Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu
Nigeria Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Nigeria Mission to the UN
New York, NY
19th May, 2010
We want to add our voice to those that have expressed appreciation to President Ismail Omar Guelleh for his very insightful briefing and his positive contributions to the peace process and stability in the region.
Nigeria is concerned that political instability, civil strife and inter-State conflicts have too long been the defining features of the Horn of Africa. The Eritrea/Djibouti border problem and the situations in the Sudan and Somalia have had far-reaching implications for regional peace and security. The situation is exacerbated by transnational and crosscutting challenges, such as religious fundamentalism, the proliferation of arms, terrorism, piracy, the insecurity of borders and the race for exclusive access to natural resources. We therefore welcome the concrete steps enumerated by President Guelleh to address those problems.
In the Sudan, the recently concluded countrywide elections represent a political milestone and a step in the right direction towards consolidating the 2011 referendum. We call on all parties to demonstrate greater commitment to the remaining aspects of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Indeed, this is the time to intensify the Darfur peace negotiations and to recommit the parties to resolving all outstanding issues, especially those related to wealth-sharing and other referendum issues.
We believe that without peace in Somalia there will be no peace in the Horn of Africa. For that reason, we share President Guelleh’s view that the way forward is for the international community to tackle — in his words — the root causes of Somalia’s enduring conflict. Stabilizing Somalia is indeed a priority that requires firm commitment. One way of doing that would be to fully support the Transitional Federal Government in confronting the extremely volatile and unpredictable security challenges in the country. Until those formidable challenges are systematically and comprehensively tackled, the problems of insecurity and instability in the region will endure.
The international community must be focused on the full implementation of the Djibouti Agreement and on Somalia’s economic development needs. In that regard, we support the Istanbul Conference to be held this weekend. Increased support is also required for Somali security forces through strategic training and the provision of adequate resources for the payment of salaries and the implementation of the national security and stabilization plan.
The crises in that region have several crosscutting regional dimensions. A concerted regional approach is therefore a critical factor to the return of peace and stability to the region. We commend the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development for playing significant and crucial roles in galvanizing and reinforcing the search for peace and stability in the region, including in Somalia and the Sudan. With peace in Somalia and the Sudan, Eastern Africa would be a very strategic and important business location in Africa. Peace in the region would also have a profound impact on peace in Central Africa. It would give impetus to the realization of the goals being promoted by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
We believe that the region will require the constructive participation and contribution of Eritrea to achieve comprehensive peace in the region. That is why we encourage Eritrea to support the Djibouti peace process and the reconciliation efforts in Somalia. We encourage Eritrea to comply with the provisions of resolution 1907 (2009) in order to pave the way for the eventual lifting of the existing sanctions based on the progress that has been made.