These cowardly and senseless acts of violence will not undermine the remarkable progress Somalia has made in the past months… I call on all parties to renounce violence and contribute positively to peace and stability — Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga condemning the suicide car bomb attack in Mogadishu, 5 May 2013. Read full statement: bit.ly/Lmgmuw
Mogadishu, 4 May 2014 - “Maritime Piracy: Its implication on the Somali youth and socio-economic development in Somalia” discussed today in Mogadishu at the first town hall meeting organised by the Somali Anti-Piracy Information Centre
The dramatic decline in pirate attacks is clear evidence of years of hard work by United Nations Member States, international and regional organizations, and actors in the shipping industry…The international community should continue to support the efforts of Somalia and States in the region to strengthen their maritime law enforcement capacities and their rule of law sector — Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun addressing the Board of the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, 30 April 2013. Read press release: http://bit.ly/131K95H
The Secretary-General recalls with deep appreciation the fact that Mr. Mahiga’s contributions had laid the foundation on which the Federal Government of Somalia with the help of the international community, can now further engage on peacebuilding and the consolidation of security and development initiatives in the country.
— Secretary-General’s Spokesperson paying tribute to SRSG Mahiga for his dedicated work in the country, 29 April 2013. Read full statement: http://bit.ly/12q1mST
New York, 29 April 2013 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Nicholas Kay (United Kingdom) as his Special Representative for Somalia.
Mr. Kay succeeds Augustine Mahiga, who will complete his assignment on 3 June 2013. The Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service for the last three years. His exemplary leadership in helping to steer the end of the eight-year political transition in the summer of 2012 is particularly noteworthy. The Secretary-General recalls with deep appreciation the fact that Mr. Mahiga’s contributions had laid the foundation on which the Federal Government of Somalia with the help of the international community, can now further engage on peacebuilding and the consolidation of security and development initiatives in the country.
Mr. Kay is currently the Africa Director at the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), a position he has held since 2012. Prior to this, he served as Ambassador to the Republic of the Democratic of the Congo (DRC) and the Sudan from 2007 to 2010 and 2010 to 2012 respectively. He was also the United Kingdom’s Regional Coordinator for Southern Afghanistan and Head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team for Helmand Province from 2006 to 2007.
In his earlier career with the FCO, Mr. Kay served in policy and country positions in London as well as overseas in Spain and Cuba. He also worked for fourteen years as an English language teacher in Brazil, Cyprus, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and within the United Kingdom.
Born in 1958, Mr. Kay is married with two daughters and a son.
I condemn yet another appalling attack on Somali journalists and call on the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice”. SRSG Mahiga said. — Taken from SRSG Mahiga’s Statement on killing of journalist Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh who was shot and killed in Mogadishu on 21 April 2013. Read full statement: http://bit.ly/14J8Xms
Mogadishu, 14 April 2013 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, is shocked and outraged by today’s deadly attacks in Mogadishu.
While the number of the dead is still unclear, initial reports indicate that many innocent civilians were killed including women and at least one child. Many more were injured in the blasts, which occurred in multiple locations including at the Regional Court House.
“I join the government and the people of Somalia in condemning these senseless acts of terror”, said SRSG Mahiga, “Somalia is making remarkable progress toward stabilization and these great strides will not be overshadowed by the desperate acts of these cowardly terrorists.”
“My thoughts are with families and friends of those killed and injured in the attacks. The international community will continue to support the Federal government in their efforts to ensure a safe and secure Somalia for all its citizens,” the SRSG said.
By Hodan Osman, Liaison Officer for UNMAS
A member of an EOD team wears protective headwear during a demonstration held by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Mogadishu, Somalia, on April 4. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team partook in a number of excercises, as part of the International Day of Mine Awareness, in order to draw attention to the large number of mines, unexploded ordnances (UXOs), and explosive remnants of war (ERWs) that still exist in the country. Photo Credit: AU UN IST PHOTO / TOBIN JONES.
It may have been the excitement of seeing Mogadishu for the first time or apprehension about starting a new job in what is reputed to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world, that meant that I could not sleep the night before heading to Mogadishu. It is a city I have only read about in newspapers peddling stories about war and famine. But I have also heard about a very different Mogadishu from my parents and grandparents, a Mogadishu that was thriving before chaos descended. The Mogadishu depicted on postcards, a once picturesque and cosmopolitan city with vibrant trade, universities, beachfront hotels and white villas.
In my short time here I have learned not to attempt to reconcile these images of a past Mogadishu with the horrors of the civil war, but rather to focus on building a Mogadishu that will be. I mentally reassemble the broken pieces of buildings, clear the rubble, remove the plastic bags from the barren tree branches and restore the lights and I root for this jigsaw city that could be. There is a sense of hopefulness and excitement about change in Somalia that beams through every conversation and meeting I have had with both government and non government actors in Somalia. Every meeting and discussion takes place against this backdrop of hope and collective need for change. It is intoxicating.
