1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the communique of the 245th meeting of Council, held on 15 October 2010 [PSC/MIN/1(CCXXXXV)], and the press statement of the 267th meeting of Council, held on 18 March 2011 [PSC/PR/BR (CCLXVII)]. It covers the various aspects of the situation in Somalia and the efforts being made by the African Union (AU) and the larger international community in support of the promotion of peace, stability and reconciliation in the country.
II. RECENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
2. The IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held its 17th Extra Ordinary Summit in Addis Ababa, on 30 January 2011, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Chairperson of IGAD, providing an opportunity to review the political developments in Somalia. Having noted that the transitional period for the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) ends on 20 August 2011 and stressing the need to avoid a political vacuum, the Heads of State reached a consensus on the imperative to extend the term of the current Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP), while the remaining political dispensation is handled by the people of Somalia. At its 16th Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, from 30 to 31st January 2011, the Assembly of the Union endorsed the IGAD decision to extend the term of the TFP.
3. On 3 February, the TFP adopted a motion extending its term for three years, starting from the end of the current transitional period. In the same decision, the Parliament called for the election of the President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), as well as of the Speaker of the TFP and his deputies. It should be noted that some members of the international community strongly condemned the extension, which, they observed, was done without due consultations with relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, the regional administration of Puntland and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jammah (ASWJ) also rejected the action of the TFP to unilaterally extend its term.
4. The TFG, through the Office of the President and that of the Prime Minister, issued statements categorically rejecting the decisions of Parliament. They reiterated the Executive‘s preference for a shorter post?transition period as demanded by the international community. Subsequently, the Cabinet tabled before Parliament a policy proposal to extend the mandate of all the TFIs, including the Executive, for an additional one year (up to August 2012), after which presidential elections would be conducted. That proposal was rejected by the Speaker of Parliament, who announced plans to conduct presidential elections in July 2011. The Parliament has thus proceeded with the drafting of a work plan for a 3 year extended mandate, a move that has been condemned by the Office of the President as usurpation of executive powers.
5. In accordance with the Joint Regional Strategy agreed to by AMISOM, IGAD and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), and in line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the three institutions in November 2010, my Special Representative, Ambassador Boubacar G. Diarra, the UN Special Representative for Somalia (SRSG), Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, and the IGAD Facilitator, Hon. Kipruto Kirwa, conducted mediation meetings in Mogadishu and Nairobi, and held numerous consultative forums with key players in the TFIs, including the President, the Speaker and the Prime Minister, in order to harmonize views on the end of the transition and the post?transition arrangements. In all of these discussions, the AU and other members of the international community emphasized that the entire process for ending the present transitional arrangements in Somalia must be legitimate, Somali?owned and as inclusive as possible. AMISOM and its partners, especially IGAD and UNPOS, further accelerated diplomatic efforts to resolve the continuing impasse within the TFIs, and to assist the Somali transitional leaders reach consensus on the management of the transition.
6. At its 267th meeting, Council expressed support for the ongoing efforts by AMISOM, IGAD and UNPOS to help bridge the differences among the Somali stakeholders on the transitional arrangements and expedite the implementation of the transitional tasks, with a view to addressing the most urgent ones by 20 August 2011. It is critical that the Somali stakeholders reach an agreement on these issues, as the persistence of the current situation can only undermine the efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in the country.
7. On 12 and 13 April 2011, a UN sponsored high level consultative meeting was held in Nairobi. The meeting was attended by the Speaker of the TFP, the Presidents of Puntland and Galmudug regions, representatives of Ahlu Sunna Wa’al Jamaa and by key partners, including the AU, the European Union (EU), the League of Arab States and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), as well as by Ethiopia, Kenya , Sudan and Uganda. The aim of the consultative process was to reinvigorate dialogue, consultation and cooperation among the Somali institutions and other stakeholders, with a view to agreeing on the way forward to end the transition and determine post transition arrangements and respective responsibilities of all stakeholders. Regrettably, the President and the Cabinet, after numerous attempts to cancel the meeting, refused to attend this consultative gathering, arguing that it was counterproductive and could further factionalize Somalia.
