Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Somalia in the Security Council

Mar 10, 2011

(as delivered)

Mr. President,

I thank the Chinese Presidency for convening today's meeting. Germany is also very grateful for the clear and informed remarks by the Secretary General. I am particularly gratified by the presence of Prime Minister Abdullahi Mohamed and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Diarra as well as Special Representative Augustine Mahiga in Mogadishu.

Germany aligns herself with the statement to be delivered by the Delegation of the European Union on behalf of the EU.

Mr. President,

The Security Council has a unique responsibility in addressing the momentous challenges in Somalia. Germany strongly advocates for continued and focused work of the Council on Somalia, in close co-operation with regional actors and especially our partners in the African Union.

The conflict in Somalia has lasted far too long. It has attracted international terrorist activities and provided the breeding ground for piracy. It threatens international peace and security. But above all, its human cost is unacceptable. This human cost reminds us of our humanitarian responsibilities, especially with respect to vulnerable groups such as refugees, women and children. They continue to bear the brunt of violence. We are concerned by the severely limited humanitarian space. We call upon all parties in the country to ensure unhindered access of humanitarian aid as well as the safety of all humanitarian staff. We also call for the immediate implementation of all the conclusions of the Security Council´s Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in Somalia.

Five months before the end of the transitional period, it is urgent to promote a clear political strategy for mastering the remaining transitional tasks. All of us - the Security Council, the actors in Somalia, neighboring countries and all other stakeholders - must continue to join efforts to achieve tangible progress.

Germany reiterates her full support to the Djibouti process. The Somali government now needs to focus on the completion of the constitution-making process, the outreach to armed opposition groups through dialogue wherever possible and sensible, and the provision of security and basic services to the Somali people.

The Transitional Institutions must stop political infighting. They are responsible towards their people. They must refrain from unilateral actions such as the recent extension of its term by the Transitional Parliament.

Mr. President,

The international community has to pursue its support to the Somali people and to the Somali institutions, in particular the security institutions, in order to work towards the stabilization of Somalia.

Wherever possible, we should explore ways to extend our support to those regions in Somalia enjoying relative stability and security, including Somaliland and Puntland. We should also urge better cooperation between such regions and the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu. We also see the need to engage with local administrations, communities and the civil society as a whole. We feel that their traditions and experiences can add significantly to the political process on the ground. In a longer perspective, extended co-operation between all actors could enhance opportunities for economic and social development beyond those regions, for the better of all of Somalia.

Piracy originating from Somalia needs to be tackled in a comprehensive way. The UN and all other international actors have to continue their common efforts in this regard. Germany will continue to actively take part in this endeavour.

Mr. President,

Let me turn to AMISOM: We reiterate our full support to the AU mission in Somalia and its troop contributors and are looking forward to its full deployment in the near future, in accordance with resolution 1964. Germany and the EU are extensively  assisting AMISOM and troop contributing countries. Germany has recently delivered substantial equipment aid to a Burundian AMISOM contingent worth  well over 5 million Dollar. We invite other donors to join our common effort and support AMISOM.

Germany is impressed by the professional and successful work carried out by AMISOM and its troop-contributors in fulfilling its daunting task. We thank them for their dedication and are encouraged by recent progress made on the ground, in Mogadishu and beyond. We are very saddened by the recent casualties amongst AMISOM's soldiers.

Mr. President,

My last point concerns the future UN presence in Somalia. Germany encourages the United Nations to strive to strengthen its presence in Somalia and especially in Mogadishu, as outlined by the Secretary General in his last report. We welcome recent efforts of UNPOS and the UN Country Team in this respect. An enhanced UN presence on the ground can contribute to a more direct engagement with the various communities and thus to a political solution for Somalia.

 

I thank you, Mr. President.

 

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