a couple of days, we are hopeful that the international community will support our Roadmap process and will solidify the tremendous progress we have made.
Somalis have high expectations of the London Conference – we are hoping for a Marshall Plan for Somalia.
We appreciate the support of ACP nations as we work to end the transition and as we get back on our feet.
We need your assistance with the EU, and to support the use of Article 94 of the Cotonou Agreement to help Somalia rebuild our institutions.
There is much work ahead of us and I am very hopeful.
Thank you for the opportunity to address you today.
I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.