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Security Council shows support for building Somali government, helping those impacted by famine

08-16-2011 15:41 BJT Special Report:Drought, famine plague horn of Africa |

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 15 (Xinhua) -- The Security Council on Monday expressed the hope that Somali stakeholders can create a roadmap to build more effective government institutions, while voicing "grave concern" about the ongoing famine in the country.

The Security Council said in a press statement which was read to reporters outside the council chamber by this month's council president, Hardeep Singh Puri, who is India's permanent representative to the UN.

Puri said that a meeting to be held on September 4-6 in Somalia will seek to devise a roadmap to guide Somalia's Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) in strengthening the country over the next year in preparation for an eventual shift to a representative government.

"The members of the Security Council stressed the need for wide participation by Somali groups in this meeting, including the TFIs, local and regional administrations and other Somali stakeholders," Puri said. "They called upon all participants to engage constructively and responsibly in this meeting and stressed the importance of agreeing the roadmap in a timely manner."

Somalia is currently run by the TFIs, including the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Supporting the Somali government in its attempts to neutralize the country's armed groups is the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The mandate of the TFIs was due to end on August 20, but has been extended for an additional year.

"The members of the Security Council noted that future support to the TFIs would be contingent upon completion of the tasks in the roadmap," Puri said.

The security situation in Somalia has been dynamic of late, as Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab withdrew its forces from Mogadishu on August 6., Puri said that the council commends the efforts of AMISOM and the Somalia Security Forces against Al- Shabaab and encouraged Somalia's governing institutions to use the withdrawal to their advantage.

He said that the council has "urged the TFIs to immediately capitalize on these gains by urgently focusing on the delivery of basic services and providing good governance to all of its citizens."

The council, Puri added, calls on the international community to contribute to AMISOM to help it fulfill its mandate.

On the humanitarian front, drought in the Horn of Africa region has led to the declaration of famine in several regions of southern and central Somalia, at which the council reiterated its concern. An estimated 3.2 million Somalis are currently on the brink of starvation, according to the UN.

"The members of the Security Council urged all parties and armed groups to ensure full, safe, and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian aid to persons in need of assistance across Somalia and to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of drought-affected populations and humanitarian personnel and supplies," Puri said.

He also said that the council urges member states to contribute to the UN Consolidated Appeal for Somalia, and noted the council's "serious concern" that the appeal is not yet fully funded.

The UN needs 1.4 billion U.S. dollars more in donations in order to meet its funding requests to help Somalia.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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