Allow me at the outset to thank you, Madam President, for having convened this meeting, which makes it possible to strengthen the dialogue and coordination between the African Union and the United Nations on the question of Somalia. In that respect, I should like to thank Commissioner Lamamra for having made the trip to New York to present the positions of the African Union, as well as the Ministers of Kenya and of Uganda. Lastly, I thank Mr. Pascoe for his presentation.
On the political front, a key milestone was achieved with the adoption on 6 September last by the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) in Somalia, the Presidents of Puntland and of Galmudug, and representatives of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a of the road map setting out the priority tasks to be carried out by 20 August 2012.
The timely implementation of all components of that road map is now imperative.
Although the TFIs face considerable challenges, they must nevertheless take advantage without delay of the favourable developments in the security situation in Mogadishu so as to implement the objectives set out in the road map. We also expect the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to be genuinely proactive in the fight against maritime piracy.
The report of the Secretary-General dated 9 December 2011 (S/2011/759) makes clear that insufficient progress has been made in the implementation of the road map. Moreover, the parliamentary crisis that started on 13 December with the attempt to dismiss the speaker continues. In those conditions, our vigilance with respect to the action of the Transitional Institutions is only heightened.
As the Council has already pointed out, the continuing support of the international community for the Transitional Institutions will depend on the implementation of the road map in the set timeframe. Those who would impede the peace process, as well as peace and security in Somalia, could be subject to Security Council sanctions.
However, we must also note the positive developments. Significant progress has been made on the constitutional aspect of the road map and on parliamentary reform. The national conference on the constitutional process, which was held from 21 to 23 December 2011 in Garowe, in Puntland, was a relative success, as it made it possible to set clear principles for the next steps of that process. That progress must now be consolidated and the efforts continued and supported.
On the security front, the success of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali security forces in recent months has made it possible to regain control of new areas of Mogadishu and its surroundings. Such results must be welcomed, while the troops deployed on the ground undertake their work in particularly difficult conditions. Such progress on the ground was confirmed by the visit of the Secretary-General to Mogadishu last December, for the first time in 18 years, and the announcement of a return of United Nations agencies to the Somali capital. Those are positive signs for the future, on which we can congratulate ourselves and that we welcome. Similarly, the intervention led by Kenya since October 2011, which was simultaneously carried out by Ethiopia, relying on militias in the Somali west, have also helped to weaken Al-Shabaab. We are delighted by that weakening of Al-Shabaab, which is an encouraging sign for the future of the political transition.
In that context, the African Union has submitted detailed requests to the Security Council to strengthen AMISOM, while the situation indeed seems favourable. As we have heard, those requests in particular entail raising the troop ceiling and extending the scope of the logistical support package. The new strategic concept for AMISOM on 5 January (see S/2012/19, annex) specifies the context in which those requests are made. That strategic concept must now undergo a thorough political, operational and financial review, in particular on the basis of the report that the Secretary-General will soon submit to us.
Moreover, we recall that establishing credible Somali security forces is also essential. That is an issue of political credibility for the Transitional Federal Government. It is those forces that should take over from AMISOM as soon as possible, and thus complete the stabilization of the country in terms of security.
I will conclude by raising the humanitarian situation, which is still a matter of concern. Four million people, including 3 million in the south, still need food assistance, while access to humanitarian aid is possible only for approximately 1.5 million people, given the deteriorating security situation and cases of food aid being diverted.
The United Nations, like humanitarian non-governmental organizations, provides vital support to the population affected by the famine in the entire region. We continue to stand ready to respond to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa. Unimpeded access of humanitarian aid must be ensured.