Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon
STATEMENT FROM OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER
February 7, 2013
Prime Minister welcomes UN Report on Somalia
His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon has welcomed the UN Secretary-General’s Report on Somalia, which paid tribute to the country’s successful transition to the most representative government in more than two decades.
The report, released on 6 February, praised “the most transparent and representative” election in 20 years, the first held in Somalia during that period. It acknowledged the successful end of the country’s eight-year political transition and noted the “confidence and optimism” expressed by Somali commentators in the new authorities. While acknowledging many challenges ahead, the report recognised that the new government’s term (2012-2016) was “the best chance in a generation for sustainable peace and development”.
The UN report noted that international partners had welcomed His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s vision for Somalia – concentrating on his “six pillars”policy of stabilisation, peace-building, economic recovery, public services delivery, national unity and collaborative international relations - and confirmed the international community’s ongoing support for Somalia.
“We welcome this report from the UN and will be studying it closely,” the Prime Minister said. “We are pleased to note that the great progress that has been made in recent months has been rightly acknowledged. Today Somalia is in a stronger position than it has been in over 20 years and the whole world recognises this. We still have a long way to go and I take note that the report contains some serious findings, which we will be studying carefully.”
The Prime Minister said Somalia faced numerous challenges. These included economic development, security, the humanitarianemergency, healthcare and education, delivering government services in newly liberated areas and the reintegration of former Al Shabaab fighters.
Commenting on the human rights and rule of law situation, the Prime Minister said that Somalia was emerging from decades of conflict and instability and had a long way to go before it had a properly functioning state under the rule of law. The report contains charges of human rights abuses levelled against security forces. These are alleged to have occurred before this government took office.
“There is no excuse for the sort of behaviour cited in this report. It is completely unacceptable. We take all allegations of sexual violence with the utmost seriousness. We equally take all allegations of human rights abuses extremely seriously. We will investigate these allegations and will take appropriate action wherever necessary to ensure justice is done.”
The Prime Minister pointed to recent progress in improving the country’s human rights record as a demonstration of the government’s commitment to address the issue.
“Only yesterday I announced the formation of a new Independent Task Force on Human Rights. It will be investigating the broadest range of human rights abuses during its three-month mandate and will look specifically at the question of sexual violence against women and killings of journalists.”
The Prime Minister concluded by hailing the UN’s role in Somalia.
“I would like to personally thank the UN for its ongoing partnership with Somalia and the support it has extended to us during more than 20 years, more often than not in extremely challenging conditions. We look forward to a strong partnership in the months and yearsahead to overcome the many challenges that still face us.”
Prime Minister’s Media Office