H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn,
Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
The Mini-Summit on Somalia
26 September 2012 New York
At the outset, I wish to express my appreciation to H.E. Mr. Ban Ki- moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations for organizing this Mini-Summit and for the serious attention he has always given to Somalia. I was pleased to see Honorable Hassan Sheik Mohamud on a video link from Mogadishu. I had the opportunity to see the new President of Somalia at his inauguration in Mogadishu and I am confident that he would help the people of Somalia enter into a new chapter in their history. I wish also to recognize the presence of the Prime Minister of Somalia H.E. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali. Our appreciation also goes to Special Representative Ambassador Augstine Mahiga for his hard work and dedication in assisting the Somali parties to complete the complicated and daunting transition period and lay the foundation for sustainable peace and development.
Since we met last year in this same venue, several positive developments have been registered in Somalia. During that meeting a firm commitment was made by the then leaders of TFG and the international community at large, to end the transition process, to maintain and scale up the pressure on Al-Shabab, to support the TFG in building its capacity in various areas, to provide the necessary support to AMISOM and to avoid duplication of efforts and remain united.<
The recent developments in the political and security fronts in Somalia have created an unprecedented opportunity for stabilizing Somalia. Indeed, this has demonstrated how much focused and coordinated national, sub-regional, continental and global efforts could bring the desired result. In this regard, we are encouraged to note that the multi-pronged military operations by AMISOM and TFG forces as well as Ethiopian defense forces have no doubt decisively weakened Al-Shabaab. This has resulted not only in the forced withdrawal of Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu but also the liberation of a number of areas in central and southern parts of Somalia.
This impressive development coupled with the emerging growing consensus within the international community on Somalia, as demonstrated in the London and Istanbul conferences, as well as the International Contact Group Meeting in Rome, have all converged to assist the people of Somalia to seize the unique opportunity to usher in a new era of peace and stability in Somalia. In this regard, the Security Council should be commended for adopting resolution 2036 (2012), which significantly expanded the number of AMISOM uniformed personnel including the reimbursement of contingent owned equipment. This resolution has undoubtedly enabled the deployment of peacekeeping forces in the liberated areas to facilitate the establishment of administrative systems by the Somali Government as well as the provision of humanitarian assistance and repatriation of Refugees, IDPs and returnees.
This was the backdrop for subsequent positive developments, starting with the formation of the new Parliament and the election of President Hassan Sheik Mohamud and Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari. In our view, these developments have laid a strong foundation for the reemergence of Somalia as a stable country able to defend and promote the interests of its people and contribute to the peace, stability and development of the region.
Whatever we in the region or the international community do, at the end of the day, it is the people and the leaders of Somalia who have the primary responsibility for achieving lasting peace and reconciliation in their country. We have no doubt that the new leadership will continue to deepen national reconciliation and focus on building and strengthening the necessary governance institutions to ensure the provision of basic services and promote economic recovery. There is a real momentum for durable peace in Somalia and the chances for making the process irreversible have never been as excellent as they currently are. What remains is a wise and prudent use of these opportunities. But Somalia needs help, genuine solidarity, which does not infringe on ownership of the process by Somalis.
Somalia needs political, economic and technical support from the international community. The international community has little option than doing the maximum possible for peace in Somalia and for the economic recovery of the country. The peace and stability of Somalia is closely linked to regional and global peace and stability. There is just no gainsaying this fact. Accordingly, assistance rendered to Somalia has broader significance, impinging on the interest of all those who value peace and stability.
This, in my view, should be the spirit that should underpin the conclusion of this Mini-Summit which is taking place at the right time and so soon after the new President of Somalia has assumed his responsibilities.
We in Ethiopia will continue, in the spirit that our late Prime Minister did, to do the best we can, along with our friends within IGAD and the AU, as well as, the UN and partners, to assist Somalia proceed with success along this promising trajectory. The African Union has done commendable work in Somalia, and we pay tribute to AMISOM.
Finally, Mr. Chairperson, we condemn, in no uncertain terms, the recent terrorist attacks in Mogadishu, including the one that targeted President Mohamud. No doubt, Al-Shabaab is retreating and is unlikely to regain strength if the regional and the international effort to marginalize the hardcore elements of the terrorist group is pursued in a principled manner and in line with what is called for by international law and the relevant Security Council resolutions.
I thank you