8. The participants reached consensus on the need to end the transition according to the provisions of the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC), which calls for elections of the President, the Speaker and his deputies before the end of the transition, i.e. August 2011; to extend the mandate of the TFP for a period of two years, to enable it to complete certain critical tasks, including preparations for eventual national elections; to enhance security and to redouble joint efforts to defeat extremism; to reform the current Parliament and to intensify the process of outreach and reconciliation with the “states”, regional authorities, civil society and the diaspora; to accelerate progress towards a new federal Constitution; to implement previous agreements between the TFG, Puntland, regional administrations and Ahlu Sunna Wa’al Jamaa; and to increase the provision of humanitarian and development assistance at federal, state, regional and district levels.
9. Despite the absence of the TFG, the meeting decided to communicate to the Government, which has a vital role in taking forward the process, the outcomes of the discussions. It was proposed that the next meeting should take place in Somalia. I urge the TFG to extend the required cooperation.
III. SECURITY SITUATION
10. Despite the political wrangling, AMISOM continues to make sustained efforts in support of the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia, in line with its mandate. Council will recall that, at its 245th meeting, held at ministerial level, on 15 October 2010, in Addis Ababa, it endorsed the revised Concept of Operations (CONOPs) for new force strength of 20,000 for AMISOM, with the requisite air and maritime capabilities, and enhanced police and civilian components. Subsequently, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1964 (2010) authorizing the African Union to maintain the deployment of AMISOM in Somalia until 30 September 2011 and to increase its troop size by 50 percent, from 8,000 to 12,000 troops, in order to enhance the ability of the Mission to carry out its mandate.
11. At its 16th Ordinary Session, the Assembly of the Union took note of resolution 1964 (2010). It reiterated the AU’s call to the UN Security Council and the international community as a whole to provide the necessary political, financial and technical support to the enhanced AMISOM.
12. On 7 and 8 March 2011, AMISOM held a technical?level meeting in Nairobi to identify resources to meet the Mission’s equipment and enabler requirements in respect of the additional 4000 troops authorized in resolution 1964 (2010). The meeting identified AMISOM requirements, and received pledges and firm commitments from various donors, including a UK contribution of £4m for reimbursement of Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) to be disbursed in two phases and a pledge by the US to provide major equipment for the additional 4,000 troops. Uganda agreed to provide some maritime capability, air component and combat engineering elements. In addition, Burundi and Uganda each pledged an additional 2,000 troops.
13. The progress achieved and the remaining gap in AMISOM requirements were reviewed on 17 March 2011, in Addis Ababa, at the meeting of Ministers of Defense of present and future Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to AMISOM, as well as Ethiopia, in its capacity as chair of IGAD. They discussed, among other issues, the need for an increase in troop allowances, death and disability compensation.
14. The deployment of additional 1,000 Burundi troops in March 2011 has now brought the force strength of AMISOM to about 9,000. There are also additional troop pledges from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Djibouti. The major challenge now is to provide predictable and sustainable funding for the Mission to cater for adequate equipment and enablers for the additional 4,000 troops, increased allowances for the troops (at the UN rate of US$ 1,028 per soldier), and funds for military related expenditure. Against this background, at its meeting held on 10 March 2011, the United Nations Security Council, again, stressed the importance of predictable, reliable and timely resources for AMISOM, and called on the international community to make contributions urgently and without caveats to the UN Trust Fund for AMISOM or directly in support of the Mission.
15. Despite the challenging environment in which AMISOM is operating, the Mission has continued to consolidate its control of key strategic locations. As a result of the military offensive launched in February 2011, AMISOM and TFG forces seized key positions, including the former Ministry of Defense and the former Milk Factory that previously served as the insurgents’ major operational and logistical base and allowed the extremists to dominate the northern areas of the city. Outside of Mogadishu, pro TFG militias gained further ground in the Hiraan, Bay and Bakool, Gedo and Middle and Lower Jubba regions.
16. At present, the TFG effectively controls about 60 percent of Mogadishu, comprising of seven (7) out of the sixteen (16) districts of the city. Three (3) districts remain under the control of the insurgents. The remaining six (6) districts are still contested. Importantly, about 80 percent of Mogadishu’s population of roughly 2 million live in areas that have fallen under the control of the TFG and pro TFG Somali forces.
