Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu

Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN

Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN

New York, NY

14 September, 2011

As Delivered

On behalf of the Nigerian delegation, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Lebanese Presidency for convening today’s debate.

 Somalia faces daunting challenges, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss them comprehensively. Let me take this opportunity to welcome His Excellency Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and to thank him for his very insightful statement. I also want to thank Ambassador Boubacar Diarra, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union for Somalia, for his very perceptive remarks.

 I want to thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General Mahiga for his comprehensive statement and, indeed, his tireless efforts to achieve peace and security in Somalia. We greatly appreciate his persistent and enduring engagement with Somalia’s stakeholders in an effort to optimize the transitional period.

 Nigeria is encouraged by the priorities that Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has succinctly outlined to move Somalia beyond its security, political and socio-economic challenges. Our support for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), its institutions and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in their efforts to rebuild Somalia remains unflinching.

 Although recent territorial gains and the ousting of Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu have undoubtedly enhanced security around the capital city and facilitated the delivery of aid, security remains a daunting challenge in Somalia. Effective and sustained measures are required to underpin recent gains and incrementally extend the TFG’s authority throughout the country. We believe that those challenges must compel the Council to revise its Somalia strategy by fast-tracking support both for the TFG and its institutions as well as AMISOM.

 Nigeria shares the Secretary-General’s assessment that AMISOM’s continued presence in Somalia remains invaluable to the TFG as it seeks to discharge its responsibilities. We believe that the full deployment of the 3,000 troops authorized by the Council, increasing AMISOM’s force strength to 12,000, will significantly enhance its capabilities and effectiveness. Indeed, augmenting AMISOM’s capabilities with force enablers and expanding its support package should be central to the new Somalia strategy. Adequate provisions should be made for the self-sustenance of the troops as well as the reimbursement for contingent-owned equipment.

 Nigeria welcomes the ongoing support provided by bilateral partners to the Trust Fund for AMISOM and encourages partners to provide caveat-free support.

 In our view, the 18 August African Union technical workshop outlined critical next steps for AMISOM. Establishing a dedicated formed police unit to buttress law and order in Mogadishu, as well as an additional battalion of 300 to protect United Nations personnel, is critical to prevent the overextension of its military resources and capabilities.

 Cognizant of the importance of building and strengthening Somalia’s internal security forces, Nigeria welcomes the prospect of the adoption of a national security and stabilization plan by 19 October under the political road map. We welcome the road map’s declaration of a comprehensive legislative and security response to the ongoing threat of piracy. Nigeria is encouraged that the consultative meeting held in Mogadishu from 4 to 6 September delineated a concrete set of objectives to reinforce the political process, including the Transitional Federal Institutions. Nigeria has unequivocally stressed that national ownership over Somalia’s political trajectory remains critical for ensuring the sustainability of the peace process.

 The efforts to adopt a draft constitution and create a credible and stable parliament by next July are significant first steps in developing an enduring and legitimate structure. It bears reiterating that unity and coherence within the TFG and its institutions will go a long way in consolidating recent gains and expediting the implementation of both the Kampala Accord and the post-transition road map for Somalia.

 Like other delegations, Nigeria is deeply concerned by the unabated humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia. We are all aware that more than 12.5 million  people are affected by the worst drought in the region in 60 years. It is troubling that this natural disaster may be worsened by the deliberate obstruction of humanitarian efforts by insurgents. Indeed, as many as 750,000 lives may be at deadly risk. The denial of the right to food undermines the right to health, thus ultimately placing at risk the most fundamental of all human rights, namely, the right to life. We call on all parties to guarantee unfettered access to humanitarian agencies as they strive to deliver vitally needed aid.

 The current crisis is vast in scope and requires the collective resources of the international community to stem the rapidly rising cost in human life. We call on all Member States to contribute to the consolidated Somalia fund. For its part, Nigeria has contributed $2 million to the fund.

 The coming months will provide the TFG with a renewed opportunity to forge permanent governmental structures and build enduring peace and security. The goals enumerated in the road map are a vital first step. In the face of the difficulties posed by the transition period, insecurity and the humanitarian crisis, delivering on these goals will require not only the comprehensive efforts of the Somali authorities but also the full support of the international community. As the Secretary-General aptly stated, we must capitalize on recent developments and seize the opportunities created by the Kampala Accord, the political road map and the force withdrawal of Al-Shabaab from Mogadish.