The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia Michael Keating congratulated the people and government of Somalia on the anniversary of the country’s independence.
“Hambalyo! This is a great day for all Somalis, here and around the world. As Somalis celebrate independence, despite the many adversities they face, whether relating to drought, insecurity or lack of income, you can take pride in some truly significant recent accomplishments,” said SRSG Keating. “And this celebration comes at a moment of political opportunity, and of hope. It should not be taken for granted; such moments don’t happen often in a nation’s history.”
“The challenge ahead is how to translate the positive politics and the enormous potential of the country into tangible benefits for all Somalis, particularly the millions of women, men and children living in terrible poverty and deprivation. That requires strong and inclusive leadership as well as meaningful commitment and cooperation from those who have the power and influence to make a difference, whether in politics, the private sector, the diaspora or civil society. Personal agendas must not undermine collective progress.”
“I warmly commend President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, his Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre and his government for the strong commitment to bring peace, stability, accountable institutions and economic growth to Somalia. I urge all leaders, whether in the public or private sectors, to work with them to deliver results. The more they do so, the more the international community can support Somalia.”
“So much has been achieved in the last year. Large numbers of Somalis participated in a historic electoral process that chose the most diverse federal parliament in the country’s history. In February, a peaceful and orderly transfer of power brought a new federal president into office. In April, Somali leaders signed an agreement on the country’s security architecture which paves the way for rebuilding genuinely national security forces, including the army and police, who can be trusted by everyone in the country. In May, we saw a remarkable expression of international solidarity with Somalia at the London conference, with commitments made to support drought response, economic growth, security and strengthening of the federal state. It is a measure of how far the country has travelled that for the first time in many decades, Somalia has a national development plan to attract investment, build institutions, develop infrastructure and deliver services.”
“Many challenges loom for President Farmaajo, his government and the leadership of federal member states over the next 12 months. Long-standing disputes over resources and boundaries continue to divide communities, and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the twin ravages of drought and terrorism. Agreements need to be reached through the constitutional review on fundamental issues like resource and revenue sharing. There will be differences and disputes, but these can be addressed if there is a collective commitment by the nation’s leadership to work together for the common good. This will also be the best basis for confronting Al Shabaab and reducing levels of violence.”
“The United Nations and international partners are working closely with federal and state authorities to promote justice and human rights, step up humanitarian aid efforts, and develop more transparent and accountable institutions. The United Nations looks forward to working with all Somalis who share these goals in a spirit of goodwill, inclusivity and solidarity. The hurdles facing their nation will be overcome, and Somalia can count on the international community for its broad and steadfast support, now and in the future.”