Seeking for a long-term solution to stability in Somalia, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2093, suspending some elements of arms embargo of the country in the hope to strengthen its security forces to fight al Qaeda-linked Islamists.
In her statement in New York, Ambassador Susan Rice says in recognition of the Somali government’s progress, the Security Council has agreed to suspend the arms embargo on the government of Somalia while providing safeguards to ensure responsible development of the security sector and leaving the ban on Al Shabaab and other terrorist and extremist groups in place.
Ms. Rice emphasizes that US will continue to work to support the Government of Somalia as they endeavor to turn the page on two decades of civil war by maintaining recent progress and working closely with regional and international partners to improve the lives of all Somalis.
Reports say the U.N. Security Council agreed to lift an arms embargo on Somalia’s government for one year so it can beef up its army to combat Islamist fighters particularly Al-qaeda.
The Security Council imposed the arms embargo in 1992 to curb the flow of arms to warring warlords.
Somalia held its first national vote since 1991 last year to elect new leaders particulalry a president and prime minister.
New Resolution adopted for the future of AMISOM and the UN presence in Somalia
“The new resolution also sends a clear signal of support to the new Somali Government.” – Ms. Rice
According to Ms. Rice, resolution 2093 also answers President Hassan Sheikh Mohamed’s call for “one door to knock on,” by unifying UN development and humanitarian work under the UN Special Representative’s direction.
“It also aligns UN support to assist the Somali Government in delivering services to its citizens.” – Ms. Rice
Reports say the resolution entails extending AMISOM’s mandate for another year, sets clear parameters for the future of the UN’s engagement in Somalia, suspension of some elements of the arms embargo from the government of Somalia for one year. In addition, it also introduces a number of monitoring mechanisms to allow the Security Council to monitor weapons flows and use in Somalia.
AMISOM ready to defend Somalia
In October 2012, UN-backed Africa Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM)has captured Somali strategic port city of Kismayo in Somalia.
Reports say Kenya Defence Forces and Somalia National Army (SNA) has taken the only remaining bastion of rebel Al-Shabaab. last Friday.
Kismayo is reportedly the third largest city of Somalia which is considered the hub of the militant group, Al-Shabaab.
In August 2011, the Islamic insurgent group Al-Shabaab has left the capital, Mogadishu.
Fighting between Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Al-Shabaab militants had already uprooted tens of thousands of people in Mogadishu before the current humanitarian crisis began. Ongoing insecurity and drought, as well as famine in parts of southern Somalia, have caused a massive influx of starving adults and children into the city in the past two months.
Al-Shabaab militants are infamous for deliberately
blocking the delivery of food assistance in an area of south central Somalia which is under direct or indirect control of al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab militant group has been compared with the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan because of its opinions and beliefs.
US Recognizes new functioning democratic government of Somalia
With the recent creation of a functioning democratic government in 2012, the United States of America announced for the first time since 1991 that it is recogninzing the Government of Somalia.
In her remarks with President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud after their meeting in Washington DC, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said it is a great privilege for the US to be welcoming President Hassan Sheikh and his delegation at the State Department.
“Today’s meeting has been a long time in the making. Four years ago, at the start of the Obama Administration, Somalia was, in many ways, a different country than it is today.” – Ms. Clinton
The US wanted to work together, not only with the people of Somalia but with governments across the region, the international community, and other likeminded friends.
In early 2009, the final Transitional Federal Government began its work.
Somali security forces, supported by the African Union Mission in Somalia, and troops from Uganda and Burundi and now Kenya and Djibouti began to drive al-Shabaab out of cities and towns.
Humanitarian aid finally began getting to the people in need in the country.
The US provided more than $650 million in assistance to the African Union Mission in Somalia, more than 130 million to Somalia’s security forces.
In the past two years, the US have given nearly $360 million in emergency humanitarian assistance and more than $45 million in development-related assistance to help rebuild Somalia’s economy. And we have provided more than $200 million throughout the Horn of Africa for Somali refugee assistance.
Both countries have particular concerns about the dangers facing displaced people, especially women, who continue to be vulnerable to violence, rape, and exploitation.
Somalia elects new president
In September 2012, one week after the historic selection of a new leader in war-torn Somalia, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was inaugurated in the capital of Mogadishu.
Reports say Mohamud won the election against outgoing President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed by the legislative vote of 190 to 79.
The inauguration ceremony was reportedly participated by prominent regional leaders including the PM of Ethiopia and president of Djibouti.
New Provisional Constitution for Somalia
In August 2012, Somalia’s National Constitutional Assembly has approved a Provisional Constitution in historic vote.
Reports say the approval of the new constitution is a key milestone towards ending the country’s current transitional period.
Delegates to the Somalia’s National Constituent Assembly is a 825-member constituent assembly, with delegates representing Somali clans and civil society.
The leaders reportedly debated the constitution for nine days and approved the constitution with 621 for, 13 against and 11 abstained from voting.
The National Constituent Assembly represented the diverse concerns of the nation as it reviewed and ultimately approved the Provisional Constitution.
Somalia has been in constant wars for past two past decades since the collapse of the Somali state in January 21, 1991. Millions of lives were lost and countless number of people had been internally displaced.
Somalia is the country worst affected by a severe drought that has ravaged large swaths of the Horn of Africa, leaving an estimated 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.