Somalia continues to be watched closely: UN Security Council

11:43, January 15, 2011      

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The continued instability and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Somalia needs be monitored closely, Ivan Barbalic, who holds this month's rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, told reporters here on Friday.

The Security Council reiterated their concern about the instability and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa, said Barbalic, who is the permanent representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN, after a meeting of the Council on the situation in Somalia.

Barbalic also said that the Transitional Federal Government ( TFG) needs to remain "united" and that it has to "redouble its efforts to complete the remaining tasks, in particular the constitution, the delivery of basic services to the population, and pave the ground for a better future for Somalis."

The Security Council remains committed to supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the troops of the governments of Burundi and Uganda, Barbalic noted.

He stressed the importance of "predictable, reliable, and timely resources" and called on the international community to provide additional resources and support to AMISOM in order for it to better fulfill its mandate and achieve its mandate with its strength of 12,000 troops.

The Security Council condemns any attacks on the TFG, AMISOM and the civilian population by armed position groups, foreign fighters, and their supporters.

"All parties should abide by their obligations and international humanitarian law," Barbalic said.

In his statement to the Security Council during the consultations, Prime Minister of Somalia Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed said that with support of the international community to relieve the humanitarian crisis, "Somalis will lead Somalia out of its darkest days."

Nearly 2.5 million people in Somalia are currently on the verge of starvation. "Unless there will be military support, there will be a catastrophic situation in Somalia," Mohamed said, asking the international community to "reach to the starving."

Without international support, particularly financially, it will be very hard to challenge and tackle the situation in Somalia, and to eradicate Islamic extremism, particularly Al Shabab -- a terror group that uses murder, beheading and bombings to undermine Somalia's weak transitional government -- in Mogadishu and in the west of the country, Mohamed said.

Somalia is currently in the grip of a potentially devastating drought. Agriculture is in the early stages of collapse and 2 million people face starvation, according to Mohamed.

Mohamed called on UN agencies and NGOs to accelerate their arrival in Mogadishu and assist in organizing the provision of services and humanitarian aid.

"The long-term question of disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation must also be addressed," he said.

Mohamed also said he acknowledges that the government of Somalia needs to progress immediately toward open and transparent governance.

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