United Nations – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has urged the 193 Member States of the UN to redouble their efforts to strengthen Somali security forces to secure the country for the long-term.
Ban made the call in a message to the Security Council Ministerial Meeting on Somalia on Monday in New York.
The message was delivered by Ms. Susana Malcorra, Chef de Cabinet in New York.
He also called on all partners to ensure that UN military and political strategies were fully aligned.
NAN reports that the council is also expected to adopt a resolution regarding the successor to the UN Support Office for African Union Mission in Somalia (UNSOA).
NAN also reports that it draws upon the findings and recommendations of a joint AU-UN review of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) conducted earlier this year.
He said that military operations alone will not defeat Al Shabaab.
The UN Chief renewed his call for the Security Council to support a comprehensive approach that addresses the Al Shabaab threat by offering Somalis a better alternative.
This, he said, required greater investments in community security, human rights, justice and economic opportunity, especially for youth.
“We must denounce the propaganda of Al Shabaab, address the grievances that drive recruitment, and open the way for all to renounce violence.
“The best way to weaken the pull of extremism is to strengthen people’s chances for a better future.
“That is why I also urge the international community to increase its contributions to the New Deal Somalia Compact before its review in Istanbul in February.
“An investment in the people of Somalia will also benefit security in the region and the World.
“We must urgently provide opportunities for Somalia’s strong women and girls, who suffer from poverty, violence and abuse without fair participation in decision-making,” he said.
Ban also urged the Somali Federal Government to work to exceed the goal of 30 per cent representation of women in Parliament.
He said that guaranteeing basic human rights was essential to offering a credible alternative to extremism.
He also commended the government for actively participating in the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review.
Ban urged the council to build on the tangible success of the UN-AU partnership and the achievements of the UN Support Office for African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
He said some 3.2 million people in Somalia need assistance to survive.
The UN Chief said that over the past six months, more people had lost their ability to feed their families.
“More children suffer from acute malnutrition.
“Most of these are internally displaced, living under the constant threat of forced evictions and abuse.
“This dire situation is growing worse. We are expecting dangerous flooding and drought.
“Our Humanitarian Response Plan is only 36 per cent funded, so we cannot fully carry out our life-saving programmes.
“Donors can make the difference between life and death and that can help move Somalia toward greater stability and peace,” he said.
He said the UN will continue to do everything possible to achieve political progress, boost security, promote human rights and relieve suffering.
He commended the United Kingdom, who heads the Presidency of the Security Council, for convening the Ministerial Meeting and for its longstanding leadership on Somalia. (NAN)