Mr. Kio Amieyeofori
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations
New York, NY
10th March, 2011
Allow me to convey Nigeria’s appreciation to the Chinese delegation for convening this important and timely meeting on Somalia.
I warmly welcome Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to the Council and thank him for sharing his Government’s strategic vision with us. Let me also thank the Secretary-General for his insightful remarks and tireless efforts to promote peace in Somalia. I also wish to thank Ambassador Diarra, Special Representative for Somalia of the Commission of the African Union, for his incisive assessment of the situation in Somalia.
Nigeria is encouraged by the priorities that Prime Minister Mohamed has outlined to move Somalia beyond its security, political and socio-economic challenges. With the official transition mandates set to terminate in August, Somalia is now at a critical juncture. We should therefore work towards achieving a consensus on the remaining transition tasks agreed under the Djibouti Agreement with a view to cementing recent gains in the post-transition period. Nigeria believes that the full implementation of the transitional tasks — especially stabilizing Somalia, delivering a new constitution and undertaking political reconciliation — will lay a solid foundation for a peaceful post-transition era in Somalia.
However, these goals can be realized only through concerted international support for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The appointment of the 18-member Cabinet by the Prime Minister was a positive step. The Government should be strengthened to become more effective, accountable and responsive to the needs of the people of Somalia. On its part, the TFG must prioritize forging political alliances and achieving wider reconciliation. It should also demonstrate a willingness to work closely with local institutions in accordance with the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic. In addition, it should enhance its relationship with both Puntland and Somaliland, and do all it can to maintain its power sharing agreement with the Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a.
The growing insecurity in southern Somalia and the merger between Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam are of grave concern. Stabilizing Somalia’s security environment is vital to strengthening the Government and to building State capacity and institutions. Consequently, increased support is required if Somali forces are to fight piracy and insurgency and extend the TFG’s authority throughout the country.
Nigeria reiterates its firm support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). AMISOM should be supported to an extent commensurate with its operational mandates. If recent military gains are to be extended, there is a need for greater progress in the deployment of 4,000 troops in accordance with resolution 1964 (2010). We still believe that the Council’s endorsement of an increased AMISOM force strength to 20,000 is necessary to strengthen Somalia’s security capabilities.
We fully back the commitment of the African Union Peace and Security Council to the rehatting of AMISOM as a United Nations force, in accordance with the Security Council’s statement of intent expressed in resolution 1863 (2009), and call for the establishment of a timeline for its deployment. Nigeria reiterates the need for the support package for AMISOM to be identical to that provided to United Nations peacekeeping operations. Parity between reimbursement rates for AMISOM contingent personnel and United Nations contingent personnel is also essential, and we appeal to donors to emulate the United Kingdom by making uncaveated contributions for the refund of donors’ contingent equipment.
The fragile socio-economic environment in Somalia and the absence of effective governance structures are the bases of the piracy problem. We therefore share the sense of urgency expressed by the Special Adviser during his most recent briefing to the Council (see (S/PV.6473) when he called for swift action to address the threat of piracy in Somalia. We also agree with his recommendations concerning the judicial and correctional components of the counter piracy strategy. In that connection, we call for the swift adoption of anti-piracy legislation in Somalia and throughout the region. Clear standards for the transportation and detention of pirates will aid the transborder prosecution of maritime lawlessness. INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) should be included in developing local prosecutorial capacity, a Somali coast guard authority and a UNODC-supported training office for local authorities.
The mounting allegations of illegal fishing and toxic dumping lead us to call for the establishment of an independent international investigation. Many Somalis view such activities as a legitimate justification for piracy. Consequently, we believe that such an investigation would present a major opportunity for international intervention to address the intertwined roots of Somalia’s instability — a sentiment expressed in statements issued in 2008.
Notwithstanding the strong partnership between the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the African Union and the United Nations in Somalia, the international community still needs to pay more and greater attention to the views of the African Union on Somalia. We therefore reiterate the African Union Peace and Security Council’s request for increased funding for AMISOM from United Nations assessed contributions, for the imposition of a naval blockade and a no-flight zone over Somalia and for the effective implementation of sanctions.
In conclusion, we salute the gallant men and women of the military forces of Uganda and Burundi for their efforts and commitment to the cause of peace in Somalia. We also salute the dedication of international aid and humanitarian workers in the country. The work of these important actors can be underpinned by a concerted international effort to bring about sustained peace in a unified Somalia.