posted on Wed 4 May 2011 1:00 PM
Insights on Somalia

It seems that the Council will start negotiations in the next few days on a presidential statement to follow the briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, on 11 May. It is thought that a key element of the statement will be conveying to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) the Council’s disappointment that the TFG did not participate in the high-level consultative meeting convened by Mahiga in Nairobi on 12 and 13 April (in defiance of the Council’s statement in March).

The Secretary-General’s report on Somalia (covering the past three months) was published today. Of specific interest to the Council is a request from the Secretary-General for the Council to consider further measures to disrupt the flow of arms into Somalia, including those proposed by the AU.

The report confirms that the TFG supported by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has gained ground against Al-Shabab both in Mogadishu and in south central Somalia. It notes that the number of Somalis in need of humanitarian assistance has increased by over 20 percent over the previous six months and recruitment and use of children, in particular on the part of Al-Shabab, continues to be of serious concern (children also remain present within the TFG security forces). The report also notes significant progress in establishing a “light UN footprint” in Mogadishu, as well as efforts to improve UN internal coordination.

The Secretary-General notes that funding for the humanitarian appeal for Somalia is urgently needed (as of April it is only one quarter funded), as is speeding up the deployment of additional AMISOM troops “which has never been more urgent”. The Secretary-General notes that AMISOM still struggles with critical gaps in its resources and increased funding is needed through the UN trust fund for AMISOM and bilateral donations.