17. At the same time, AMISOM and partners have continued to support the reform of Somalia’s security sector, including providing training and facilitating the payment of stipend to the TFG Military, and training, mentoring and advising the Somali Police Force. The Joint Security Committee (JSC), which coordinates international support to the Somali security sector institutions, held its latest meeting on 20 January 2011. The JSC recommendations revolve around the following points: the adoption of the Somalia Security Sector Assessment Report and Recommendations and their inclusion in the revised National Security and Stabilization Plan (NSSP), and initiation of their implementation; the work for the review, adoption and implementation of the NSSP to be concluded by the TFG before the end of the transition; the need to ensure more regular and sustainable payment of stipends for military and police officers; the urgent replenishment of the Trust Funds for AMISOM and Somali Security Sector Institutions; and the provision of critical force enablers for AMISOM and TFG forces.
IV. HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
18. As a result of the fighting in Mogadishu and in other parts of the country, the humanitarian situation in Somalia remains challenging, with reports of further displacements, deaths, and inadequate access by aid agencies. In this respect, mention should be made of Al Shabaab’s refusal to allow aid agencies to operate in Somalia, obstructing the flow of humanitarian aid to the population. Approximately, 25,000 people have been displaced due to insecurity since 23 February 2011, the majority of whom were from Mogadishu, moving to relatively safer areas of the city. The ongoing influx of a greater percentage of the population of Mogadishu to the areas under TFG control requires that the humanitarian agencies urgently step in to provide increased humanitarian assistance to the needy population.
19. The current drought situation is causing further hardships, including food shortages and displacement, particularly for the pastoralist communities in various parts of the country. More than 50,000 people have been displaced due to drought since December 2010. Climate models predict that there is an increased likelihood of near to below normal rainfall during the Gu (April to June) rainy season, adding to the existing food security and water availability challenges. The levels of the Shabele and Juba rivers are also reported to be currently below normal and are expected to decrease if the rains perform poorly.
20. I am concerned by the significant reduction in overall funding levels for Somalia for the last two years, particularly in view of the hardship endured by the population. According to aid agencies, US$ 429 million were received in 2008, compared to US$ 342 million in 2009, and US$ 251 million in 2010. Between 2008 and 2010, there have been a decline of new funding of US$ 178 million, approximately 41%.
21. As the end of the transitional period in Somalia nears, many core transitional tasks, including the finalization and adoption of a new Federal Constitution and the restructuring of the Somali security forces, have not been completed. Continuing disagreements between the TFG and the TFP are further stalling the implementation of the transitional mandate as stipulated in the Djibouti Agreement and the Transitional Federal Charter. These and other factors continue to pose serious challenges to the peace process, and have the potential to undermine the military achievements of the TFG and pro TFG forces, with the support of AMISOM, in Mogadishu and other regions of Somalia.
22. In close partnership with the international community, AMISOM leadership has continued active engagement with the Somali transitional leaders and other interlocutors to reach consensus on the way forward in managing the transition. Despite all the efforts, there are concerns that the Somali stakeholders may not arrive at acceptable transitional and post transitional arrangements that are inclusive, participatory and legitimate. I appeal to the Somali stakeholders to demonstrate the required political will and determination to overcome on the difficulties facing the peace and reconciliation process. As I observed in my report to Council on 15 October 2010, the Somalis have primary responsibility for the restoration of peace and security in their country.
23. I take this opportunity to reiterate my appreciation to Uganda and Burundi for their commitment to peace in Somalia, and encourage other African countries that have pledged troops and contributions in kind to speedily provide them, to enable AMISOM to achieve its goals. I would like also to reiterate the call by the African Union for the United Nations Security Council and the international community as a whole, to provide the necessary political, financial and technical support to the enhanced AMISOM.
24. In this respect, it is worth recalling that at its 245th meeting, Council requested the Security Council to authorize an enhanced support package for AMISOM, funded through UN assessed contributions, on the basis of the newly authorized strength, and catering for reimbursements for Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) and the payment of troop allowances at UN rates, in order to ensure adequate, predictable and sustainable support to the Mission. Council also requested the imposition of a naval blockade and a no fly zone over Somalia to prevent the entry of foreign elements into Somalia, as well as flights and shipments carrying weapons and ammunitions to armed groups inside Somalia which are carrying out attacks against the TFG, AMISOM and the Somali population. These requests remain as relevant today as when they were last communicated to the Security Council in October 2010. While reiterating the AU’s appreciation for the support provided by the United Nations and without which the conduct of AMISOM operation would not have been possible, I call on the Security Council to consider providing additional assistance to enable the Mission fully to discharge its mandate, in support of the Somali people, whose yearning for peace continues to remain unfulfilled.