UN committed to help Somalia deliver ‘for its people’

  • 2024-02-20 12:14:41

Somalia remains resilient and strongly committed to state-building but more is needed to sustain the gains made in the fight against terrorist insurgency, the UN Special Representative in the country told the Security Council on Monday. 

Catriona Laing, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), briefed ambassadors on developments across eight areas, including politics, security, women’s political participation, and humanitarian affairs.

She expressed the UN’s “unwavering support towards the state-building agenda” in Somalia, underscoring that the Council’s support is central to the country’s success.

“Through our collective support, Somalia is demonstrating that a country can emerge from prolonged conflict to one that delivers for its people and acts as a force for good in the region,” she said.
Solid progress

UNSOM works with the Federal Government of Somalia and federal member states to support national reconciliation and provide strategic and policy advice on issues such as peacebuilding and state-building, among other mandated tasks.

An African Union (AU) force in the country, ATMIS, is in the process of drawing down. Somalia has requested a smaller AU mission, focused on protection, as well as UN logistics support to strengthen national systems and capacity.

Ms. Laing reported that the Federal Government has made solid progress in recent months in implementing its priorities. Some of these “very significant achievements” included completing a critical security roadmap, joining regional bloc the East African Community, and securing the lifting of a Security Council arms embargo.
‘Tragic events’

However, 2024 got off to a challenging start for the “UN family” in Somalia, which continues to work to secure the safe return of personnel aboard a UN helicopter that was reportedly seized by Al-Shabaab militants on 10 January.   

The following day, a member of a UN Guard Force Unit was killed in an Al-Shabaab indirect fire attack on the UN compound in the capital, Mogadishu.

“Despite these tragic events, our focus remains on supporting Somalia with its rightly ambitious agenda over the year ahead,” she assured the Council.
UN News