It is an exciting time to be in Somalia, as the Liaison Officer for UNMAS, working to negate the explosive threat to Somalis and creating conditions for access and recovery. Although the core of our work is focused on humanitarian mine action and supporting the Somali security sector as well as AMISOM on explosive management, our reach is much broader and has a greater impact.
To be able to respond to a single call about a possible explosive threat in Mogadishu, we would need to have established training and mentoring for the Somali police not only on the technical aspect of handling the explosive ordinance, but on all of the logistical and administrative functions required to coordinate and report on the response. We would have raised the awareness of local communities so that they are able to recognise and report potential explosive threats and a level of trust would have been established between the police and communities, as communities become willing to discuss explosive threats and other security and safety issues.
The successful removal of explosive threats would result in further cementing the relationship between the government and communities, as the government is and will be seen as providing a valuable public service. The area will be safe to use once more, allowing local businesses to continue flourishing and for children to play in a safe environment. These are the list of activities leading up to and supporting the Somali Police team’s response to calls.
It is this type of residual and spiraling impact from a series of smaller activities that will lead to greater change in Somalia. The process of the Somali police responding to a single call is demonstrating a key thread for stabilisation – a Somali police force supported by the Somali government providing essential services to Somali communities. This is the change we are all working towards and its optimism is evident and exchanged in every transaction, conversation, school lesson, coffee shop, government meeting and gathering in the streets of a Mogadishu that will be. Today, we are celebrating this as part of International Mine Awareness Day in Mogadishu.
By Bastian Richter, Coordination Officer - UNPOS
There is a new buzz word in town. In almost all the meetings I attended over the past year, it came up again and again: Stabilisation.
I have tried to make sense of what it means. Exploring its many facets and faces, a year later, I have reached the conclusion that there is much more common ground between its definitions and stakeholders than there are differences. Basically the Somali Federal Government, international and regional partners all agree that populations living in central and south Somalia, in areas recently recovered from Al-Shabaab, need to be stabilised. And it is urgently needed.
There is also agreement on what ‘stabilisation’ is not. It is neither live-saving humanitarian aid, nor long-term development. Stabilisation is about enabling the Somali authorities to deliver quick, tangible ‘peace dividends’ to its people so that they can start living with a sense of normality and without fear. After 22 years of conflict in Somalia, the task is monumental. The question is where to start. To begin with, even relatively small projects can make a huge difference in improving people’s everyday lives. For example, last year’s illumination of Maka al-Mukarama Road with solar-powered streetlights immediately brought greater public safety at night and an upsurge of economic activity to one of the main arteries of Mogadishu. Previously feared for its roadside bombs that were planted overnight on the unlit rubbish-strewn pavement, Maka is now lined with roadside cafes that are bustling until long after dark. In Balad town, just north of Mogadishu, the recent refurbishment of the main road and bridge not only provided temporary jobs for several hundred local construction workers, but it also eased commerce and transit of goods between Mogadishu and Middle Shabelle and the Hiraan regions.
But stabilisation cannot be brought about with bricks and mortar alone. It essentially builds on improved safety and security for Somalis at the community level. The removal of land mines and explosives, community policing, and the establishment of district peace and security committees are equally important measures. The establishment of legitimate and trusted local civil authorities through a transparent and consultative process is another priority for the Government – not least in order to lay the groundwork for longer-term reconciliation and for the re-building of Somalia. But stabilisation crucially also includes the provision of essential social services such as health and education. The plan by Mariam Qasim, the Minister for Human Development and Public Services, to enroll one million children and youth in the course of the upcoming school year, is as ambitious as it is critical to give teenagers an alternative to joining militias or pirate gangs.
Stabilisation requires a coherent policy that sets out the Government’s priorities and that enables international partners to align their support accordingly. The Government is currently working to develop a national stabilization plan, starting with a focus on needs of local populations and building on what has already been achieved in areas that have emerged from Al-Shabaab’s control.
There is also great international goodwill towards the Somali Federal Government in its stabilisation efforts. A number of donors are already funding initiatives in Somalia that promote stability. UNPOS and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office are currently supporting the Office of the Prime Minister in collecting this crucial information from UN and international partners and from the Somali population. This will empower the Government to take the lead in planning and coordinating stabilization efforts. 2013 is a crucial year for the Federal Government to show the Somalis that it is committed to improving their lives, step by step. With all these changes taking place in Somalia as the nation enters an era of transformation, a new expanded political mission would replace UNPOS in the coming months, we will continue to walk alongside the Somali people on their path to stabilising their country.
I condemn this hideous attack in the strongest terms and send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Rahma Abdulkadir,” SRSG Mahiga said. — Taken from SRSG Mahiga’s Statement on the killing of media worker in Mogadishu, 25 March 2013. Read full statement: http://bit.ly/YPsokg